Port Townsend and a Slice of the Northeast Olympic Peninsula

Tom and I managed to do quite a bit of sightseeing during our two weeks of building in Port Townsend and Allie and I did a fair amount of walking and hiking of course. This was in addition to shared happy hours and multiple dinners with our friends as well as a weekend afternoon spent all together exploring the downtown area of Port Townsend. On this latter excursion Tom and I caught up with the other four in the afternoon; we walked most of the waterfront, admired the varied architecture on Main Street, and perused the ornate Victorian homes in the adjacent residential areas.

Prior to meeting up with our friends however Tom and I had gone out early that morning to nearby Fort Worden State Park, an early 20th century army base built to protect the Puget Sound. Many historic buildings remain surrounding the parade ground, as do the concrete batteries along the shore. We circled around the exterior of many of these buildings as well as took a short jaunt through the rhododendron garden before walking down the hill and along the beach towards Point Wilson Lighthouse. I didn’t tour the inside of the lighthouse but I did admire it’s 50-foot octagonal tower and Cape Cod-style keeper’s quarters overlooking the inlet between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Puget Sound.

The second day of our weekend we three headed west to drive up to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. Normally the views from the 5,300 foot ridge are enviable but the day of our visit was rainy and cloudy, obscuring the surrounding mountain ranges and the strait below. We still enjoyed the ride up however, particularly because we’d only ever been there in summer, and Allie in particular was overjoyed with her brief playtime in the snow banks along the road.

Both Tom and I realized how hungry we were on our return down the mountain and after some quick phone calls I was able to determine that Barhop Brewing in Port Angeles had vegan pizza so we headed directly there. After filling up (and warming up) we walked around the town of Port Angeles, mostly to give Allie some exercise, and were pleasantly surprised by the colorful murals we found scattered about. We also ducked into a bookstore after we each saw a title in the window that we wanted to read. Port Angeles not being that large of a place, we decided to make another stop at Miller Peninsula State Park near Sequim on the way back home so Alls could get a couple more miles in; it was serviceable for our short hike but the dreary, overcast day made it less pretty than I would imagine it usually is.

The last place Allie and I explored was the nearby Port Townsend State Park, where Allie frolicked on the forested shores of Port Townsend Bay and we were able to hike the numerous loamy trails cocooned beneath the soaring canopy of fir, hemlock, and cedar. I loved the large trees, hushed atmosphere, abundant mosses, and rich understory of ferns and wished we could have camped here during our habitat build so that she and I could have hiked more of it before and after work.