Author: Kate Poss | With Photos by David Welton

Kate Poss This Is Whidbey was founded by Kate Poss for readers who are interested in cultivating our island’s quality of life, including its land, sea, and air; its people, plants, and animals; and the bodies, minds, and spirits of its inhabitants. You may know Kate from her work in island libraries through May of 2016. Her background includes a career in newspaper reporting in Los Angeles for various weeklies and dailies, including The Los Angeles Times. She was a frequent contributor to the online Whidbey Life Magazine and still writes for the biannual print magazine. David Welton Stories are highlighted by David Welton’s excellent photography. David is a retired physician who was a staff photographer for Whidbey Life Magazine since its early days. His work has also appeared in museums, art galleries, newspapers, regional and national magazines, books, nonprofit publicity, and on the back of the Whidbey Sea-Tac Shuttle!

Greetings from Bajada Bill and Cactus Kate, where we’re camped in a neighborly campground–the Taos RV Park– along Hwy 68 in Taos NM. The past week took us from the ancestral home of the Anasazi people at Mesa Verde National Park, to the Abiquiu Lake Campground, run by two of the nicest and conscientious campground hosts–Cyndy and Al, to Ghost Ranch, a ‘ring of fire’ eclipse, Coyote Cafe and the Capitol Building in Santa Fe, the truly inspiring Nest Americana Art Gallery in Abiquiu, and the Abiquiu hoodoos. Rather than go on with a whole lot of words this time,…

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Well, it’s three weeks on the road so far. Join us, Bajada Bill and Cactus Kate, on the next leg of the journey which took us, and our trusted companions Beatrix, the Toyota Highlander, and Marion the Canadian Trillium trailer, as we traveled from Aspen to Mesa Verde CO. All photos by Kate Poss, unless otherwise noted. Currently we’re camped at Mesa Verde National Park, beneath the protecting, pyramidal shape of Knife Edge Mesa. From our perspective it looks like a perfect triangle. After spending five days in the ‘Ecstasy of Gold’ in Telluride, we are glad to be camped…

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Welcome to our On the Road series with Bajada Bill and Cactus Kate. We’ve seen plenty of bajadas—skirts of debris below desert mesas—and very few cactus during our second week on the road, which took us from near Park City UT, to where I’m now sitting in the turquoise couch booth at the Pitkin Co. Library in Aspen. Photos by Kate Poss, unless otherwise noted. Here’s a peek at our life on the road since Friday, Sept. 22: Green River UT We drove east on Hwy 70 and stopped in the city of Green River UT. Its claim to fame…

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We—Bill and I,  Beatrix our Toyota Highlander, towing Marion our Trillium trailer—left Whidbey Island Sept. 15 as the sun was rising. We noticed the mist floating low above fields—a sign of autumn approaching. Another one is an abundance of spiders.—The Sound was calm and smooth as we sailed away on the 6:30 AM ferry from Clinton for a trip that will take us far away for the next three months. Photos by Kate Poss, unless otherwise noted. Corvallis OR As we drove toward Seattle, we listened to Classical KING FM. We were taken by Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21. We…

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Note: photos shared by volunteers with the South Whidbey Soroptimists Club This year’s third annual Whidbey Women & Art Show was a success in its fundraising goals for the South Whidbey Soroptimists Club. “All the money we fundraise over the year goes toward scholarships,” said Elin Waldal, SW Soroptimist club’s past president for 2022-2023, and one of the committee who planned the art show the past year. We offer three high school scholarships, one Live Your Dream Award, and two women’s opportunity awards.” South Whidbey Soroptimists Club was chartered in 1989 and is one of three clubs on Whidbey Island.…

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When McKenzie Jones arrived on South Whidbey two years ago as a high school junior, she finally found a way out of the dysfunctional and abusive life she had been raised in. Forced to leave home and stay temporarily with a family friend  just before Christmas of 2021 McKenzie was fortunate to have the support of a high school teacher and his family. James Baird, a social studies teacher, and his wife served as ‘host parents,’ providing a stable home from which McKenzie could focus on her studies, and eventually graduate in 2023. “So much of this community has had…

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Watching young people with their dogs performing live agility trials is a thing to see. Jerry Lloyd has taught dog agility the past 20 years to adults and 4H Club kids. He says folks have referred to him as an ‘animal nut’ at times because of the way he understands and appreciates the dynamics between humans and animals, and is continually inspired by their relationship. He’s been known to teach a Bantam rooster how to navigate the agility course in the past. At 78-years-young, Jerry is an energetic proponent of animal training and the benefits it brings. He runs the…

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Note: all photos taken by Douglas Wertz, or shared by him. Douglas Wertz returned from a years’ journey the past July after circumnavigating the globe with his trusty sailboat, the Lone Gull, a classic 38’ cutter rigged double ender built by the Alajuela Yacht Corp. in 1977. Leaving from Port Angeles in June 2022, he sailed to Monterey, Hawaii, Fiji, Australia; the island of Reunion off the coast of Madagascar, South Africa, Namibia, the island of St. Helena in the southern Atlantic, Grenada, Panama, Costa Rica, Monterey and Port Angeles— returning just before midnight on July 6—an adventure that spanned…

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This year the Island County Fair Association, which spends a year planning the Whidbey Island Fair each year, overcame a number of hurdles to put the fair on. Since 2017 the Port of South Whidbey has taken over ownership of the fairground property. In an Aug. 8 2023 ‘Sound Off’ opinion piece in the South Whidbey Record, Angi Mozer, executive director for the Port of South Whidbey, spoke of the Port’s need to make the fairgrounds “sustainable, even successful into the future.” In the article she mentions 55 businesses which depend on using the fairground buildings year-round, which provide rent…

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Back at home now a week following my month-long travels to Wisconsin and five days in Maine, I am visited with memories that appear in my mind’s eye. From Wisconsin, it is the genuine kindness I found to be universally true among the people I met and stayed with. The pride in gardens of hydrangeas, Black-eyed Susans, and coneflowers. The intoxicating scent of fresh corn on the cob. Rolling hills and limestone outcrops. Appreciating deep ties and friendship with Gretchen B. and her daughter Teddy, Ann, Kris and Rusty, Tom and Megan, and TraceyJoy. Rediscovering my deep roots to Wisconsin,…

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