Thursday, July 25, 2013

Aberdeen, OR to Port Angeles, WA to Port Townsend, WA

Aberdeen to Port Angeles to Port Townsend

I was more than anxious to leave Aberdeen. As I previously wrote, this town was a bit scary with lots of panhandlers, run-down neighborhoods and a general feeling of having seen its better day. I have since learned that Aberdeen was once a very thriving community and was a major area for wood/lumber processing. For various reasons, the large operations moved to other locations and the town went bust. It does seem to be making a come back with many buildings being rehabilitated and more attention being paid to parks and other public use areas.

It probably did not help that we were boondocking in the Walmart parking lot. All the state parks were filled and we were too cheap to pay the unrealistic prices for shabby campgrounds.

On Sunday, after leaving Aberdeen, we drove to Port Angeles, WA. The last part of the drive took us around Crystal Lake which is a very deep glacial lake with the typical colors that we had previously seen in the fjords of Alaska.
When we arrived in Port Angeles, we were surprised to see so many big ships. We soon learned that Port Angeles is a huge center for exporting wood. In my previous blog entry, I wrote about that.

We did enjoy our three days in PA. There was a very nice trail that ran along the waterfront and I did one of my “discovery” run/walks. PA also had a very nice Family Y and we did our weight workouts and showered there. They also had a nice WI-FI Hotspot where I was able to catch up on Facebook and email.

On Tuesday we took the ferry to Victoria for the day. Basically, we spent the day in Victoria touring BC Parliament and walking all around the town. In my previous blog entry, I wrote in detail about this trip. Now, I am including some pictures.

Wednesday we drove from PA to Port Townsend. We are so impressed with this place that we made a change in plans so that we will now stay here two nights. This is a beautiful city with a wonderful old downtown and lots of very beautiful old homes. We are staying at the county fairgrounds which has an 80 site campground. It’s nothing fancy, but we do have electric, water and showers.

Yesterday afternoon I did a 7 mile “discovery” run/walk. I had planned to stay within the downtown area, but there were so many people and cars that I ended up running in residential areas which were very hilly. After we finished our workout, we went to the Wednesday Farmer’s Market and enjoyed looking at all the local produce, baked goods, cheeses, etc. We purchased some cookies and apple cake and went to the Safeway Starbucks for our post exercise refreshments.

Today at 11:00 am when we went out for our workout, we were greeted with fog rolling in over our campground. It quickly dissipated and a few minutes later we had a cloudless day with the temperatures 70-75 degrees. 

There was a nice track that was almost exactly a mile from the campground. We walked there for our warmup and then did a speed workout. I'm not sure what Hollie did but I ran a total of 4.5 miles, including 4 x 600 @ 8:48. I am pleased with that, because my day to day running pace has been so slow, I had my doubts that I could maintain anything under 10 minute pace. 

After our workout, we took a driving tour of the older area of Port Townsend. Some of these homes are amazing, having been built in the late 1800s and still having their original window glass and some even had lots of stained glass. I know for sure, I would not want to paint any of these. The wood detail and variety of colors would be very difficult and very time consuming to paint.

After the drive, we walked around the old downtown shopping are which is along the waterfront. Most people like the shopping, but Hollie and I are more interested in the history and architecture of the buildings. I did make one purchase---homemade donuts. We are now at a Starbucks enjoying those with our afternoon coffee.

We will be here until 11:00 am on tomorrow when we will take our trailer onto a ferry to Whidbey Island where we will stay for at least three nights.

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