Monday, November 16, 2020

Day 72: Leaving Port Townsend

August 20: I hit the trail at 8:00am. Amanda was happy to sleep in late since I didn't need a ride back to the trail. I just had to cross the street and was back on the trail and ready to hike!

The weather was overcast but no rain was in the forecast. 


The trail followed along the shoreline of Puget Sound before turning inland by the paper mill outside of town. The route followed the Olympic Discovery Trail and for the first part of the day, it was absolutely wonderful to walk on. It was an old railroad route that had been converted into a walking and biking path so it was flat and easy to walk on, well-maintained and away from roads. Not really much to report, though. Very uneventful.

The last six miles of today's hike, however, was a nightmare to walk on. It followed Highway 20 out of Port Townsend, and it was a busy, miserable road walk that, often times, had no shoulder to walk on. I often climbed into the ditch on the side of the road to let traffic pass before getting back up onto the road.

Not much of a shoulder to walk on when hiking up Highway 20.

Then I noticed that the vehicles seemed to arrive in large clumps. Several minutes would go by without a single car coming up the road, then a caravan of a dozen vehicles would pass all at once. It seemed weird, but I liked the pattern since it let me walk down the road quickly without worrying about traffic for several minutes, then I'd step off the road to let the caravan pass before continuing the hike for several more minutes. It was much more convenient having the vehicles grouped together than spread out evenly.

Near the end of the day's hike, I figured out the reason for the strange traffic pattern when I saw a fellow stopping traffic with a stop/slow sign. The road had been narrowed to one direction so the traffic coming in my direction was being stopped then released all at once. I don't know why I didn't figure out what was going on earlier. It made perfect sense!

When I passed by the guy holding the sign, I told him how much I appreciated his work--it made the road walk much easier for me! =) He seemed to think it was odd that I was walking out here in the middle of nowhere and I told him about the PNT. I was about to leave and continue my walk when he pulled out a business card to give to me.

"If you need any help," he told me, "I don't know why I'm doing this since I don't even know you, but give me a call."

I took the card and looked at it, amused to see that his name was listed as "Super Dan" and his occupation as "hero." The tag line was "If you are in a jam, call Super Dan!"

I laughed at the card. "That is the best business card I've ever seen! I totally want to make one like that for myself!"

Super Dam! My hero! =)

I continued hiking, eventually ending near the intersection of Highways 20 and 101. Amanda pulled up just as I was arriving and I got in the car for a one-minute ride to Fat Smitty's, a restaurant at the intersection. I'm not even sure why I bothered to get into the car.

While we ate lunch, the weather started to clear into a pretty nice day. Of course, after I already finished the day's hike!

The Fat Smitty burger was great but really way too much food. I finished it all, but felt like I could explode afterwards and skipped dinner later in the evening. We just didn't need it!

We headed back to the motel where I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening working on Atlas Quest since I still had some work left to get done. Amanda went into Port Townsend to look around and do antiquing or whatever it is she likes to do whenever I'm not around. =)

But that was the end of another day on the Pacific Northwest Trail.

This is a paper mill.

The rail-to-trail was a nice walking path out of Port Townsend!

I loved the wood carvings outside of Fat Smitty's.

The carving of the burger matched my actual burger! Including the pickle on the top! (Although you can't see the pickle in the carving on my photo, it is there.)

The inside of the restaurant was as colorful as the carvings outside. =)


KuKu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KuKu said...

From the size of the hamburgers, it seems like eating there on a regular basis would make you resemble the carving of Fat Smitty!

Michael Merino said...


I know better than to read this while on an empty stomach. I had to stop and grab a bite to eat after seeing a picture of the burger and fries. Good grief.

Mary said...

The PNT is a bizarre trail with so many extensive road walks. However, I'll take a road walk over bushwhacking and losing the trail!
That hamburger is massive!

Anonymous said...

I am coming to the conclusion that you must be the absolutely only person to ever determinately stick it out to actually hike the entire PNT Trail!