This past weekend was my second trip to Ft. Worden State Park near Port Townsend, Washington (which is nestled on the edge of Puget Sound). The Scottish Country Dance group in Seattle holds their annual workshop and ball at the fort, and dancers from the U.S., Canada, and even Australia, arrive on Friday afternoon ready for a weekend of dancing fun. The group I travel with stays in Officers Row, which is like stepping back in time and always makes my modern apartment look rather shabby in comparison.
The dancing of course is the main draw, but there's a tiny part of me that loves the photo stalking opportunities almost as much. Construction on the fort began in the late 1890s. Ft. Worden, along with two other nearby forts, once guarded the entrance to Puget Sound. The picture above on the left was taken from a hill on the north end of the fort overlooking the parade grounds and Officers Row to the south. Obviously this place is just running over with pictures to be taken. My goal this year was to capture the sunrise. The main obstacle was getting out of bed early after an evening of dancing that didn't end until after midnight. But since sunrises are more memorable than dreams, I set my alarm for 6:30 and tried to fall asleep as quickly as possible. When I woke up and looked out the window, the sky was beginning to lighten and I was afraid I had once again misread the sunrise table and blown my chance. I grabbed shoes, jacket, and camera and squeakily went down stairs (I'm convinced they made those stairs creaky on purpose so no officers tried to leave unnoticed at night).
There's one more landmark of Ft. Worden I'd like to mention before I finish this post: Alexander's Castle. It's called a castle but it's more like a half castle. Built in the 1880s, it's the oldest building on the park grounds. It was built by the Reverend John Alexander and was designed to resemble the castle structures in his native Scotland. According to legend, he built it for a prospective bride, but when he returned to Scotland he found that she had married someone else. He returned to the U.S. and lived in the castle alone. All I can say is, that bride sure missed out on a lot of beautiful sunrises.