Home > Traveling > Orcas, Ospreys, and Eagles; Pig war

Orcas, Ospreys, and Eagles; Pig war

Took the ferry to San Juan Island yesterday, we wanted to see the American and English Camps, site of the famed “Pig Wars” (more below).  It was a great day, with a nice hike up Young Hill for some panoramic views.  We also lucked out and saw several juvenile bald eagles, some ospreys in a nest (through a telescope), and a pod of Orcas heading for deeper water.  Too bad I didn’t take my telephoto lens…..

In 1818, the 49th parallel was established as the boundary between Canada and the USA.  Unfortunately, the border was ambiguous as to where it went through the San Juan Islands, and both English and US residents claimed ownership.  Finally, one of the US residents got tired of the pig owned by an Englishman rooting up his garden, and shot the pig.  This escalated into a full scale argument, and England sending troops.  The troops landed on the north of the Island, and established a camp there.  So, the US sent a garrison of Marines, who established an American Camp on the south of the island.

Over a period of 12 years, the almost-war between England and the US continued, until by mutual agreement Kaiser Wilhem of Germany was asked to arbitrate.  He ruled the Islands were US property, and the English moved out peacefully.  So for once we had a war with only one casualty: the pig.

English camp headquarters

English Camp, formal gardens

Cone flower in English Garden, with a bee

A view from Young Hill

Great sandwich, great location

American Camp headquarters

Looking over Grandma's cove, American Camp

Mt. Baker, from American Camp

Look close, middle of screen, down low.....

... cropped and enlarged view of surfacing Orca

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Mt. Baker, from the ferry back to Anacortes

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