For 4 years now, I have been dreaming of exploring the 450 islands that make up the San Juans. I knew this year marked my moment to finally visit as they have just been declared a National Monument. In Obama's words, the islands are “a refuge of scientific and historic treasures and a classroom for generations of Americans.”
Home to bald eagles, orca whales, harbor seals, and other rare species, the rugged wilderness provides an incredibly bio-diverse habitat. High up from my window seat on a small seaplane, I marveled at small islands home to only seagulls and seals, thick, verdant forests, and translucent, glassy water.