2019 Sandy & Bill's West Coast Adventure travel blog

Marker showing years of occupation of the American Camp

Sandy standing in front of a huge gnarly tree in the English...

English Camp Blockhouse - both a defensive fortification & detention center

English Camp combo shrub & veggie garden

English Camp Enlisted Men's barracks

Friday Harbor sign

Homes along the water in Friday Harbor

Part of downtown Friday Harbor


We're back in the USA. Interestingly, as we checked-in at the ferry terminal in Sidney, BC, we went through US customs. As we arrived in Friday Harbor, which is in the state of Washington, we again had to go through customs. Not sure why the duplication, but all is well.

The last travel day of our great trip was here in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. The island is largely rural, similar to its past history, which is why this place played a pivotal role in British-American history. Apparently when the border between Canada and the U.S. was agreed upon by both countries (England & the U.S.) the island group between the two countries was vague. Needless to say since both countries had fought a war in 1812, things could easily go askew, and askew they might have once a farmer shot the pig of another. Yes, ladies and gents there almost could have been a "Pig War" between the English in Canada and the U.S.

Fortunately, saner heads prevailed. Each country sent a small military detachment to San Juan Island, the English in the North at Garrison Bay and the Americans in the South along the Strait of Juan De Fuca. From 1859 to 1872, the two militaries kept a presence until an arbitrator ruled the islands belonged to the U.S. Both initial military leaders endeavored to keep things amicable between them, a British Navy Captain and Captain George Pickett. Does the latter name sound familiar? It should. He led the final charge of his Virginia Division at Gettysburg in 1863 as a Confederate General.

Pictures attached are largely of the English Camp since the American Camp has very little remaining.

Friday Harbor is a quaint small town where the ferry docks and serves as the primary town on the island. Due to inclement weather, we did not do a walkabout, but we did drive around to familiarize ourselves on how people live here. We had a splendid Italian dinner at Vinny's, and I would recommend visiting this unique town and the very good Italian restaurant.

Tomorrow we ferry across to mainland Washington and drive to our hotel near Seattle's airport, and very early (0600) leave for our return home. We hope you have enjoyed sharing our adventure and thank you for reading.

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