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LIVING on the peninsula


UP IN THE AIR Aviator haven

Sequim’s residential airparks provide pilot paradise

Catching dreams

Balloon bench provides accessible flights

‘Old airplanes, young people’

Youth Pilots Program central to PT Aero Museum success

An advertising supplement produced by Peninsula Daily News & Sequim Gazette

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winter 2019

06 | peninsula events calendar

Table of Contents

Check out what’s happening on the Peninsula in December, January, February & March

07 | outdoor recreation Mud, missing markers & scary squirrels foil plane wreckage hike

11 | catching dreams Balloon bench provides accessible flights

14 | a pinch of peninsula





Spruce Goose Café brings pilots nationwide with delectable dessert

16 | aviator haven Sequim’s residential airparks provide pilot paradise

23 | the daytripper Port Angeles is a pretty fly place for an outing

27 | old airplanes, young people Youth Pilots Program central to PT Aero Museum ongoing success

30 | the living end Aloft: exploring the feelings of flight


Vol. 15, No. 4 Produced and published by PENINSULA DAILY NEWS and SEQUIM GAZETTE Advertising Department 305 W. First St., Port Angeles, WA 98362 • 360-452-2345 • 147 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382 • 360-683-3311 • Terry R. Ward, regional publisher Eran Kennedy, advertising director Shawna Dixson, special sections editor Denise Buchner, Jeanette Elledge, John Jaeger, Vivian Hansen, Harmony Liebert, Joylena Owen and Marilyn Parrish, advertising sales team ©2019 Peninsula Daily News | ©2019 Sequim Gazette

WINTER 2019 | Living on the Peninsula



FORKS/WEST END • Dec. 25: Christmas Day Brunch, Lake Crescent Lodge, 416 Lake Crescent Road, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., prices vary, • Dec. 25: Christmas Day Buffet, Lake Quinault Lodge, 345 S. Shore Road, Quinault, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., prices vary, • Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Dinner Special, Lake Crescent Lodge, 416 Lake Crescent Road, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., prices vary, things-to-do/upcoming-events • Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Dinner Special, Lake Quinault Lodge, 345 S. Shore Road, Quinault, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., prices vary, olympicnationalparks. com/things-to-do/upcoming-events • Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Gala, Lake Quinault Lodge, 345 S. Shore Road, Quinault, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., prices vary, things-to-do/upcoming-events PORT ANGELES • Through Jan. 20: Winter Ice Village & Ice Skating, 121 W. Front St., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., $15 adults, $10 youth, • Jan. 25: Port Angeles Community Awards, Vern Burton Community Center, 6 p.m., tickets at PORT TOWNSEND/JEFFERSON COUNTY • Through Dec. 28: “Spirit of the Yule,” Key City Public Theatre, 419 Washington St., times vary, • Through Dec. 29: “Mercy Falls,” Key City Public Theatre, 419 Washington St., times vary, • Dec. 31: Port Townsend Marine Science Center New year’s Eve Wildlife Cruise, Puget Sound Express, 227 Jackson St., 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., $80, • Dec. 31: First Night Celebration, The Jefferson Museum of Art & History, 540 Water St., 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., • Dec. 31: Wine & Wonder! Wine tasting and magic show, The Wine Seller, 1010 Water St., 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., $34,


FORKS/WEST END • Jan. 1: New Year’s Day Buffet, Lake Crescent Lodge, 416 Lake Crescent Road, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., prices vary, olympicnationalparks. com/things-to-do/upcoming-events/ • Jan. 1: New Year’s Day Buffet, Lake Quinault Lodge, 345 S. Shore Road, Quinault, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., prices vary, olympicnationalparks. com/things-to-do/upcoming-events/ • Jan. 18: Bogachiel Garden Club Annual Tea, Assembly of God Church, 81 Huckleberry Lane, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. • Jan. 20: Free Entrance Day to Olympic National Park,

