How to Social Distance Puget Sound Style

You don’t think of sea kayaking as the tool for virus busting but it may be just the perfect tool for social distance.

Social Distance Outdoors

I’m not sure what to make of this health crisis we find ourselves in. I watch the daily news and I’m shocked by the actions of those that seem to find some justification to ignore the advice of our health experts. How hard is it to social distance or wear a mask? How is it our constitutional right to kill others? You have to shake your head at the stupidity, but that’s for another time and place to address.

Luckily we still have the outdoors and can enjoy it responsibly. Most of the trails, beaches, and areas we enjoy exploring are off the beaten path with us rarely crossing paths with others. Now we just carry a mask to slip on if we do hear someone coming down the trail.

The real challenge seems to be keeping repetition from dulling the experience and with that in mind, we pulled our long-neglected sea kayaks down from their storage, cleaned them up, and tried to remember how to secure them on our vehicle for the drive out to our local put-in on the South Puget Sound.

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Ketron Island

For this inaugural paddled we wanted to keep things short and close to home. For that, we decided to head to one of our old haunts Ketron Island.

This small wedge-shaped 220-acre island has always had an interesting history for the south sound, but if the name sounds familiar it’s more than likely due to its recent history as the crash site of the stolen Bombardier Q440 passenger plane from SeaTac airport.

In the latest census, there were 17 residents listed on the island which only sees a couple of ferry runs a day. Over the years there have been many schemes and plans for the islands, but like the rusting ferry slowly dissolving into the beach none have ever been realized.

You don’t think of sea kayaking as the tool for virus busting but it may be just the perfect tool for social distance.

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Theresa is looking downstream at Murhat Falls. This waterfall is easy to drive to and an easy hike in the Olympic National Forest. ...

Skate Creek runs alongside Forest Road 52 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This was just one of the many photographic sites that can be accessed from the road. ...

Murhut Falls and its pool are nestled in the Olympic National Forest, not far from Dosewallips State Park. ...

Winter storm making landfall just south of Cape Flattery. This part of the Pacific Northwest can see some powerful storms. ...

An unnamed creek and a small waterfall that you can find along the Steam Donkey Loop trail, which starts within the Dosewallips State Park of Washington ...

Footsteps and a sunset over the Pacific Ocean. ...

Early morning sunshine filtered through the trees and reflected off the upper portion of Murhut waterfall ...

Theresa sitting under Murhut Falls, enjoying the beauty of the forest. ...

Found this small dam in the hills behind our camp on Hood Canal. At one time, it appears to have been used by a homestead to hold water during the summer months. #washingtonstateparks ...

A photographer takes a photo and becomes the subject himself. ...

“How We Survived a Slight Derailment on Tower Rock” was published on our website. You'll find a gallery of all photographs in the article towards the bottom of the page. I'd love to hear your thoughts or comments. You can find our URL in the bio. ...

Low tide on Crescent Bay and reflections in the pools left behind. ...

Most of the island is privately owned but there is a small section of Washington DNR beach that sits on the SW corner of the island. That’s where we headed for our lunch break. It was a cloudless day with ample sunshine. The kind of day which goes a long way in making up for the short gray cold days we endure during the winter.

We were both pleasantly surprised by how comfortable we felt in our boats. Much like seeing an old friend where you take up right where you left off despite the time in-between visits.

We ended up spending all day on the water and Ketron. The upside was that we never had to share any of this with others. With no effort, we were the models of social distancing. We were in our own little bubble completely isolated and protected from the world of pandemics. Turns out the shorelines and waterways of Puget Sound make the perfect social distancing environment.

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