James Island  LbNA # 4831 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateJul 1 2003
CountySan Juan
LocationLopez, WA
Found By
Last Found
Hike Distance?

James Island Letterbox

Terrain: Hard (due to location)
Moderate on James Island
Clues: Easy
Time: 15 minutes once you arrive on the island.

James Island is one of the many locations that has a
campsite along the Cascadia Marine Trail (CMT). To reach
James Island, you must arrive by boat, and to stay at
the CMT campsite, you must arrive by a human or wind-powered
beachable water craft. There are sites in other locations for
motorized boaters as well. The currents and winds can be
extremely challenging in this area so please know your
skill level before setting out for James Island.

James I sland was named by the Wilkes Expedition in 1841.
Who the members of the expedition were hoping to commemorate,
however, is a little hazy: there are two possible options for the
origin of the island's name. James Decatur accompanied
his brother , Capt Stephen Decatur, into Tripoli to burn the captured
American ship the Philadelphia. James was killed in the battle.
Another candidate for the honor is Rueben James, also associated with
Stephen Decatur. Reuben James is sometimes credited for saving
Stephen Decatur, his commander, during the Tripoli raid (from
WWTA's 10 Year Anniversary Edition of The Cascadia Marine Trail
Guidebook, p96)

James Island is shaped like a dog bone. The western cove, facing
Decatur Island, has a dock on it. As you head into the western cove
of James Island towards the dock (hopefully you are in a boat at this
point, because it is a cold swim!), you will see a small beach to
your right. Stairs lead up from this beach to a set of CMT campsites. When you are ready, head north from these sites up along
the west coast trail until you get up to a beautiful view point of
Decatur Island across the channel, with a large broken off tree trunk
in the middle of your view.
Behind you is a madrona tree, with its shiny red skin. You're
almost there! Continue another 60 yards or so along the trail, and
you will come to a giant rock, perfect for a picnic, just to the
right of the trail. Sit on the rock and enjoy the rest. Are you
legs dangling down in front of the rock? Look underneath the
overhang, and see if you can find me hiding.