Dogs say Thanks!

Dogs say Thanks…  come on human ….  this way!

Port Townsend is as much a mecca for artist as for boaters. I’ve thought of it as compliment to Santa Barbara with its high housing prices, progressive environmental atmosphere and bent for tourist; maybe more for tourists than for residents. I didn’t go back to Sequim in the rainshadow, due to the graduation traffic but next time will check out that area further, I think it would be calmer but with the growth, don’t know, I’ve considered living there at times.  I had a friend in printmaking class, she was actually a quilter, who owned and ran a B&B in the very tourist center of Port Townsend. She told she was happy to sell and get out after 10 years as the guests drawn to the area became trashy and she tired of their attitudes. Why would this be I don’t know. Perhaps the intensity of the fairs, and festivals, the partying, the crowds, probably drinking and not thinking about how precious it all is.  I try to avoid that type of scene when I travel seeking the beauty and uniqueness but not getting too deep. I tend not to stay long. I wander. I want to see. I explore, I thrive on that. Crowds are not my thing unless it’s it’s to move through them like a a wind blowing tall grass.


I took a look at the other marinas in Port Townsend and surrounding areas such a s the Port of Port Townsend and Port Townsend Boat Haven; without a map in front of me I’m sure I’m missing the names and exact places. Once away from the tourist center there are a range of commercial working marinas to small almost hidden public and private marinas, campgrounds, homes, shopping areas. See the same stores everywhere which is boring, makes it easy not to go in them.





The boat, the Western Flyer I think is in Port Townsend; was used by John Steinbeck in the 1940’s and is now being restored having sunk in Anacortes.  Now it will be a floating classroom for marine biology. It’s an interesting area, Port Townsend, and I still like it, but I heard some women complaining that rent on a small apartment with a water view was $4,000.  Definitely Santa Barbara prices and probably too many people all wanting to cram in here.


You can get an idea of this boat by looking at the trucks. It was BIG!


Nordland, Washington. Lots of nice homes on Marrowstone Island, wonder what it’d be like to live in this area as an artist. Would be driving into Port Townsend for the co-op and Tacoma for other goods. probably would want to get a boat!

Something odd happened to me at Fort Warden during my morning walk. I actually felt like I might be happy. Happy, that was something I hadn’t remembered for a long time. It seemed such a fragile feeling that I did not want to talk to my new friends, I only wanted to look at everything around me and walk, feel how cool and clear the air felt, how calm everything was before the gates opened.  After my walk and a hot shower I discovered the campground was full for the coming night so nothing to do but treat myself to a brie sandwich and carrot soup to go, from the gourmet cafe and head off to Marrowstone Island.


Another shot of the lighthouse at Fort Warden, coming up from the beach.


There seem to be birds everywhere in the Peninsula,; not just seabirds but all kinds of birds.


And tons of baby deer. My dogs would stare at the deer and the deer would stare at the dogs; we’d all be very quiet.

With my good camping luck I landed a beach space at Fort Flagler at the edge of the campground. If it’s not apparent to you, it became apparent to me that given opportunity I choose waterfront over forest 10 times out of 10. Being early in the day I drove back to the dot sized town of Norland to check it out.  There was a store, I went in and bought paper towels and some smoked salmon. Clams and oysters were available across the street.

Here’s some information from “Fort Flagler, on Marrowstone’s north end, was completed in 1907 and in operation until 1953. It became a state park in 1955 and is a popular destination for campers and kite fliers. Mystery Bay State Park is another state park on Marrowstone Island, located about a half-mile north of the Nordland General Store. The Nordland Township was plotted in 1889, and soon after the area was settled by families newly immigrated from Norway. The attraction to the area was the similarity of the land to the Norwegian fjords, the abundance of fish, and the cannery which once existed two miles north of Nordland. Most of the descendants of the families still live on the island.”


Mystery Bay on a quiet day.



