Posted on May 20, 2012 - by Nadia
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Port Townsend was a port city of sin and splendor when Josephine “Josie” Keys White and her husband Elmer John White lived here in 1897 and 1898. Situated at the mouth of Puget Sound, it was a place for sailors to get drunk and captains to get new crews. EJ was a correspondent for Associated Press here when he reported on the arrival of gold from the Klondike in 1896. And it was over that winter that Elmer John and Josie decided that they, too, would follow the call of adventure. In April of 1898, EJ boarded a steamboat for Skagway, Alaska, and a job at the Skagway News. Josie followed, toddler in tow, in June.
So it is that tomorrow, I will load my kayak and follow in their weathered wake. The Inside Passage has spoken to me since I watched it slip by from the rail of an Alaskan Marine Highway Ferry when I was a sophomore in high school. I’ve paddled it a bit since and its layers of islands and curved passages has always called to me: Look around the next bend, and the next …
This trip continues my 2010 bicycle trip from Josie’s parents’ homestead in Kenton, Okla., to Sumner, Wash., where she went to visit her sister and ended up marrying EJ White.
While I did not party like a sailor in PT, I am as tired as one who had been crimped. I hope to come back and explain what rough and tumble towns Josied moved to with EJ. But for now, I have an adventure to start in the morning.
Thanks for tuning in.