A Beautiful Day Visiting the Wildflowers on Decatur Island
by Sarah Jones
May has brought some spectacular weather and Mother’s Day was the perfect day to go kayaking down to the Kimball Preserve at the tip of Decatur Island. We’d been told that the wildflowers were in full bloom so we went down to see them ourselves….and they did not disappoint!
I’m not a skilled kayaker so I watch the tides and try to paddle when they are going in my direction (both ways). This particular day was one of the lowest tides of the year at a -2.3 going to a 9.1 so a lot of water was moving through our small channel. Luckily, we caught it just as it was entering the “slack” period and were able to minimize our struggle with the currents. We fought it a little going down but coming back up was great. The total trip covers less than two nautical miles but if you’re fighting a strong current, it can get very exhausting!
Once we got to the lagoon, the hardest part was navigating the soft mud due to the tide being out so far. We pulled our kayaks up on the sand and slogged our way to the beach to begin our hike. Right away we encountered waves of flowers. So pretty!!
I have a real fondness for the blue camas and loved seeing them all over the meadowland areas. Hiking the trails took us to some amazing vistas where we could see the lovely Olympic Mountains, still covered in snow and look down Rosario Strait towards Mount Rainier.
It’s amazing to have such a beautiful place so close and accessible! I’m so grateful to the Kimball Family who long ago donated this beautiful area for us all to enjoy….
The islands have a number of other preserves you can visit by either water taxi or private boat.