Saturday, July 25, 2015

ANOTHER PREVIEW: What is your "Favorite Drive"?

Beauty on the Interstate is almost ready to launch, so excitement levels are pretty high!

Today's preview is from one of two stories about road trips - something more than a commute and less than moving to another state. This selection is from my absolute favorite drive of all time; one that I hope to make again and again until I can't make it anymore.

I love driving from Tacoma to Port Townsend, here in Washington State.  I love it enough that I am willing to make it a round trip in a single day. It's worth it for a multitude of reasons.

Here's the selections, and be sure to click "more" to see the next "video inspiration" selection at the end of the post.

Port Townsend Lighthouse at Fort Worden State park

My Favorite Drive - an excerpt
By Judith Cullen
© 2015

The destination itself is a fun, quirky safe harbor on the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula.  It is known for its creative and artistic community, the numerous Victorian era buildings preserved from its seafaring heyday, and as a maritime center for independent boat builders.  For those movie goers of a certain era, it can also be recognized from the 1982 film “An Officer and a Gentleman” much of which was filmed at nearby Fort Worden, a de-commissioned U.S. Army installation from the pre-airplane Coast Artillery Corps days.

Fort Worden State Park
I was introduced to Port Townsend and Fort Worden as a young carpentry apprentice for a theater company.  Fresh out of college, I spent three summers shuttling back and forth to Port Townsend installing productions in the theater near the park entrance, enjoying campfires where the cast and crew became one among the abandoned gun emplacements, wandering the empty batteries in the woods, hopping downtown for breakfast or dinner at one of the funkier local eateries.  I even remember being dispatched back to Tacoma in the evening a few times, to return with whatever crucial item was required the next morning.  Even though it is three hours round trip, the drive doesn’t really seem that long. It still doesn’t.

Terrific architecture in downtown
On a recent return to Port Townsend with a long time friend from those days, I was ecstatic to find that the drive has lost none of its charm.  Port Townsend itself is much the same, but little things have changed.  It still has the scariest downtown main drag, voted by me as the place most likely to lose a car door or a side view mirror in Western Washington.  It’s best to get out and walk the street, where you can look into and up at the buildings, both modern and original, that line Water Street.  There is a quantity of amazing architecture preserved in this little downtown core, and elsewhere in town.

Maestro Burger is gone from the long curving road descending into the central crossroads.  They used to put real cheddar on their burgers, which made them worth the wait as it was not fast food.  I remember the controversy when a McDonald’s was proposed.  It’s there now, right next to the Safeway grocery which is one of the best Safeway’s in the state.  I have found things at that store that I have never seen in other mainstream groceries.  

The Hastings Building in downtown. Another classic.
I have fond memories of the Salal CafĂ© in downtown, now sadly gone.  When we used to go there 30 years ago, it was still rife with a funky, hippie eclecticism that included sections of wall dedicated to newspaper clippings and postcards sent from loyal patrons roaming afar, and wait staff mature enough to greet you like a long lost friend even when you had never met them.  Tie dye and distressed denim were not out of place in the Salal of those days. The food was filling and delicious if not quite presented with Cordon Bleu styling. When I visited a decade ago, they’d gone legit.  It was disappointing.  The food was good enough, but it didn’t seem to have that same unconventional abandon that had made it so delicious all those years ago.  The place was neat: no more spontaneous bursts of memorabilia on the walls.  The wait staff was young – way too young to have remembered the true spirit of the Salal.


Hope you enjoyed this little snippet. The book will release in the next two weeks, so stay tuned.
I just might be taking another trip to Port Townsend to celebrate!  Would you like to come?

HERE is this posts video inspiration installment: Goofy's Freewayphobia from 1965 in two parts.  I really love these classic Goofy instructional shorts.  I marvel at how incredibly fresh and accurate they have remained.  I may have to make my 19 year old nephew watch them!  

IMPORTANT NOTE: The sharing of this video in this post in no way reflects, nor should be construed to indicate, the support or endorsement by the Walt Disney Company of this, or any other book by this author.

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