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Wandering around Port Townsend

This morning's sky:

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The trail around the point:

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That little trail winds around in just in front of a bunch of the waterfront RV spots and campsites (all with spectacular views). We love this location!

Airship from the RV park:

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Today was another full work day at the boat. We took a break this afternoon to run some tax stuff up to the post office and grab some lunch (and get a walk in). Luckily the post office is up a ton of stairs and a big hill so we got a little more exercise than just a walk to town and back. 

The post office building is very cool (built in 1893). I'm not sure why I didn't snap a shot of the exterior, but here are some details from inside:

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We had to sign and mail a tax thing, so we waited in line to buy stamps and borrow a pen. (Note: get a pen for the boat.) Here's a good example of how we amuse ourselves with silly dialogue in public (but this time, we were whispering because this post office felt more like a library):

Me: I'll distract 'em by buying stamps while you borrow a pen to sign that with.
Kevin: I think we can do those two things at the same time.
Me: Yeah but it'll take more time.
Kevin: We'll be fast.
Me: I know we will, but they might not think we'll be fast, borrowing and pen and stuff, arriving with unsigned documents to mail. You know how they can be.
Kevin: Might you be overthinking this?

Then, with the postal clerk:

Me: We'd like to buy a book of stamps.
Her: (Vanna White-ing to the pages of stamps under glass on the counter, indicating I should choose a design.)
Me: How about the hearts? Kev? How about the hearts?
Kevin: The hearts are great honey.
Her (to Kevin): Good answer.

Kevin is signing and sealing the envelope to the IRS.

Kevin: We're going to send a heart stamp to the IRS.
Me: No we're not. 
Kevin: The IRS needs love too.
Me: No. The IRS has money. They don't need love.
Postal Clerk: (Also insists we don't send a heart stamp, pulls out a single stamp from her special envelope for us to send to the IRS. The picture on it was a portrait of some stern-looking man in a black suit from history, and she sticks that on the envelope instead) and then says, satisfied, "There!"

We stopped on the way back through town at Waterfront Pizza and shared a caesar salad and some pizza for lunch (it was still FABULOUS pizza…and the salad was killer as well).

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I took a few photos of some of the downtown architecture in Port Townsend on the walk back. 

This the James House, built in 1889 (up the hill and across the street from the post office:

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Francis Wilcox James, a businessman with a vision for Port Townsend, arrived in 1853. He held several jobs before opening his own mercantile business. He reportedly made his fortune during the Civil War by converting gold into unsecured green backs at 35 cents to the dollar. He reinvested those gains in U.S. bonds at a 15 percent discount.

James built this house in 1889. It gave him a clear view of Port Townsend and the shipping in the bay. His wife, Mary, died seven weeks after moving into the house. In 1909, he married his housekeeper. He was 77 and she was 24. The marriage ended in divorce, and James died in 1920.

The house originally cost $10,000 to build. It is a fine example of Queen Ann architecture. The complex roof and chimney forms were considered modern at the time it was built.

This is the Hastings Building, built in 1890 by architect Elmer H. Fisher:

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From the Sequim Daily Photo:

Fisher was a Scotsman who designed a number of Port Townsend buildings starting around 1887 and simultaneously opened an office in Seattle, where he designed more than 50 buildings immediately after Seattle’s great fire of 1889.

The Hastings Building, above, was built at a cost of $35,000 to $45,000 and completed in 1890. It has a 38-foot inner courtyard topped with a glass skylight and has housed businesses from dry goods to a reputed bordello. Today the ground floor houses retail businesses and the upper floors are not occupied. Descendents of the original family still own the building and are working on an ambitious restoration of the structure.

Layered signage on the side of this building:

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This is the N.D. Hill building, built in 1889:

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We're back at the boat working now. The otters just showed up again and rolled around looking cute on the dock again.

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We'll probably work a bit into the night and then get an early start across the Strait of Juan de Fuca tomorrow morning. We're planning to spend a few days in the San Juan Islands before we go back to Anacortes for a bit.

  • Kevin McLaughlin

    The birds-eye view video is a great feature! Plus I now have the benefit of a visual perspective of a place as yet unvisited by me.