I love the mini-staycations that my husband and I have been taking a couple times a year in our home state of Washington. From beach walking trips to backpacking to visiting lighthouses. On a 3-day staycation we took last September, we went to the Port Townsend area and not only visited Point Wilson Lighthouse and Marrowstone Point Lighthouse, but we also did some walks, hikes, tours of forts, had great food, and slept at a restful Bed and Breakfast.
On our first day, we drove around the Tacoma way heading north towards Port Townsend, and spontaneously stopped at the Chimacum Corner Farmstand, a local grocery store, for some delicious lunch and snacks. After deciding we wanted to come back here, we drove on to Fort Worden State Park, the location of the Point Wilson Lighthouse. We walked along one corner of the beach to reach the lighthouse, which was open for tours, went up the tower, spent some time around the lighthouse, and walked back along the other corner of the beach.
Point Wilson Lighthouse marks the “western side of the entrance to Admiralty Inlet from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and is an important landmark for vessels traveling to and from Puget Sound.” Interestingly, historically, “this critical turn was first marked by a church bell.” In 1865 a ship’s bell was donated to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend “with the condition that the bell be rung on foggy days.”
When the lighthouse was built originally, it was located on top of the lightkeeper’s house at a height of 46 feet. This light first beamed on December 15, 1879. Completed in 1914, the current lighthouse is a 49-foot octagonal shaped tower. “The light still shines from the fourth-order Fresnel lens, sending forth alternate red and white flashes every five seconds.” It was automated in 1976. The Point Wilson Lighthouse is open for tours every Saturday from 1-4 from mid-May through mid-September.
After our time at the lighthouse, we walked around Fort Worden (something my husband enjoyed) and the State Park area. We happened upon a military car show so we also looked at some classic old cars, also something my husband enjoyed.
The second day of our mini-staycation began with a good breakfast at our Bed and…Breakfast. We drove from Port Townsend onto Marrowstone Island, the location of Fort Flagler State Park and Marrowstone Point Lighthouse. As we entered the State Park, we went into the Visitor’s Center building to find out more information, and found out about a couple of guided tours of the fort that interested my husband. The first one was scheduled soon after we got there, so we took a 2 hour tour of the fort.
At the end of the tour, we walked along the fort and down to the beach to look at Marrowstone Point Lighthouse located at the eastern entrance to Port Townsend Bay. Marrowstone Point was “first marked by a lens lantern on a pole on October 1, 1888.” “Contractors finished a one-and-a-half-story, six-room keeper’s dwelling with an attached fog-bell tower in March 1896, and the fog bell was placed into operation on April 7, 1896.
In 1914, Marrowstone Point received a new fog signal and light, and again in 1917. Both the 1914 and 1917 structures still stand, with a flashing white light exhibited from the top of the 1917 structure, but the fog signal is no longer in use. The shoreline around the Lighthouse is open, quite popular for fishing, but the buildings and dwelling are closed to the public.
We took a second tour at Fort Flagler of an old 1905 hospital. I found this kind of spooky, but my husband thought it was interesting.
After all this activity we wanted to walk more, so we drove to nearby Anderson Lake State Park and took a 4 mile walk around the lake.
And then we were quite hungry, so we headed back to the Chimacum Corner Farmstand.
On the third day of our mini-staycation, we not only had another good breakfast at our B&B, but we stopped in Chimacum yet again, as we were heading on our way home and needed food for the road. We also decided to stop for a five mile hike at Green Mountain.
We took the Southworth to Fauntleroy ferry home.
And yes, as you can see by the pictures, the weather did change that much in a matter of three days. Our first day had blue skies and sunshine and warmth, the next day was cloudy and rainy and cold, and our third day was back to the blue skies and sunshine and warmth.