"The Maiden of Deception Pass" is a Samish story pole which recalls the legend of Ko-Kwal-alwoot. She was a young girl of the Samish Nation who was transformed into a sea spirit on this spot in Deception Pass State Park. The cedar pole was carved by Fidalgo Island artist Tracy Powell. She was erected in 1983 to commemorate the Skagit County Centennial and to honor the Samish people. My favorite way to visit the site is to park at Bowman Bay, then follow the Rosario-Bowman Bay Nature Trail to Rosario Beach.
The story tells of a sea spirit who falls in love with a human. He wishes to marry her and will not take "no" for an answer. To save her people from famine, she accepts his proposal and joins him in the sea. Stand on the Deception Pass bridge and look down into the water. You can see her hair drifting with the currents.
The story pole has two sides representing the two lives of Ko-Kwal-alwoot, one as a human and the other as a spirit. If you come to Deception Pass State Park, be sure to stop at Rosario Beach and pay your respects to her. You will honor her story if you take good care of this beautiful place. While exploring the tidal areas, please remember that you are a guest in Ko-Kwal-alwoot's home.