For approximately 50 million years, the stage has slowly been set for what has become a gem of the San Juan Islands. Not only is Sucia Island a magnet for boaters, due to its protected waters and proximity to Canada, it is also the site of Washington’s only dinosaur fossil discovery. In 2012, the Burke Museum was invited to excavate a bone discovered by Jim Goedert on the very shores we strolled today. While we didn’t spot anything as groundbreaking as the femur of a tyrannosaurid, as they did in 2012, we did happen upon many a mollusk and bivalve fossil emerging from the soft sandstone coastline along the island’s southern shore.

From the fossil coast to the island’s heavily forested interior, peppered with massive cedar and Douglas fir trees, to the many protected anchorages that host boaters and harbor seals alike, this landscape (and perfect weather) offered a flawless conclusion to our week exploring the Salish Sea.

A campfire on the shores of Echo Bay was our final send off this evening, punctuated by the setting sun on one end of the island and the rising moon on the other. It’s been a real pleasure to share the San Juan Islands, my home, with everyone on this trip. Safe travels to all!