Blyn ablaze

The tiny community of Blyn, located at the head of Sequim Bay, is the center of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, which owns the community and operates its tribal activities there. At this time each year the landscape is a breathtaking wonderland as miniature lights are tightly woven onto trees and shrubs along the highway and next to the tribe’s many enterprises.

We came through at dusk, before the full effect of the lights and colors could be seen. But you can get hint of what it’s like: truly stunning.

The lights are on both sides of Highway 101 and frame the tribe’s many enterprises, including a casino, gas station and convenience store, a community center, library, gift shop, totem carving shed, and other buildings that serve the tribe and its activities. It’s well worth seeing if you’re in the area.

Local totem

I haven’t photographed totem poles for quite a while. I will soon show you some from the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. But first here’s one from the S’Klallam Tribe that stands near the Jamestown Medical Center in Sequim. I picked up a brochure about it some years back but can’t seem to put my hands on it again.

On the bridge

Railroad Bridge is an old railroad trestle across the Dungeness River, owned by our local Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. It is a link in the Olympic Discovery Trail and is well used by walkers and bicyclists. A couple of years ago the section of the bridge beyond the wooden trestle seen here in the foreground collapsed after being battered by debris during flooding. It was rebuilt and after it was completed the entire bridge was repaved.

The repaving incorporated beautiful plaques with motifs that are used in Native American art in this region.

The plaques are about 3 feet by 2 feet (.91 meters by .60 meters).

They are striking additions to the bridge.

Creation story

This plaque is set into the pavement at Waterfront Park in Port Angeles. Entitled “Klallam Creation Story,” it is about one of our local Native American tribe and reads as follows:

“The Klallam tell us how the tribes of the region were created at a place on the Elwha River where there are two big holes in the rock called “coiled baskets.” It is there that the creator bathed and blessed the people.”

Where the city does business


This is a view of the Sequim Civic Center that I haven’t shown before. Most of my other shots were taken from the side, back in the days before the plaza in front was completed. This is the view across Sequim Avenue.


And here is a view of the totem pole that resides on the plaza to the right of the city hall, a gift from the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the area’s original residents.

Paddle to Nisqually

Canoe journey

This summer there is another more-or-less annual canoe journey undertaken by groups representing Northwest tribes from Vancouver Island, B.C. and Washington state. The most northern group from Vancouver Island began their paddle on July 13, stopping each night along the western coast of the island and joining with other canoe groups heading south. Click here to see a map of journey starting and stopping points and layover dates. The journey will end in August in Nisqually at the southern end of Washington’s Puget Sound. It’s a long voyage, testing endurance and showcasing Native pride. Many of the canoes are made in traditional fashion and showcase the beautiful lines of large, seaworthy vessels.

Canoe journey drummer

Gale force winds last Friday morning forced some paddlers to trailer their canoes for a leg of the journey from Port Angeles to Jamestown Beach in Sequim where the local S’Klallam Tribe would welcome them. Others braved the journey on the big waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Paddlers headed next to Port Townsend.

Much to my disappointment I had to miss the event. DH took these shots in my absence. Pretty good, no?