Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On The Road, continued...

Day two continued...

South Bend,Washington touts itself as the Oyster Capital of the World or something like that. I didn't pay much attention because neither Mom or I care for that variety of shellfish. But Willipa Bay, where the Willapa River enters the sea, has a thriving oyster industry and so the claim will stick. The town is, wait for it, on the southern end of a big looping bend of the river.

It's also just a few miles down the road from Raymond, WA, the town where my free-spirited grandfather lived his last days. We wanted to stay in that area so Mom could revisit some memories. South Bend has a much nicer motel than any in Raymond.

It is also the county seat of Pacific County and has a most amazing courthouse...

This is the floor in the entry rotunda. You stand in the middle of it to take photos of...
...this amazing creation of glass that makes up the dome of the building.

And you climb up these graceful stairways, at either side of the entryway, to get to the second level where the courtrooms are.
I had a chat with someone who works in this building and she agreed that yes, it is a spectacular place to come to each day, even though she admitted she took it for granted sometimes. Oh, human nature...
This is over the doorway leading to the sheriff's building.
As we lingered here, we discovered that this sleepy little town, like so many built on someone's hopes, has a history long on hard work and short on glory. But the people who live here love it and the views from the hill above the town were stellar. (And of course, I didn't have my camera when I went for a morning walk on that hill.)

So...on to Raymond, previously just a name on an I-5 exit and a place I sent a few Christmas cards to while my grandfather was alive. It's actually is quite a ways from I-5 and is an old lumber town with bumpy streets, brick buildings and a lot of metal sculptures of things like bears, beavers, fish, flowers and odd looking people.

It also is home to the Northwest Carriage Museum. Woo-hoo! A whole building with nothing but beautifully restored vintage carriages! Mom and I had a wonderful hour there.

So nice for a summer day.

Or a winter one.

And this beats a mini-van for toting the kids around!

We found my grandfather's old house and Mom was able to sift through some memories that hadn't been disturbed in a while. This was a good thing, and now I'll know what's out there next time I go past that freeway sign.

We left Raymond to continue on Hwy 101 to Port Townsend. No road trip is without its dramas, and ours happened when we didn't open the map completely to see that we should have taken a cutoff toward Olympia and bypassed Aberdeen altogether. Heading through that town, we followed the 101 sign, not realizing it was taking us up the west side of the Olympic Peninsula. My brain turned on again after about the third sign stating the mileage to Forks. Oops. It would have taken us 6 hours at least to get to Port Townsend that way.

In Aberdeen - should have turned right, went straight ahead instead. Could have ended up a really long, scenic drive.
Thankfully we weren't too far along and got back on the right road, after stopping to recharge the brains with some food. We did laugh about it, eventually.

The correct part of 101 runs along between the Olympic Peninsula to the west and Hood Canal to the east. The sun came out then and we saw lots of sparkling water and quiet coves.

The beach at Potlatch State Park

There was a store at Pleasant Harbor Marina, so we stopped to look at the boats and treat ourselves.

The twisty, winding road eventually led to the intersection with Hwy 20, the route to Port Townsend. It was a sunny day there too...

Looking toward the Strait of Juan de Fuca, from Point Hudson. There's a big fog bank out there...

You can't see it here, but this boat is named Kia Ora, Maori for 'hello'.

The Olympics in the background.

We used to come to Port Townsend on our boat and the old hotel I chose was right next to the marina we would come to.

The Swan Hotel, in the morning after the fog rolled in

I walked over there, and later we ate dinner in a restaurant there. When we asked for recommendations, the hotel person didn't even mention Point Hudson. Perhaps its because it isn't strictly in the historic downtown. But we liked it much better. Port Townsend is cute and funky, but the shops are a bit woo-woo and touristy for me. I liked looking at the wooden kayaks at the only retail shop at the Point.

I did walk downtown early the next morning, when you couldn't see more than about a hundred feet. The ferry was coming in - I knew this because I could hear the rumbling engine and the foghorn, but it was invisible in the fog. By the time we boarded the ferry an hour later, it was still so thick all we could see was the wake of the boat. On a blue sky day, Puget Sound sparkles like the gem it is. This was not its day.

Our landing point, Coupeville on Whidbey Island, was also gray but at least the fog had lifted a bit. We drove the hour or so along the main road up the island to Deception Pass State Park, stopping to, well, look at the fog. And a very weird looking tree.

We slipped into Anacortes via the scenic route, following all the back roads Mom and Dad would take when they had to go to Whidbey. It will always be a homecoming, driving into Anacortes. Part of me will ever be there, in my memory and up at Grand View Cemetery. Rest in peace, Dad. We had a great visit to your neck of the woods.

Mom and me, with our dear friend Colleen, who treats us like royalty when we visit!

1 comment:

loverstreet said...

i love reading about your trip! what a gorgeous building in south bend! who knew?

harvey came from raymond, wa too. :)