Day 4 – Port Townsend

I really do end up starting the day with two coffees. I had no luck getting my sleeping pad’s issues diagnosed, but I pack it up and try not to think about it.

Yesterday, I spoke with a Warm Showers host named Lys who lives in Port Townsend. She told me that I have a bed and shower waiting for me. This is what motivates me today. Another 50-60 km, but I feel fantastic. I’m pedaling fast and my energy is high, but that might be due to the double shot of espresso that I added to an oat chai latte.

Washington has been full of these tiny drive-thru coffee joints. I forget that this is an American thing. When I lived in Utah, they were scattered about the city as well. I don’t want to get used to these, but it is a nice surprise.

I also find a breakfast burrito in Coupeville that is out of this world. Cycling is blissful today. Coffee, good food, and great views with less highway driving and more backcountry roads.

I grab a ferry to take me to Port Townsend, which is my favorite city of the trip so far. It has a vibrant main street on the harbor with various Thai restaurants, microbreweries, and organic produce shops. The architecture feels like a hip neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY, but still with a port vibe, nestled into the cliffs.

I’ll need to come back with my van to spend a few nights here in the future. For now, I am on a mission to visit my good friend Jay in Seattle!

Cycling another few kilometers up the steep hills, I arrive at Dan and Lys’s house. It’s beautiful and filled with plants and gardens. Dan is traveling for work, so I only get to meet Lys, but what an individual she is!

We chat for a half hour as I bring my bike in and help her move furniture and books to set up space for an indoor sweet potato growing experiment. She shows me her guestbooks where they have their guests write a little something before they leave. She shows me book after book, with entries dating back to 1979. 1979! That’s not a typo!

Carefully combing through the pages, I get lost in the stories of world travelers before all of this technology that we are used to even existed. This particular entry was written 15 years before I was born. It’s very special to read through something like this.

My desire to travel and experience new places and moments is reignited. I wonder what it would be like to travel without phones, internet, or email… would the world feel bigger or smaller to the international traveler? You meet someone you like and you keep in touch with postcards. I think I’ve sent a maximum of three postcards in my life.

I’m feeling nostalgic and want to treasure each moment. Sometimes I wonder if the best way to do that is to be fully present or to take some of that presence and document trips… humans do tend to forget after all!

I hope to have as many stories and to have met as many interesting people as Lys one day.

Oh, and I figure out the screeching noise on my bike. Somehow, the front wheel was not completely straight… one potential disaster was avoided after a quick disconnect and reconnect.