In this time of keeping our heads low to avoid contracting COVID-19, we need some good diversion besides Facebook and Netflix. So, let’s think about visiting, when we can all get out again, a beautiful island that you can walk on to, yes, no boat or ferry required.
This island is a true island but at one point its eastern shore is only yards/meters from the mainland. If you really wanted to you could walk onto this amazing island, Camano Island, without even getting wet. All you have to do is drive north from Seattle or south from Vancouver, BC on Interstate 5, turn west onto WA-532 and continue until you’re on the island.
What does this mean if you live on Camano? It means you can easily gain access to the mainland but still have island life and culture. The bridge makes life easy now but in the 19th century until 1909 the only way to gain access to Camano was via cable ferry. The bridge built then as now makes life much easier for you when you move here.
You actually have to cross two bridges to get onto the island. The first one, a newer and wider one, takes you over the Stillaguamish River, so even then you’re still on the mainland, but often people think they’ve already crossed the salt water, but not yet. The smaller bridge, crossing over Davis Slough, is what actually allows you to drive, or walk, onto Camano Island.
One of the native American tribes had their own name to describe it. “The original name of the island was Kal-lut-chin which in the language of the indigenous Snohomish tribe means “land jutting into a bay”. I’m not sure if they thought that Camano Island was an island or not with that type of name, but eventually, it was understood that the island stood on its own. In fact, it is in a different county from its closest incorporated town, Stanwood, which is in Snohomish County, just across the bridge.
Camano Island is in the same county, Island County, as Whidbey Island, although they have no connecting roads. Years ago, there was a daily steamship service to Coupeville, the county seat, on Whidbey Island, but not anymore, so the bridge is very helpful to get off one island to drive to another one. Well, that’s what you can explore when we can start getting out more, to see the island that you can walk onto, Camano Island.
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