After spending the night in our awesome hotel in Forks, our next stop was Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point of the contiguous United States. The rain we had expected finally started, and as we were driving, we realized something was wrong. What seemed like only 20 miles away was expected to take us 50 minutes, because the roads were THAT curvy. I get really car sick, so I was trying to hold it together, but the rain beating down on the hairpin turns was making me really nauseous and super cranky. Finally we reached Neah Bay, a reservation town known for having surfable waves. Google Maps started to have us drive in circles and finally John and I just said “We give up!”
We turned around and on our way out of the town, we stopped at a gas station to try and find a bathroom and food. Though it may sound really snobby of me, that gas station made me genuinely feel scared. It was cold, windy and grey outside and I passed probably 20 people at the gas station. A lot of them had missing teeth, huge scars on their skin and many of them were looking at me with a dead stare. It grabbed John and we got out of there, the place gave me the heebie jeebies! I’m a pretty stubborn person, but that experience was more than enough for me. Even though I feel bummed that we missed something on our list, we knew our limits… and we had reached them!
We spent the next few hours driving some more. (There is a LOT of land to cover between outings in the Olympic Peninsula!) Even though we never reached Cape Flattery, our trip out there took us double the time we expected and we were behind schedule. Though we didn’t stop, our drive through Port Angeles downtown was really pretty and we discussed possibly going back at another time. As far as towns go, that was most definitely the largest town in the Peninsula, but also the most commercial. Something I loved about reading the guide books was that they reiterated several times that in almost every town in the Peninsula, you weren’t going to find a Starbucks, and there aren’t chain stores. Even the gas stations were family-owned! There was something very cool about that to me.
Finally, we arrived in Port Townsend with beautiful fall weather surrounding us. As a whole, we really loved Port Townsend and it reminded me a lot of the best parts of Maine. We had lunch at a cheesy 50’s diner and took our time walking through the stores in the downtown, waterfront district and lovingly gazed up at the beautiful old buildings. Pioneer Square in Seattle comes closest to the preserved buildings, but I’ve never seen such old buildings so beautifully displayed before.
After exploring Port Townsend’s downtown, we headed to Fort Worden, which came very highly recommended by a close friend. It took us a while to drive around and find the old, abandoned military bunkers in the park, but once was did it was fun to explore, take pictures and maybe pretend we lived in a post-apocalyptic world for a little bit. One of the bunkers was actually open, and we were able to walk down into a deep, dark series of halls. It creeped me out way too much, but John loved it and found lots of cool, abandoned stuff down there. I stayed outside and hung out with the deer, who were definitely not afraid of humans! Finally, after our long day exploring, we headed home and took the Bainbridge Ferry. It was John’s second time on a ferry and his first time on Bainbridge Island, so that was a mini adventure in itself!