6 Living on the Peninsula | WINTER 2019


PORT ANGELES • Jan. 4: New Year’s Journal Workshop, Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd., 5 p.m., $10, • Jan. 11-March 15, “Obsessed: The Art of NerdDom,” Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd., and Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St., • Jan. 17, Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra with featured soloist Michael Center, Haydn’s Cello Concerto and more, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave., 7 p.m., • Jan. 24, “Art Bites,” Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd., 6 p.m.,

PORT TOWNSEND/JEFFERSON COUNTY • Feb. 1, 2, 8 and 9: Visions in Motion 2020, Key City Public Theatre, 419 Washington St., times and prices vary,

SEQUIM • Jan. 4: First Friday Art Walk’s “Whodunnit Downtown? The Case of the Mistaken Tin Foil Hat,” downtown, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., • Jan. 18, Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra with featured soloist Michael Center, Haydn’s Cello Concerto and more, Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave., 7 p.m., • Jan. 18-19: “Miss Lillian,” Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave., times and prices vary,

• Feb. 29: Port Townsend Education Foundation Spring Soiree, NW Maritime Center, 431 Water St., 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.,

PORT TOWNSEND/JEFFERSON COUNTY • Jan. 3-4: “Celebrate the Comic and Poignant Genius of Claire Porter!” Key City Public Theatre, 419 Washington St., times vary, • Jan. 23: SVER Concert, Quimper Grange, 1219 Corona St., 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., • Jan. 23: Balfolk International Dance, Quimper Grange, 1219 Corona St., 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., $5$20, • Jan. 24-25: Strange Brewfest, American Legion Post No. 26, 209 Monroe St., times vary, $40,


PORT ANGELES • Feb. 1: Run the Peninsula, Elwha Bridge 5K/10K, • Feb. 22, Port Angeles Symphony, with Spanish violinist Jesús Reina and music of Elgar, Mozart and more, Port Angeles High School Performing Arts Center, 304 E. Park Ave, public rehearsal at 10 a.m., concert at 7:30 p.m., • Feb. 29: Frosty Moss Relay, SEQUIM • Feb. 15-16: NPBA Building Expo, Sequim High School, 601 N. Sequim Ave., times vary, • Feb. 21-March 8: “Quilters,” Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave., times and prices vary,

• Feb. 8: Port Townsend Film Festival Night Before the Oscars Gala, NW Maritime Center, 431 Water St., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., • Feb. 8: Chimacum Dinner & Auction Benefit, Chimacum High School, 91 West Valley Road, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., $20, • Feb. 23: Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra: Literature in Music, Chimacum High School, 91 West Valley Road, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., by donation,

MARCH SEQUIM • Through March 8: “Quilters,” Olympic Theatre Arts, 414 N. Sequim Ave., times and prices vary, • March 6-7: Sequim Sunshine Festival, locations and times vary, Sequim-Sunshine-Festival

PORT TOWNSEND/JEFFERSON COUNTY • March 6-15, PlayFest, Key City Public Theatre, 419 Washington St., times and prices vary, All event information listed here was up to date at the time of printing. For future event submissions, email Shawna Dixson at Please note that publication of submitted events is not guaranteed.

2020 RECURRING EVENTS PORT ANGELES FARMERS MARKET Saturdays at the corner of Front and Lincoln streets, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit

WEDNESDAY MORNING BIRD WALK Every Wednesday at the Dungeness River Audubon Center in Railroad Bridge Park, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., SECOND WEEKEND ARTWALK Every month, downtown, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.,

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK Every month, art venues throughout Sequim, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., PORT TOWNSEND ART WALK First Saturday of every month, various locations, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.,


