Final Destination: Port Townsend

At the mouth of the Columbia River

The only slight hitch we had on the trip was a low tire warning, so when we got up and got going, we headed to a gas station. No problem except that, of course, the guy who pumps gas (you aren’t allowed to pump your own in Oregon) thought I was some stupid woman and when I was struggling because the nozzle on the air hose was leaky, he brilliantly asked, “Are you sure the machine is on?” Sigh. No, I am just that stupid.img_20190629_134338000_hdrimg_20190629_133342028_hdr.jpgAnyway, the light went out after I successfully filled the tires despite my being a girl and all and we went to the mouth of the Columbia for a … that’s right … beach walk! On the way to the gas station, we saw a tiny fish-and-chips place called FishMongers that looked locals only and decided to hit it on the way our of town (Hammond). It was well worth it. Not only did we get two combos of tuna, rockfish, and cod, but we had enough food left over to feed three of us for dinner when we got to Port Townsend. Perfect. Then, to top off a beautiful morning, I got to go to a Fred Meyer. Mahru had been raving about them since before we hit Oregon and I finally got to learn why. While she filled up on cheap gas, I wandered what I can only describe as a Target on steroids. That store has everything. No joke. Need some organic blueberries? Check. How about replacement windshield wipers? A new couch? A party dress? Antiseptic? They have it. Wow. It was a little overwhelming on a Saturday, but still amazing.

We got to Washington by crossing the Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia soon thereafter. Here is a quote from Britannica about the bridge: “A two-lane highway steel bridge 28 feet (8.5 meters) wide, it consists of three spans reaching a total length of 21,474 feet (6,545 meters) and including a main span of 1,232 feet (376 meters). It was designed by William A. Bugee and was built to withstand Pacific storms with wind speeds that reach some 150 miles (240 km) per hour and river currents that can hit speeds of 9 miles (14 km) per hour. ” Yes, it was cool. When we got to the official welcome to Washington sign, my camera went a little wonkie and I got this photo:img_20190629_143857038

The Astoria-Megler Bridge

Not sure what that’s about, but, whatever, we were in Washington. From the border to Port Townsend, we still had almost 4 hours of driving on the two-lane 101 through small towns. We started heading east toward Puget Sound and still had remarkable, water views even if they were not of the Pacific.

We made one more quick stop at Potlatch State Park on the Hood Canal. It’s just a little day-use beach area, but the dog could get in a run and we could stretch our legs. Then it was on to Port Townsend to meet Mahru’s friend, Bernadette. She was incredibly hospitable and we had a lovely evening just talking, relaxing, and camping out on the floor of her apartment.

We didn’t really explore Port Townsend until Sunday. It’s a cute, waterfront town with all the requisite touristy stuff: fudge, t-shirts, restaurants, coffee shops, beer, and, if you’re on the West Coast, whale-watching tours. There are also ferries to Whidby Island in the sound. Amazingly, there is great pizza by the slice at Waterfront Pizza and I say this as a New York pizza snob. There was a woman there from Brooklyn and she convinced me to try it. She was right.

Sunday, we spent just wandering around the town, window-shopping. We checked into our campsite at Point Hudson Marina and RV Park and discovered that there are several restaurants down there. We ate at Doc’s Marina Grill. The rockfish tacos were delicious.