One of my favorite features of Victoria’s B.C. Museum’s is its “Old Town,” a recreation of the early days of Victoria. Old Town is a walk through time, one of several large and realistic dioramas of British Columbia history. Small shops and windows display merchandise that might have been available to the well-heeled. A tiny “Chinatown” includes an herbalist.
The curtain flutters in a light breeze and – really! – there’s the scent of apple pie in this kitchen.
There’s a bar on the ground floor of a hotel. Upstairs you can gaze into a guest room with a small table set for tea while boots wait beside the bed. An office looks almost as if its occupant has stepped out for lunch.
I’ll show you two other favorite dioramas tomorrow.
One of our favorite destinations in Victoria is the Royal B.C. Museum, a short walk from the ferry terminal. It is the building to the left behind the ornate 90 foot Netherlands Centennial Carillon tower. The Carillon is Canada’s largest and chimes short concerts hourly. Tomorrow I’ll give you views of a couple of the permanent exhibitions that we always enjoy.
The Black Ball Ferry passes a small and colorful houseboat community as it enters Victoria Harbour. Washington’s Olympic Mountains are in view in the distance.
There is always a lot of activity around Victoria’s Inner Harbour. As we arrived by ferry late last month two tugs were coming in with us as a helicopter took to the sky. Looking south you can see a cargo ship on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. It’s a 90 minute ferry ride from Port Angeles to Victoria, B.C. and an enjoyable day trip.
We had better than usual view of Port Angeles last Friday when we took the morning ferry to Victoria, B.C. Before the clouds settled on the city it was possible to see it as it climbs upward from Port Angeles Harbor. Port Angeles is about 15 miles west of Sequim.
This is a view of a more easterly residential area of Port Angeles that rests on a bluff above the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As you can see, the snowcap has returned. Our weather is gradually getting cold and wet enough that it looks as if the snow will stick around.
One of our local Klallam Native American tribes is the Elwah, a group that lived for centuries in the Port Angeles area. This is their Port Angeles heritage center, a center for local tribal and community events. Since last summer it has also been home to a small collection of artifacts from an ancient Klallam village called Tse-whit-zen.
The artifacts were discovered in 2003 during construction in the Port Angeles Harbor area. In addition to remains of over 300 people, archaeologists and tribal members exhumed 80,000 artifacts, including items with fine carvings and functional pieces such as bone hooks, harpoon points, and a spindle whorl. Fourteen of these items are on display in the Heritage Center in six display cases on each side of the main gallery. The public is welcome to view the displays although the tribe respectfully requests they not be photographed.
The community center space is very attractive and now enhanced by the return of ancestral items from a village that was occupied for at least 2,700 years. The Tse-whit-zen site has been called one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Washington state.
I’ve shown you this Camperdown elm tree in Port Gamble, above, twice before, in winter and last summer. Since the trees around here are starting to show nice autumn colors I thought last week would be a good time to revisit this fascinating tree to see it in fall splendor. As you can see, I struck out.
It wasn’t as if I completely misjudged Autumn’s progress. This tree was strutting its stuff a couple of blocks away. Not bad, but not the Camperdown elm. But we had a second excuse to go to Pt. Gamble: Mike’s Four Star BBQ. We’ve been without barbecue since Jeremiah’s in Sequim closed some months ago. And occasionally barbecue is just the ticket. Mike’s had some good reviews online. So, no autumn Camperdown elm? Okay. I can live with that. Let’s go to lunch.
The sign on Mike’s door said something about being closed for personal reasons. I hope it was nothing serious…but there went the barbecue dreams. I had a chocolate chip cookie and coffee to keep from chewing the car upholstery on the way back home. 0 for 2. I don’t know if I’ll get back to Port Gamble this fall for another shot at the tree. The scene above was near the elm and showed the misty mood of the day.