Agate Beach Boxes (4)  LbNA # 1095

OwnerThe Nail Family    
Placed DateAug 28 2002
CountySan Juan
LocationLopez Village, WA
Found By MalPal
Last Found Aug 11 2009
Hike Distance?

Agate Beach Letterboxes (4) Updated 5/4/03
Lopez Island, San Juan County, Washington State
These 2 letterboxes are located in Agate Beach County Park on the southern end of Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State in Puget Sound. Agate Beach is a small county park that is popular with kayakers and for bicyclist as a jumping off point for tours of the island.
Lopez is third largest island in the San Juans but is still sparsely populated. A laid back attitude prevails here with the residents and visitors alike. Most people are pleasantly surprised to experience the 'Lopez Wave' where every motorist, bicyclist, and pedestrian alike waves at you as you pass them by. This is a throwback to earlier times when visitors were rare and the sheep and cattle greatly outnumbered the residents on this agrarian island.
From the Ferry Terminal on the north end of the island, work your way south and west thru Lopez Village on Fishermans Bay Rd toward Islandale Rd. Turn right on MacKaye Harbor Rd and follow all the way to its end at the county park. Enjoy the spectacular views of MacKaye Harbor (especially beautiful at sunset). There are just a few parking spaces at the park but that is not a problem as the southern end of the island is even less populated than the north end.
From the parking lot walk toward the bay and down the stairs to the beach of finely polished flat stones. Pick your way among the stones and driftwood as you explore this small beach. Skip some rocks in the surf (the flat stones are especially suited to skipping). Play the game that our family enjoys whenever we visit Agate Beach: sit on a driftwood log high up on the beach and toss stones onto the large rock that sits right in the surf zone. Try to make the stones land on the rock without rolling or slipping off. Watch out for the waves!
See the rock island 50-60 yards out in the bay? Try to hit it with a rock if you still have your pitching arm.
Looking straight ahead, west, are two islands. The one on the left, which is less treed than the one on the right is called Long Island. It was a favorite scuba diving spot of our patriarch, Robert Nail who passed away in April of 2002. Robert loved to come to the south end of Lopez and dive, catch crabs, and camp with his son, daughter in law, and 5 grandsons. He was a perennial visitor to the south end of the island and is greatly missed by his family and friends. We placed the 2 letterboxes in his honour.
After exploring the beach head back up the stairs.
Here are the clues the Agate Beach Orca Letterboxes.

Orca Letterbox:
From the top of the stairs go 180 degrees up the road.
Along the road on the left is a marker stone. Read about Seth T. Ritchey who came to Lopez Island in 1884.
Next head back to 0 degrees to the smaller parking turnout that is near the marker stone. A small trail starts to the right into the woods at 130 degrees. This trail can be quite mushy in the wetter season.
Fallen trees may block your path but continue along the trail.
Watch for a small path thru the bushes on the left. This trail looks more like a game trail than a human trail as it goes under some low hanging brush. Watch out for the wild roses, the thorns will stick! The trail will open into a large wooded area clear of underbrush.
Just beyond the bushes stand at the base of the fir tree that is on the left of the trail. Stand on the root of this tree which crosses the path.
Take a bearing of 350* and spot the granite stone nestled between 2 stumps. Walk to the stone.
From the stone, look to 20* to see an old stump with lots of woodpecker holes. Directly behind this stump is a very large piece of bark. The Orca swims beneath this piece of bark.
Please hide the box well as this area is often used by backpackers as a firewood gathering area.

On to the Greenling Letterbox.
Back to the main trail and continue in the original direction of the path.
Stop on a granite stone in the path just bigger than a dinner plate. This is the only stone that fairly covers the path.
Count 7 paces from the stone down the path.
To the right is a path created by a felled tree. The felled tree is now cut into many smaller logs. On the left side of this small path is a fir tree. The Greenling is behind the tree at the base under a rotted piece of wood. Again, please hide the box well due to backpacker traffic here.

San Juans Seagull:
Back to the Dinner Plate rock.
Take a bearing of 160* and walk 25 steps. You may have to cross a fallen log.
To the right of the path will be a small log. The Seagull is hiding under this log and hidden by some moss covered sticks.

Lopez Kayak:
Return again to the Dinner Plate Rock.
This time, turn to 320* and walk 25 steps again.
You should be standing on a large root crossing the path. Follow the root to the tree at 50* and look behind the tree for the Kayak.
Once more, please take care to hide all the boxes so that passersby may not accidently find them.

We hope that you enjoy the Agate Beach Park and most especially enjoy the sites and people on Lopez Island. Please stop in at the little store just to the right when you get back to Islandale Rd on your way back to the Ferry Terminal and get to meet the fine people who run the place. This is the first set of boxes placed by the Nail family and we hope to return to Lopez each summer to check up on them and to place more. We started with 2 boxes in August of 2002 and added the other 2 in May of 2003. If you find these boxes, please give us an email and let us know that you have been there and that things are ok.

The Nail Family -