Each Mile – Episode Two – Into the Heart of Darkness…Washington
Where were we? Ah yes…on a trans-canal trip to Port Townsend, once named the “City of Dreams”. How like real dreams, did everyone wake up and realize a less vivid or prosperous reality. The masses of boats and people never came, and the city that waited to be a city was left as an immaculately built Victorian village.
It was night when I arrived. The city was asleep. Lucky for me, my Couch Surfing contact, had seen my ship from the shore and presumed, being that it was the last boat over, that I had to be on it. He picked me and Klalita up in his pick up and we whizzed off into the dark curvatures of the ghost dark tree highway to have dinner with his family. Bread and wine, a perfect lullaby. Waking at a good time in the morning to the sound of barking dogs at my door at Andrew’s dog and llama farm was the perfect alarm. Andrew built all that I saw on his land from the ground up. He was an actor too, a worldly, interesting, caring, family man of many different hats and he wore them all quite comfortably. I set off on my naked Klalita into town, passed the natural rock cliff that the main street buildings seamed to lazily rest on. Cute shops, cafes and even an ol’ movie theatre gave me a very Bohemian sense of the place. The coffee shop was what you’d expect when you see Tibetan flags at the window, full of coffees from foreign fair trade lands and loooooot of cookies that had ingredients that make baked goods for old people instead of the intended younger audiences. Oh…and there was no music store, only a record store with the owner’s fixie sitting at the front.
I started at the museum, where the curator gave me the town’s history. Nice gentleman who yearned for an audience, so I lent him my ear for close to half an hour. Well worth it, he knew it all and could answer all my questions. He also talked about the city’s prostitution history as if it were a major focal point, which was alright by me. The best displays were the odd things. An old funeral cart, a section on comic books and my personal favourite, a list of alternative names for a house of ill intent. After the museum, I walked in no direction in particular to look at some of the wonderful Victorian architecture the city has. I returned to Andrew’s just as the sun was dipping behind the trees. I played games with his kids on the jungle gym and pet the llamas, carefully.
Andrew had a wonderfully interesting life that you’ll just have to surf with him to fully appreciate it. A man of the land, the type of man I saw as a child played by John Wayne, but less racist and more emotionally connected to things and people he loved. The next day, I waved goodbye, drank some fresh squeezed orange (compliments of his son’s amazing juicing skills), squeezed past the heavy tubing welded dirt white gate and off down the road to Sequim.
Suddenly bam. I needed a bathroom. 5 or so k later I found one. I never made that mistake…..on this continent again.
Sequim, I arrived during a day shy of the Irrigation Festival, which apparently involved a produce throwing competition. Damnit, something I’ve always regretted missing. My couch surfer that night was a wonderful mother, who packed my panniers full of chocolate bars and energy bars. Her dog, Savvy, watched with curiosity as I ate food and glugged down a tall, red plastic glass of milk. TV, it’s glow I hadn’t seen in a while. Meh, it didn’t interest me and I soon was under the “In God We Trust” covers and fast asleep.
The hardest ride was just ahead…and…well….I don’t want to spoil your appetites. Enjoy!: