Sunday, August 19, 2012

Puget Sound and Port Townsend's 2012 Heat Wave

It’s not often we cover the same territory twice, but we‘re doing it now as we travel along the western side of Puget Sound north up to Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. Our destination is the National Landmark Seaport of Point Hudson Marina. 

Our Point Hudson campsite is on the point. It's a nice spot but available to us for just one night.
This location is unique and offers boat slips, marine lifts, work pier, shipyard, moorage in addition to RV sites. There are restaurants, stores and shops within easy walking distance. We like it here despite the dust from the many cars that drive through the marina and park.

It was uncommonly hot the day we arrived but the heat lasted just one day -- cooling quickly by 20-30 degrees at sunset and the heat didn’t return the next day.

Wayne continues to mention buying a sailboat but he can't be serious..
But seriously, this place claims to be the wooden boat capital of the West Coast
even thought my picture is of fiberglass hulls.
Calm water in the harbor make great reflections in the photos.
Point Hudson Marina is situated, naturally, at lands end, just beyond the city of Port Townsend. Port Townsend Bay and Admiralty Inlet surround the marina and RV Park. The Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Point Wilson Lighthouse at Fort Worden State Park are within walking distance.

Our site is on the point and we have an excellent view of cruise ships finding their way to and from their ocean voyages.

More of Point Hudson Marina at Port Townsend, Washington
My morning walk through Port Townsend was especially nice. It was much too early for the tourists to be on the streets and I appreciated their absence. I walked almost the full length of the town and then out to the ferry dock.
For this photograph, I was standing on a pier looking back onto the docks of Port Townsend.
Port Townsend was founded in 1851 and is located about 40 miles from Seattle. The town's population is 8,925.  Port Townsend prides itself on its historic charm and stunning natural setting. In addition to its natural scenery, Port Townsend is known for many Victorian buildings remaining from its late 19th-century heyday. It is a maritime center for independent boat-builders. Port Townsend's Historic District is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District.
Port Townsend stands at the gateway to Puget Sound.

This old building has a very faded "Bull Durham" ad painted on the side.
Pulling into Port Townsend yesterday, we saw huge crowds in the streets. Apparently the crowds included some of the “Occupy Wall Street” group.  Their handiwork was evident in chalk all over the sidewalk and on the exterior of the Bank of America building. I later learned that "MoveOn" and "Occupy" rally here regularly.   

All was washed away with a hose just after I took this picture.
This morning's walk included a history lesson, as many walks do.  Near the end of my walk I came upon this memorial.  I learned about the USS Marvin Shields and the ship's namesake, Marvin Glenn Shields, of Port Townsend, the first and only Seabee Medal of Honor Recipient.
Of the half-dozen or so tourist and history publications we gathered about Port Townsend, amazingly, not a single mention is made of this memorial, the USS Marvin Shields or the young man for whom the ship was named.  I am outraged.
Marvin Shields was a product of Port Townsend and graduated from high school here. He enlisted in the Navy in 1962 and was part of the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion II. Shields was chosen as a member of Seabee Team 1104, an elite group of 12 Seabees and a Navy Corpsman who served in remote areas.  At an Army Special Forces Camp in Dong Xoai, the camp came under heavy attack by a greatly superior force of Viet Cong Regulars. In spite of mortal wounds and envelopment by the enemy, Shields rescued a comrade and continued to fight to save his friends.
Marvin Shields

Coming Up...

We have a reason to return to the Olympic Peninsula… When we visited British Columbia last summer we thought about, but didn’t visit the capitol city of Victoria. Wayne had some regret that we didn’t make that trip, so we’ll do it now.

The ferry we’ll take is from nearby Port Angeles. It will take us directly into Victoria where we'll stay a few days.  Then we'll move up into Vancouver Island to see as much of the island as we feel compelled to see.  We'll take a return ferry back to the B.C. mainland.

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