Walked around Mystery Bay with the dogs; saw one truck and one fisherman happily occupied at the edge of the pier. We didn’t approach but walked out on the beach. When it’s the right season for clams and oysters it must be crowded.





Mason looking for the gunnery.

I wasn’t sure I’d like Fort Flagler, my first impression being that it would be windy and sort of vacant, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love.


Boat launch at Fort Flagler.


The dock . . . see that little boat down there, that’s the guy from Seattle. Took this picture on my hike up to the upper campground.

Perched on the edge of the world, I hiked round and about on the beach and into the forested area in the soft rain with my Lagotti while Mason took a nap. Went into the store and looked at the kites. I wanted to buy one and fly it, but they weren’t appealing enough, I wanted to buy a sandwich but I had food, so I didn’t buy anything; instead, I walked down the boat ramp. There was one cabin cruiser and just as I’d almost reached the end of the dock a crusty kind of handsome fellow stepped out, climbs up the dock and says,” What a nice pair of Lagotto Romagnolo you have,” and walks off! WHAT! No one knows this breed unless they have one and that’s not very common and I don’t see a dog of any kind with him.  I devilishly enjoy saying, Lagotto Romagnolo, to unbelieving ears and counting up how many humans can repeat those words or the funny way they try and almost all of them do, as if it’s somehow very important that they can say those words which I’m sure most of them will quickly forget.  Yet here, out at the edge of terra firma where I’ve seen no one but the camp host, a few campers wandering around and the 2 folks at the store, says this to me! I chased him just a tiny bit as he was briskly walking away and he humored me a bit, muttering that his neighbor in Seattle had one or two of this breed and no more could I get out of him. He was heading for the store to get  food before they closed.  Closing time 4:30 p.m. When I came down from the hills after my walk he was out of sight.


Up in the forest area. You can camp up here too if you wanted. 






Spot number 97 all mine for the night.

The night was rainy on and off and absolutely gorgeous. Watching the sun set into the water I felt so content, I could have stayed there and counted birds or grains of sand or clouds in the sky. Hearing the rain made me happy, tried to take a picture though the window, some birds were still out. There was power so I turned on my little electric heater so my dogs and I could dry but I kept the lights off as I often do to watch the long dusk turn into night. So peaceful.



I went to seep expecting a sound night but instead I was in pain with TO (thoracic outlet) and Gerd. They both are on the left side so affect my heart and breathing. Feels like being choked, strangled and repeatedly stabbed in the back, ribs and chest. Breathing at all hurts, left arm, esp left hand becomes paralyzed and painful. Trying to find a way to sleep is difficult, any pressure on my left side is no good, on my back my throat constricts and no air, on the other side the entire arm goes into spasms. It’s just not fun. Drove the dogs a bit nuts thrashing about trying to find just the right alignment. Thing is I didn’t really care. I still felt happy and when I awoke added how I could handle and take care of myself to my list of things I could do.



In the morning I let my dogs run in the puddles, I carried Mason over them then put him down so he could sniff. The campsites were all gone. I watched the park host place the reserved sign on my site post.  I’d dreamt of staying, but it was not to be. I’d talked to the park host several times the day before, he wasn’t overwhelmingly friendly, but he did share that he’d taken this job two years after his wife died leaving him and her dog, a little soft brown poodle at a loss. He was now on year 6.


Not quite ready to leave the park, still exploring.


As I was getting ready to leave the park suddenly got really crowded,  50 kids or more unloaded from a bus and started marching with more coming behind them!  Drove down to the fort and no one is here, dogs are running happy, it’s raining and close to noon. Am reluctant to go but am thinking of crossing over to the mainland, to Edmonds where there are some Lagotti and their people to meet and some friends, relatives, people to visit, so will head down to Kingston and check out the ferry. One more night on this side, that’s what I was thinking. There was a bit more to see, the remains of the gun batteries, the old hospital, a big conference area, retreat center and vacation rentals. Tons more people and kids too.




Hoping Port Townsend won’t get too big for itself but that’s what happens.