ADVENTURES ON THE Tubal Cain Trail Mud, missing markers & scary squirrels foil plane wreckage hike Story & photos by Michael Dashiell


or a while, just a little while, I thought I was going to name this piece “Terror in Tull Canyon.” Just a day or two before setting out on the Tubal Cain Trail, my wife Patsene and I watched the first volume of BBC “Planet Earth,” including a particularly amazing scene of the uber-rare snow leopard flying across sheer cliffs in pursuit of a large goat-like beast. Always a bit on edge when hiking alone in the woods, even on familiar trails, this seemed to stay with us as we packed up and headed out to Tubal Cain, a popular local hike that we had somehow not yet trekked. When my special sections editor told me we were putting together an aviation issue, my first thought was, “Please, please, please, please don’t make me go up in a small airplane” — more of a comment about me than small airplanes — while my second thought drifted to the story of the B-17 crash site out in Tull Canyon, an offshoot of the Tubal Cain Trail. The story goes that on Jan. 19, 1952, an Air Force B-17 flying through a blizzard crashed into the Olympic Mountains here. In a 2015 special for the Seattle Times, writer Jeff Layton noted that the B-17 was returning to McChord Air Force Base after assisting with a rescue mission in Canadian waters when the plane clipped a ridge and skidded down a steep, snowy slope. Three men were killed, five survived. The severely steep, 0.7-mile Tull Canyon Trail, my guidebook noted, would take me to the spot where the remains of said crash lie scattered among the thick growths of willow.

Hikers can find the wreckage of a 1952 Air Force B-17 plane crash in Tull Canyon. Sequim Gazette file photo from June 1, 2009 Always game for an assignment that’s earth-bound and in my “outdoors” wheelhouse, I jumped at the chance to explore a trail new to me and a bit of history at the same time. To start off, the Tubal Cain trailhead isn’t easy to get to. You can get there a

couple of ways: via Slab Camp Road, which is a little longer than the preferred route along Palo Alto Road, via US Highway 101. Both routes eventually lead to NF-2880; then pick up NF 2870 for a lengthy 14.6 surprisingly decent forest service road miles to the trailhead, with

parking for 10 or so vehicles. Once on the trail, hikers pass a graffitied Silver Creek Shelter and must cross a short, slick bridge (with handrail) over Silver Creek. After that, it’s a fun but steady climb west and then south as hikers parallel Copper Creek.

WINTER 2019 | Living on the Peninsula


ʻTURN AROUND TIMEʼ For a fun, poetic rumination about this theme, check out the book-long poem “Turn Around Time” by David Guterson, coincidentally the recently named Writerin-Residence for Peninsula College in 2020.

The Tubal Cain Trail makes for a good day hike in all seasons. On the day we started out on the Tubal Cain trail, low-lying clouds and misty rain gave the path a moody but, for Washington hikers, familiar hike through low alpine forests. The undulating path was tedious, peppered with tree roots and bits of rubble. It wasn’t long into the hike when Patsene looked down and spotted a paw print. “Cougar?” she wondered aloud. “Bear? … snow leopard?” I shrugged it off. As I walked, I caught glimpses of the Douglas gorgeous Buckhorn Wilderness through the mix of Douglas fir and western hemlock. As Robert L. Wood’s essential “Olympic Mountain Trail Guide” notes, copper, manganese and other minerals were discovered here at Tubal Cain and

Tull City, on the lower flanks of Iron Mountain, resulting in extensive mining operations. In 1911, severe snowstorms swept the area, followed by spring floods and avalanches that destroyed the mine shafts. They weren’t rebuilt. The lower slopes of this area burned in the early 1900s, so only scrubby, second-growth pines line the trail about two miles in. A sturdy bypass around an old washout keeps the trail going at about 2.5 miles. At about three miles, when we were about to come on the fork that would take us to Tull Canyon, Patsene and I had to ask the tough question, as most avid day hikers have been forced to do countless times: Is it time to turn around? We had gotten a late start in the day and hiking on winter days is tricky.

