My work has had me doing a lot of work up north. The week of 8/19 I went up to Port Angeles Wa. to work for a company my work sub contracts with from time to time. We worked on a new boiler at the paper mill in town. It was an interesting process to get the boiler ready to start up. I had no idea you did this elaborate process to keep the boiler in good shape. We used a lot of water in this thing. It held 20,000 gallons. One of my duties while filling this monster was to go to the top of the boiler, 7 stories up to the top of the structure it was in. It was 142 steps to the top.
I think I mentioned that I have a new aversion to heights in an earlier post. I'll be damned if that it is going to get the best of me though, I grab my lunch bag and head up the stairs. Normally a building like this would be covered with aluminum siding but they haven't installed it yet. It was wide open to the elements, a little unsettling because the floors on each level is open grating, meaning you can see right through it to the bottom.
I was acclimating to the heights by looking out at the view when I noticed 3 cruise ships coming into view.
Port Angeles is a port town on the northern tip of Washington States Olympic Peninsula and is on a body of water know as the Straights of Juan de Fuca. The Straights are the entrance to the Puget Sound area where Seattle is, and it separates the US and Canada. It was quite a sight to see. These 3 fancy cruise ships zig zagging through the channel.
That Morning I morning after breakfast I took a walk around town and went down to the boat docks. I found a nice sail boat with my daughters name on the back.
On the last day at the paper mill we had an awesome sunrise. I didn't get the shot I wanted, the earlier colors were much better, but it took me a few minutes to break away from our task to get the shot.
We finished there in Port Angeles and drove back home. Then last Monday they sent me back up there to pick up some pipe that needed to be transported, now we are talking! I hauled miles and miles of pipe while in North Dakota. I picked it up and drove it back to our base down in Kelso. I was suppose to take it to one of our other shops way up north in a town north of Bellingham Wa. The next day the plan changed and I was to take it to one of the Refineries in Anacortes. I left very early in the morning to beat the Seattle traffic, Seattle has the suckiest highway system I have every seen, I have driven the 91 freeway in So Cal so I know! As a matter of fact I was sent up to Bellingham to pick up one of my companies many trucks and got stuck in 2 hour to go 30 miles traffic in Seattle because of a big accident on the 5 freeway. Funny thing is the other day as I passed through Seattle at the start of rush hour and a news report on the radio said a study had Seattle has some of the worst drivers in the country and as the news item ended there was a small pick-up spun out and on the wall, and a patrolman hitting the smoke under the hood with a fire extinguisher...sigh
I had a little time after I dropped off the pipe and I wanted to do a few things in Anacortes. I wanted to see where the house was that I lived in when I was very young. My brother and I ended up there when I was about 5, my mother was very sick and dying at the time so we were sent up to my aunt and uncles there in Anacortes. I also wanted to see where the Enchantress sat while she was in the Fidalgo Bay on the east side of Anacortes
I Googled Anacortes and found out how it got it's name. It is the consolidation of a woman's name, Anna Curtis, the wife of one of the earlier settlers there. It was hoped when they incorporated the town that it would be the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad, nothing works out as planned. I have not been in this town in 45 years so my memory of it was nill.
I remember where the house was and how to get there though, I think I have always been aware of my surroundings. It was the fun memories of playing with my cousins when we were up there that probably stuck the location in my head. The house overlooked a small bay with an Island across the water. It was kind of up on a hill. I had looked it up once on google earth but so much had changed. I headed into town and when I hit the northern end I made a right and headed to a point on the northeast corner of the town. Then I looked for a house that sat in the right location. 45 years is a long time and many of the houses are new in the area. I remember small cottages in this area but now there is a lot more modern dwellings there. I spun down the street where I thought it should be and came to a house that was in the right position. The little bay was hardly there now filled in for a ship yard and such. The vacant area that I remember to the west of the house had a barrier of trees now and some industrial stuff there now.
The house though, it sat right where it needed to be and I was hoping really hard that it was the house because it was my favorite kind of house, a Craftsman, it was all shingled up and looking awesome. I could be wrong though the house may not even exist anymore.
I remember that bay though. One time a bunch of logs were brought into that bay and my uncle told us kids to stay away from those logs. I'm sure this was more like and invitation to two troublesome 5 year olds like my cousin and I. First chance we got we were down on those logs. As would be expected we got out pretty far on those logs and one of the logs moved and in goes my poor cousin. He went in up to his waist and he and I had a hell of a time getting him back on the log. I don't think my aunt and uncle found out. I'm not sure, but I think we snuck back in the house and got him some new pants. My uncle would have skinned us alive if he had found out, we were two times lucky on that log adventure.
I remember vividly a smell from around that neighborhood. It was the most wonderful smell I have ever encountered. To this day I'm not even sure what I smelled. We were all playing around on the hills riding tricycles and large Tonka trucks down the hills and my aunt had warned us not to go up to far so as not to disturb the neighbors or something like that. It was a wonderful sunny day and that smell came wafting through the air. It was someone baking. I can almost smell it now. I smelled something like that smell later in life and someone told me it was Irish Shortbread. I think they use Almond extract in that and that very well maybe the smell. I remember going to school there for a short time and I remember the phone call from my dad when my mom passed away. I didn't understand at that age, but I remember the sadness in my aunt as she hung up the phone.
I remember a boat my uncle used to own and we went out on a couple of times. My uncle tried to teach us to fish but I think Hyper-active me was not listing all that well and almost hooked my cousin by mistake. We still had fun...grin
We were a large family while I was up there and it was fond memories I have of being there. I sure hope it was that Craftsman...grin
Not too long ago I was looking at Anacortes on Google Earth and found some pictures posted there of this poor dilapidated Tugboat that had sunk in Fidalgo Bay. Her name was the Enchantress.
She was 120 foot Army Tug and due to some shady dealings the owner had set her adrift and she got hung up on the old wharf pilings you see around her and she took on water and was stuck there.
Thank you Alaskandave.smugmug.com for the photo.
The Enchantress became kind of a fixture there inspiring people to photograph and paint her with Mt. Baker and the Cascades in the background. Thank you thenewstribune.com blog for the photo.
The Enchantress..here are the pictures you can find on Google images. I like the Eagles on the mast on this photo.
She was unfortunately a "Menace to Navigation" according to the Coast Guard and she was scheduled for demolition and removal. That brought out some of the local artist to try and save her. She is rather enchanting I must say. She technically wasn't going anywhere hung up on those pilings so it probably wouldn't have been to bad to leave her there. The fight to save her failed and she was demolished early 2010 or there abouts.
I would have loved to have a few pictures of her myself. I didn't find where she sat so I headed back. I have one more boat story though. A few miles south of Anacortes is the town of La Conner Wa. There is a boat there that I have loved looking at for years. She has her own web site even. MV Argosy.
She was sold to a couple that has it moored there. So I went down to take a picture of her. The Argosy.
The early morning gloomy light didn't help this picture. I took some pics a few months ago, a day after that I-5 bridge collapsed up in Mount Vernon Wa.
This boat when it was made never looked like this, she at one time blew up and sank but her hull was raised and reused to make what you see now, It is an interesting story follow the link above.
The first time I took a picture of this boat a gentleman on the boat started looking at me through some binoculars. I waved to him but he didn't wave back. Where this picture was take is in a log storage area, they float logs down the channel then haul them on land then truck them from there to the mills.
I rolled onto the lot and a guy was sitting right were I was going to take a picture. I rolled up to him to make sure it was ok for me to be there and that I only wanted to take a picture of a boat. He seemed a little humored by my statement and said sure and drove off....lol
I want to own a boat someday and live on it until I can't be on it anymore. I want to travel from Alaska down to the Panama Canal and then search what the east coast has to offer. It is a big dream but I tentatively have the cute girlfriend sold on the idea. I keep looking for the right boat...someday!