Cavalero is a great beach to go to for peace and quiet. It’s a County beach open to the public and it has a boat launch. But it feels like a private beach.
My friend Teri Cooper Olin’s family spent a lot of time at Cavalero in her youth.
They called it “our beach” and launched their boat there because it was protected from the weather and was one of the easiest to get your boat in and out of the water. They planned ahead because the boat launch at Cavalero is fairly short; you sometime had to wait for the tide to come in to get your boat out. Teri remembers spending many-an-evening waiting for the tide to come in so they could launch.
Cavalero collects all different sizes of driftwood. Teri and her sister Cheryl would walk from one end of the beach to the other on the driftwood without touching the ground. There was a very large piece of driftwood that they built into a fort and added onto every time they went like a house for the kids, with separate rooms. Usually the fort they set up went untouched because the beach was so sparsely used.
The beach is sandy and rocky then sandy again: sandy at first, then rocky (with barnacles) which made getting to the water tricky once the tide started going out, but once you got past the barnacles it is pure sand, “the kind your feet would sink into when you walked on it,” Teri remembers. Once the tide was out it seemed like they could walk for miles without the water getting any deeper, and the water was really warm: “That was my favorite time to be at this beach.” Since Cavalero is across from Stanwood, her family watched the fireworks on the 4th of July, back when Stanwood used to have its own fireworks show. “We sat in our boat and watched all the fireworks, which were extra spectacular because of how they would reflect off the water” she reflected.
But it is the stillness, the peacefulness of the place, that Teri remembers most. “The beach was very peaceful. The water was almost always still. It’s just a really special place. Growing up on Camano and being surrounded by water you don’t realize what you have. Now that I live away from the Island life, I realize how much the water comforted me. I would go to the beach when I was sad or upset and sort of let those emotions go out with the waves. There was just something so soothing about sitting by yourself on a piece of driftwood with your toes in the sand and a blanket around your shoulders, listening to the waves.”