An island unmasked

Posted by Ken Campbell March 15, 2008 0 Comment 538 views
The Olympic Peninsula is an island. No joke. An island, according to my dog-eared and stained paperback dictionary, is a “tract of land completely surrounded by water, and not large enough to be called a continent.”

Down near Olympia there’s a small pond known as Black Lake. Black Lake has two outlets. One, a trickling creek, runs to the north out of the lake and eventually flows into Puget Sound. The other outlet is the Black River, a low-gradient stream that meanders south past wild banks and groomed farms until it joins with the Chehalis River west of Rochester. The Chehalis continues westward until it meets salt water in the timber town of Aberdeen, on the Olympic coast.

With the Pacific to the west, the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north, Puget Sound and Hood Canal to the east and the Black and Chehalis rivers to the south, the Olympic Peninsula seems to meet the criteria for an island. I have paddled a canoe down the Black River a few times, but it has been many years since my last visit. I’m planning to paddle there again next week.

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