On my summer break and in between many projects – working at my parent’s home on Camano, painting for my second children’s book, and working on my daughter’s tiny house (to name a few) – I’ve found time to explore some of the beautiful places and special people of Camano. Come with me and #Discoverbeautifulcamano.

Mabana Beach

For me, summer vacation begins with taking a dip in the sparkling waters of Mabana Beach. It was not so sunny and sparkly but my son Jacob and I jumped in nonetheless.

Dotti Burton’s Garden

A fellow artist of the Camano Arts Association, Dotti Burton, had invited me to tour her garden. One morning Jacob and I did, and it was truly amazing. It inspired me to add a new category to the Discover Beautiful Camano book and documentary project: the gardens of Camano. Dotti was gracious enough to be interviewed on the spot.

Touring the Island with Scott and Ashley Miller

A few days after our time with Dotti, my best friend from college, Scott Miller and his daughter Ashley came to Camano to spend time with us. One day I spontaneously decided to take them on a tour of “my island” and this is a record of that tour.

Our first stop was at my parent’s home. Where Dad’s studio, the original “Sunnyshore Studio” was. Ashley was a good sport to be in the video.

From Dad and Mom’s we headed south. Our next stop was at Tyee Corner Grocery where we enjoyed delicious hamburgers. Scott ate his without the bun because he was in a weight loss contest with his mom. I interviewed the store’s owner.

We continued south. Our plan was to stop at artists John and Vicki Ringen’s home, but they were driving out as we pulled in, so we pressed on to the south end of the Island. Looking over the high cliffs of Camano to the waters below is one of my favorite vistas of Camano.

After racing back from the south end to show some visitors who had come all the way from Illinois to see Sunnyshore Studio, we continued around the Island, now heading our north.

We stopped at the fabulous Matzke Gallery and Sculpture Park. A Raku firing event was taking place, but Karla was gracious enough to share a little bit about her Gallery and Park. She is one of the driving forces behind our “colony of artists” on Camano.

Our next stop was at Bill and Marilyn Christenson Wayland’s home. Bill was my pastor during my growing up years. He pastored Camano Chapel for 28 years, and he and his family are a landmark on Camano.

We continued our drive north along the west side of the Island. Our next stop was Huntington Grocery Store, which carries a remarkable amount of fishing and recreational gear as well as food and candy for its size.

After Huntington’s we stopped at Madrona Beach. A youngster who must have been bored came out of his modern style beach home and we had competitions of rock throwing accuracy. We took this video at the place where Dad used to launch his boat if we didn’t use the State Park’s ramp.

I had a birthday party to attend at my sister, April’s, farm on the north side of the Island, so Scott, Ashley, Jacob and I took a break from our tour. After the party I stopped at Scott’s aunt Linda and uncle Mike’s beautiful home overlooking the Camano Country Club. This is the view we saw. The video really doesn’t do it justice.

Scott and I are both pastors and on vacation, so we decided to have our own worship service on the lower deck at his aunt and uncle’s home the next morning. We had a sweet time of reading Scripture, singing, praying and sharing encouragement.

On Sunday afternoon Scott, who is a good golfer and I, who am a rather poor golfer, challenged my dad, who is a terrific golfer for his age, and Mike who is a solid golfer to a little competition at Camaloch Golf Course. It was a beautiful evening. Scott and I ended up… (I’ll leave you in suspense).

I said goodbye to Scott and Ashley the next morning. It was a sweet time of friendship. Scott brings out the fun, playful side of me like few people can.

Camano Commons and Naked City Brewery

The next couple of days Jacob and I worked hard at my parent’s home: cleaning off the old shake roof that Dad installed well over 30 years ago. We also dug out a drainage ditch on east foundation of their house. After working hard I was famished. I decided to treat Jacob to dinner at the Naked City Brewery, a gourmet hamburger restaurant, at the Camano Commons.

My old friend and classmate at Stanwood High School, Randi Robinson Armstrong, works there and it was fun to see her. She is one of the many special people that make Camano such a great place.

 Work Party and Iverson Beach

Jacob and I were working hard to prepare for a work party at Mom and Dad’s home that happened July 21st. One highlight of that work party was that an old friend of mine, John Kandel, was visiting with his wife April and four strapping sons. They joyfully joined in the work party with us, and afterwards we went to Iverson beach where they kids built a raft out of huge logs. It took some serious engineering to get the three logs into the water.

A number of us poled and pushed the raft to my sister April’s farm. Well, in reality, we ran aground over 100 yards from the beach and had to wade through thigh high mud and clay. I laughed and laughed at the site. Then we had to walk barefoot through the fields to the farmhouse. The trek was worth it. We enjoyed a delicious dinner.

In the midst of all that work and fun, I’ve found time to paint. I’m really excited about how my watercolor paintings for my second children’s book are coming together. I feel like I’m coming back to the freshness, looseness and spontaneity that I love most about watercolor.

One evening I painted Plein Air at Utsalady Beach. What a beautiful place that is.

This is the end of this exploration of the beautiful places and special people of Camano. I’m hoping to do at least one more video tour before my vacation is up. But even then I’ll only be scratching the surface of this place!