Early yesterday morning the weather in Port Townsend was cool and foggy —perfect for a bike ride. I went for a spin on my bike out to Ft. Worden, across the hill from my house. (By a different route, Ft. Worden is just up the beach from Chetzemoka Park.)
Every year, various Pacific Northwest tribal groups engage in a traditional canoe journey around Puget Sound. The beach at Ft. Worden is one of their stops, and when I got there yesterday they were just preparing to launch their beautiful canoes. I parked my bike and watched from the beach as the different groups brought their canoes down to the water, thanked their local hosts for their hospitality, then paddled away singing traditional songs. It was very special to witness such an important piece of the region's history renewed. After most of the canoes had been launched, one of the local hosts from the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe who'd been drumming on shore asked me about my clothes. He said he had a picture of his grandmother wearing a similar outfit to mine back in the late 19th-century. We talked for a while, and he mentioned that he was a descendent of Chief Chetzemoka himself —the local leader after whom I named the town in my historical fiction series! It was a great honor to get the opportunity to meet and talk with him.
Another spectator took a short video of the canoes launching. You can see it here:
For details on how local and regional history influences my books, have fun exploring these pages:
First Wheel in Town:
Love Will Find A Wheel:
A Rapping At the Door:
A Trip and a Tumble: