Wednesday, September 9, 2009

5th State: WA - Port Angeles (Sept. 09 - 15, 2009

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Gary’s Baby and behind that my SwankieWheels.  We are unloading our kayaks to have a smooth paddle on the bay.  I thought the rainbow was so appropriate.  Beautiful day.  Can it get any better than this?

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SwankieWheels in Port Angeles, WA

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Charlene taken by Gary “gg”.

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Also taken by Gary.  This should be called “Glimmerglass Bay.” 

QuietWelcome to Port Angeles!ly nestled between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains, Port Angeles is located in Clallam County on the North Olympic Peninsula of Washington State - U.S.A.

Incorporated in 1890 - the City has progressed into the 21st century while still holding onto steadfast traditions of hard work, family and community.

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“Gary Gearloose” Lepak… the kayak builder.

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Gary is a master-story-teller, and he was talking and I was listening, we didn’t notice Heidi and Mike on the shore hollering at us.  That’s their van.  We paddled over and met them.

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The reflections on the water amazed me.  It’s as if the feather is laying on a mirror.  You can just see the tip of my paddle on the bottom of the picture.

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Gary again.

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That’s my kayak… have you ever seen anything so amazing?

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I spent some time alone on the shore near the Coast Guard facility… and found these rock sculptures all over the place. 

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And driftwood structures.  Fascinating.

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The next day, Mike took Heidi and I panning for gold in one of his secret spots.  I don’t know how Heidi managed to hide, but somehow I didn’t get her photo, again.  Maybe that’s why she is named “hide – ie?”

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The following day, Gary and I paddled our kayaks around the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.  This one was of particular interest… named “Boondock.”

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Gary on one of his home-build kayaks.  That would kill my knees.  He is amazing.

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I thought is was very interesting how he had holes carved out for his toes.  The seat is also very interesting.

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Gary and his kayak.

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The next morning we walked up-hill to a really neat market/coffee shop for breakfast.  We walked a little farther to see this 1890 Bell Tower.  “For more than 50 years, the bell was used to call volunteer fire fighters to their posts.  It is the only known tower of its kind in the United States.  It was restored in 2003 by the Jefferson County Historical Society and the city of Port Townsend and remains an important reminder of our heritage.”

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Interesting craft vendors.

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This is the Y√Ľko. It is the second of two Navigators built in Olympia, WA by Barrett. She built the first for her mother in Maine, where Grace sailed to great success. Everything was built solo by Barrett, with exception of the sails and the blocks. Barrett has neither formal boatbuilding nor woodworking training, learning both by example from age 6, when her father started building his own boat.

Nearly 200 hundred wooden vessels, from tall ships to small rowing and paddling boats, fill the Port of Port Townsend's Point Hudson marina for the annual Wooden Boat Festival. A fundraiser for year round educational programs, this annual event draws nearly 25000 people for the weekend and the marina is a year round destination for people with boats and who love boats from around the world.

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A boat for twokniveskatie…

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…and one for the ladies who like purple, Fat City, I think .

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A vandwellers dream, a folding sink, but this one is porcelain.  On one of the historic ships, Lotus (Gruye).  I’ll add that info later.  This was on an Edwardian Houseboat Cruiser built in 1909… and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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The next morning, the sunrise was so fabulous that Gary hopped out of his Scion “Baby,” barefooted, to photograph it.

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And alas, it was time to say goodbye to Gary and head across the waters of Puget Sound to see my family.  Spankie waves goodbye.

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Spankie is still not sure what he thinks about so much water… and hangs on fast.

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SwankieWheels along Highway #11.

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I’ve never seen such an astounding sunset.

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… and it got even better.

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After we crossed the Sound, I headed up Highway 20 north thru Coupeville and Oak Harbor where my husband was once a police officer.  Then along a narrow road of Highway #11 to Bellingham where I was to meet with his granddaughter, Dani.

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And not to be outdone by the sunset, here comes some sort of “dwelling” on wheels.

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And there he is.

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And there he goes. (Boy it’s tricking being a photographer on wheels – steering wheels)

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Finally got to Bellingham and met up with Dani.  She wanted her grandpa’s old flannel shirt.  Hard for me to part with that one as the most recent photo I had of him, he was wearing it.  I liked to cuddle wearing it.  But she was so sweet, I could not say no.  Dani, I hope you treasure it always and fine a lot of comfort in it.  Your grandpa was very proud of you.

It was painful to revisit places that Dave and I had been together at in 2001, especially Everett where he died.  I was surprised to find that it bothered me.  So now on down I5 and I405 to Kirkland, then on to Wenatchee.  I have granddaughters to visit (one that I have not yet seen).


  1. Uaaaauuuuu!!!!It's an amazing place.I wish I've lived there. I love the landscape, it's a beautiful place for a happy family.Till the ,,Twilight''I haven't knew this town but now I envy the people who lives there!


Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles? Maybe. Still healing from shoulder and trying to decide.