My second time in Port Townsend was with Judy. We had come to see Brick, but stayed at a quaint historic hotel downtown. Brick showed us the hot spots around town, including a cafe that boasted the best pie ever -- and lived up to it.
I remember that with our hotel room we received vouchers for breakfast at a nearby bakery. The first day we popped into the bakery, the young woman behind the counter was a bit surly. I tried to have a conversation with her, but she gave me only terse one-word responses, and no eye contact. On day two, I started right out with a cheery "Good morning!" and praise for the baked goods. She gave a little that day, stretching her conversation to a few words. Our third and last morning, I resumed my cheerful, chatty demeanor, and this time I got a smile out of her. Observing all this exchange, when we left the premises, Judy grinned and said “Well, you got her to smile, just what you wanted.” Yep, it sure was.
Among Port Townsend’s attractions are excursions to the San Juan Islands for whale watching. Late June and early July is time to catch sight of orcas, so one day we hopped on a boat that was going to Friday Harbor. Out at sea, on the deck of the bow, we clutched blankets around us not wanting to go inside and possibly miss an orca sighting. It was well worth braving the cold breeze and the shivering.
Port Townsend would be a destination again in September of 2000. Judy and I rode two-up on Big Red when on the way to Vancouver Island with our friends, Trudy and Sylvia. We’d decided we’d stay in hostels wherever we could. Overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the hostel at Fort Worden in Port Townsend provided comfort, history, and a short walk to the cliffs all for a reasonable price. It was the perfect gateway for the rest of our trip.
There’s a nostalgia for me about Port Townsend. Memories of good friends and good times and the experience of seeing my first orcas warm my heart.