Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Port Angeles 98362

It was bound to happen sooner or later.  After all, I have been on a shopping drought for 18 months now.  I used to buy a new outfit once a month.  I loved shopping for clothes.  I lived for shopping.  The feel of the fabric, the creativity in putting separates together to form a whole.  Everything about it.  The smell.  The colors. The camaraderie found in the boutiques.  It was fun.  Stimulating.  I got that Sex and the City line totally.  You know the one:  Shopping is my cardio.

So while we drove through downtown Port Angeles, those cute little clothing stores drew me in.  I was getting sick and tired of my blue jeans and hiking boots. I ordered my travel buddy to stop and park.  "I'll see you in a couple of hours," I said.

  But first I noticed all the great street art around.  There were murals and sculptures and wind turbines that looked like giant whirligigs. Okay, so I'd spend the first half hour taking pictures of the incredible art.  Then I'd shop.

The art took me down to the waterfront where I discovered a row of bronze plaques highlighting the history of this small town on the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula--from the indigenous people who lived here thousands of years ago, to the Spanish exploration, the whaling industry and then the 20th century. I read them all.

Port Angeles has a population of only 19,500, but it is a host city to people from all over the world who come here to see Olympic National Park.  Like us, they made this small town their home base while visiting here.
Suddenly, I realized my two hours were up.  I quickly ducked into a store, looked around, didn't see anything I wanted to try on, but struck up a conversation with the sales associate.  Not about clothes.  But about food.  "Where's a good place to get a good fish dinner around here?" I asked.  She had several suggestions but Downriggers was just a block away and on the waterfront.  I texted my travel buddy to meet me there.

This fabulous tree decorated with masks was in front.  I spent so much time ogling it that I got another text.  "Where the heck are you?"
He had already ordered a carafe of white wine.

I scanned the restaurant and found him sitting at a table by a window.  A snow-capped Mt. Baker was framed within its panes.

"Wow," I gasped.

"Uh, where are your shopping bags?" my travel buddy asked.

"My what?"  I couldn't stop looking at that beautiful mountain.  And the Juan de Fuca Strait.  And Vancouver Island.  And the ferry leaving the dock to take people over there.  It was all so beautiful.

Over a delicious meal of steamed clams and Caesar salads, we had a good laugh over my "shopping spree" that never happened.  It made me realize how much I have changed over the past two years.  I don't really need another dress.  Or high heeled sandals.

What I really need is a ticket for a ferry that will take me up the Inland Passage and beyond!


  1. Hello! I live in this beautiful town! Thank you for stopping by!

  2. It's a magical place for the few that are willing to take the time to really look. A great community of folks that will share 'how I got here' stories.

  3. I've only lived there for 3 months... But it was an awesome 3 months! Dying to go back.

  4. Thank you everyone for stopping by. Exploring all these towns in the Pacific Northwest is pure joy!

  5. Grew up here and moved away for 14 years and missed it so that my life revolved around recieving the Port Angeles Evening News at the time they were posting front page full sized photos of Olympic Penninsula. I was so enthused about "HOME" that I encouraged a daughter to write a school essay on Washington and the exremes of eastern part of the state from high dessert of sagebrush and rattle snakes to going over the mountains and smelling cedar and then salt air and seaweed. Well the child got an A/A on "HER" report.