A letter to the county, the Orcas Island Community Foundation and dozens who participated

Thank you for bringing the best of government to this process. We were just starting to plan re-building our pedestrian bridge with our own team which would have been about a week’s work. That is about the same schedule for the road work out front, so we all would have been only using rowboats for a week which really would have been tough for many. We were trying to figure out how to do it faster. Then, before we knew it, the whole neighborhood was there and helping us to open for safe crossings by Wednesday. It was an old-fashioned barn raising.

So thank you to San Juan County for supporting this emergency action and my heartfelt thanks to everyone who jumped in with their skills, experience and effort. Our staff was 110% from the beginning, especially River and Shandra and I am so proud of them. Even the few guests we had on the upper property on Sunday night were wonderful. Patient and supportive. We will plan an outside holiday gathering at Doe Bay next month to thank all of the many who participated. We love our neighborhood.

During the pandemic, we were less encouraging of interaction between our guests and the Orcas community. We became more insular, for safety reasons. However, I want to be sure that everyone on Orcas knows that we consider the bridge a community lifeline connecting our community and it is open to anyone and everyone at any time for as long as the need is there.

Finally, when I received an email from the Orcas Island Community Foundation, I admit I expected it to be a solicitation to support OICF’s response to problems caused by this unique weather event. So I had a huge smile as I read the email and the kind offer to support what we were doing, with no solicitation in there anywhere. (I had just gotten the news that the events are not covered by our insurance, so it was a tough start.) That said, Maureen and I are sending a $5000 check for flood and storm relief to help OICF take care of our community with our sincere thanks.

We look forward to seeing you all to celebrate during calmer times. You can bet that on Thanksgiving, at our dinner table, your names will be mentioned when I share what I am thankful for.

Joe Brotherton

Doe Bay