Street photography and sweet architecture in Port Townsend

On the trail: Olympic Peninsula, part V

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Port Townsend, on the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula, is a busy ferry stop to Coupeville and Whidbey Island. But its old-town architecture and visitors’ delights make it a must-see on any visit to the Washington sea.

From elegant shopping to quaint used-book stores and 1950s soda fountain, old downtown Port Townsend is a joy for the casual visitor wanting a taste of all three.

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It’s also a great place to people watch and get a few frames of street photography to share.

Take in a movie at the historic Rose Theatre, which, according to its Web site, “opened as a vaudeville house in 1907. We’ve experienced the transition from live theatre to silent film, to talkies, to Technicolor, and now to digital projection across three unique screens. We endeavor to bring the people of the Olympic Peninsula not only world-class film, but also high-definition ballet, opera, classical music and theatre from across the globe…”

The popcorn is fresh, they say, and the butter is real. They even offer local brews on tap.

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Base in Sequim for north Olympic Peninsula explorations

On the trail: Olympic Peninsula, part IV

Below: Moonrise over the John Wayne Marina, Sequim, WashingtonMoonriseJohnWayneMarina1434

You’ll pronounce Sequim wrong. The name, pronounced “skwim,” is derived from the native S’Klallam tribes, and means “a good place to hunt.”

Although that refers to the abundant wildlife in the area, it’s also a great place to base yourself for northern Olympic Peninsula adventures.

Here, you’ll find the Dungeness National Wildlife Area just north of town, with access to the Dungeness Spit, the longest — at 5.5 miles — natural sand spit in the nation, leading to the New Dungeness Lighthouse in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s a fascinating hike out to the lighthouse, but do it at low tide.

A segment of the Olympic Discovery Trail runs through town, over the historic Dungeness River wooden bridge listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The trail runs from Port Townsend to La Push, and is a great way to explore the north peninsula on foot or bike, if you have the time.

And, if you love quiet coves for your sailing craft, you’ll want to dock in the beautiful and upscale John Wayne Marina. The land was gifted by the late actor, and it’s a full-featured marina with docking, fuel, restaurant and public access beach.

While there, make reservations at the tiny but exquisite Dockside Grill. We shared a beautiful appetizer of crab in a very tasty sauce with Parmesan toast points that was so generous that Lana got at least one more meal from it.

For the main course, Lana opted for a perfectly prepared cedar-planked rib-eye steak, rubbed with coffee and spices and served with jalapeno garlic butter, with potato and veggies, a huge tender cut that got her two more meals as well.

I had cedar-planked salmon topped with a generous portion of Dungeness crab, cooked to absolute perfection with triple-citrus Riesling butter. Both meals were prepared using the very finest ingredients, the highest quality you can get, and the tastes were magnificent, tender and delightful. A fantastic meal, the best one we had on the coast, in fact on the entire trip, and the price was exorbitant to say the least: with tip, this feast topped $160.

More about Sequim and the northern Olympic Peninsula in my next post.

To shining sea: Kalaloch

On the trail: Olympic Peninsula, part III

Below: A golden-red sunset glistens on the ocean and sands of Kalaloch Beach.

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One of the most beautiful coastlines I’ve ever encountered can be found on Washington’s southern Olympic Peninsula, at Kalaloch and its neighboring numbered beaches. Miles of huge bleached driftwood offer a stacked backdrop for crisp sandy beaches that glide you to a welcoming ocean of pristine beauty.

At Beach 4, low tide will take you to one of the greatest tide pool viewing opportunities in the world along its rocky coastline.

You’ll find a virtual universe of sealife at low tide, from anemones to barnacles, mussels and so much more. Happily, this area is protected as part of the Olympic Coast National Marine SancMUSSELS Barnacles Beach 4 Kalalochtuary, and should remain as pristine as when it was first discovered.

Left: Notice the intricate details and formations of this crowded section of tide-pool rock at Beach 4.

The beautiful Kalaloch River winds its way to the ocean near the lodge that bears its name. The lodge and nearby campground offer some of the only lodging along this stretch of the peninsula,forestsunsetkalaloch and should be reserved well in advance of any trip.

The beauty of this area translates whether you’re down on the sand or where the forest meets the sea.  At right, sunset in the coastal forest offers a magical fantasy land of strange beauty.

More about the unique beauty of the Olympic Peninsula in the next installment.

You can see the latest updated images from my ongoing series on my web page at New Works: Photography. I update the page with new images as often as possible.