Port Townsend

Theme Song of the Day: Mumford and Sons – Only Love

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There is something about being near that water that just does my soul good. It is the very reason I love the Northwest so much. I feel constantly at ease here surrounded by water.

Things are finally starting to wind down around here. I think I already mentioned in a previous post that we moved to Seattle from Oregon last month, and Mike and I both started new jobs shortly after. I absolutely love it here, but there is a lot of stress involved in moving and starting things from scratch. Even though the stress has been a good thing, Mike and I really needed a day to relax, so we decided to head to Port Townsend and get our fix of woods and water.

Port Townsend is an old seaport town, settled in the 1850s. It is located approximately 2 hours north of Seattle. That includes time on the ferry.

Shortly after waking up Saturday we brewed some coffee and drove to the ferry terminal in Edmonds. Our car was the last in our line to board the ferry to Kingston, so on the crossing we had nothing blocking our view. Collins, our dog, as he usually does, made friends with several of the passengers as we all watched the land fade away on the glassy black water. Everyone was quiet, taking in the view. After a quick 30 minutes the captain’s voice came over the speakers to let us know we would be docking soon, and to return to our cars.

After getting off of the boat we drove another hour north on highway 19 from Kingston to Port Townsend. Highway 19 merges into highway 20 after about 14 miles, which then leads directly to Port Townsend. Upon arriving we headed to Fort Worden– about 5 minutes further through town. There are signs for this old navy fort, making it quite easy to find.

The entrance leads to a large parking lot with old navy barracks and offices all around. Though it is no longer in use, the buildings and grounds are still well-maintained. There is a strange sense of chasing ghosts entering this sort of place, especially when you know it used to be bustling with people 75 years ago.

We drove past the lot and down to a smaller parking area close to the beach. Collins was eager to get out so we didn’t waste our time. We spent several hours walking the beach, throwing sticks to Collins and looking for sea shells. The sun was shining, and with the cool breeze from the ocean coming in the whole thing was absolutely perfect.

There was no care for what time it was or thoughts about my never-ending to-do lists. It was exactly what I needed.

Hungry, we walked back to the car to head into town for some pizza. The streets of downtown Port Townsend are lined with antique stores and local restaurants, with views of the Puget Sound in between on the left side. Old men play guitars and sing to people walking by, dogs are everywhere and aside from the lingering salt in the air it smells like baked goods.

We stopped at Pizza Factory. They serve their pizza by the slice, and that was just the thing we were after so I orderd a slice of ham and pineapple (my favorite) and Mike got a slice of cheese. We walked back down the road a ways and sat on a log, resting our feet in the sand while looking out at the bay. This was just between two shops on one of the main streets in Port Townsend. That is how charming this place is. The true definition of a quaint sea town.

Seeing that the clouds were beginning to reclaim the sky, we decided to start heading back towards Seattle.

Never okay with settling for doing anything less than everything we possibly can in one day, we stopped again just outside of Port Townsend and followed a trail just on the side of the road, near Port Townsend State Park. It was barely visible, but we saw someone go in as we passed the spot earlier. It had started to drizzle slightly at this point, but the moment I stepped into the trees it was silent. The trees were so thick overhead that they were blocking the rain. We followed the rust colored trail, strewn with pine leaves, fat banana slugs and broken pieces of moss covered twigs. The rain thummed against the leaves and branches above as we moved along. I got a little anxious trying not to step on the slugs, but other than that I found the silence and the fresh pine scent incredibly soothing.  Eventually we emerged from the woods only to find that the trail had only led us to a parking lot with a chain link fence near a residential area. No big deal. Mike was happy we had spent some time in the woods and I was relieved I had not killed any small creatures along the way. Satisfied and refreshed, we headed back to the car and made our way home.

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