8 Living on the Peninsula | WINTER 2019

With temperatures dropping quickly in the waning daylight, unfamiliar terrain and a long drive back on dark forest roads, the stakes were getting steep. It’s colloquially called “turn around time.” In my heyday, I probably would have pushed the hike to a dangerous point. Alas, the years have, along with some extra weight, brought a bit of wisdom ... So we bailed at about Mile 3. This happens from time to time: A hike starts late or gets delayed, or there’s an issue with equipment or an injury, and the end result is an incomplete hike. Such is life. However, close to the break of dawn three days later, I was back on the Tubal Cain Trail. Despite having to make this trip solo, I was determined to find that B-17 wreck. I don’t often hike alone. I don’t mind it though, since I can go at my own pace — often breaking into a jog to break up the monotony on familiar trails. For much of this second hike, I reveled in the crisp air and dawning light. With the treetops and mountains blocking much of the sunlight, this trail held on to what photographers call the “golden hour” — that time shortly after sunrise or just before sunset when everything is softer and more vibrant — a bit longer than it might elsewhere. Maybe it was our conversation about the paw prints the other day, but as I trekked further into the deep, wooded sections of the trail in the eerie morning light, I actually felt a little tense. After all, cougars aren’t unheard of in this area, right? I’m all alone and it could be days until someone finds my body if I get attacked. Even if I got away, a twisted ankle would mean I was done for … Just then, it streaked across the trail. An animal so wild, so vicious — OK, it was just a Douglas squirrel. But the rush of adrenaline from his sudden arrival left me much more awake than I usually am this early in the morning. I laughed it off and continued on as the squirrel eyed me warily.

Shortly thereafter, I reached the three-mile spot where we called off our previous attempt. At this point, the Tubal Cain Trail enters a rather spooky section of barren ground punctuated by large boulders and second-growth fir. Here, pieces left behind by the Tubal Cain Mine denizens litter the forest floor, pieces of rusted stoves and pipes and whatnot mixed amongst campfire pits and jumbled rock. About a half-mile further down the trail, after passing over a tributary of Copper Creek, lies the mine. The main mine shaft is unsafe, as it goes back nearly 3,000 feet, with about 1,500 feet of side tunnels, according to Wood’s guidebook. Further on, hikers can make their way to Buckhorn Lake and Buckhorn Pass, climbing up to its highest elevation of 6,300 feet before traversing the shale slopes on the west side of Buckhorn Mountain. At 8.8 miles it finally junctions with Upper Big Quilcene Trail. I bypassed both of these, hoping to make the climb up the steep Tull Canyon Trail. Unfortunately ... So, where to start? Tull Canyon is an unmaintained way trail that apparently isn’t marked. According to comments on a Washington Trails Association review, there is a trail marker posted high up in a tree nearby, but I never found it. Perhaps my Douglas squirrel friend absconded with it. From my handy trail guide — carefully ensconced in my car back at the trailhead for safekeeping — I knew the trail started at a large boulder, with a miner’s tunnel of some sort early on. I found those. What I didn’t find was much of a trail. At all. I began climbing through the detritus of underbrush, sticklers, branches and mud as I craned my neck to see if there was any kind of path through the maze of trees. The climb got steeper and slicker. At some point I was pulling myself up with thin trees and the stumps and rotted wood under my feet gave way, curtailing five minutes’ progress. As crisp dawn surrendered to full daylight, the frost coating the branches and leaves began to thaw, making my tenuous “path” even slicker. Chagrined, I slumped. I could not find a viable path to Tull Canyon. Either I picked the wrong route or it was simply too difficult for this average hiker to manage. I made my way down the slope.


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Then for a moment, I was lost. I started talking to myself — does anyone else do this? I began to wonder aloud where the main trail was, which water was Copper Creek and which was an offshoot, what was up and what was down. Mercifully, I fi nally found my bearings. Unnerved and a little angry, I tried one more time up the path. Haunting me were two things: First, I came all this way to fi nish the hike and I can’t fi nd the trail; second, what am I going to tell my editor? “You should have seen the size of that squirrel! No way can I fi nish that hike! You go!” … An image of me crossing my arms and adopting a stern expression briefly formed in my mind. In the end, I gave up a second time. While I enjoyed much of the hike, the wreckage at Tull Canyon will have to remain, for me — for now — a mystery. I’ll try again in a few months time, keeping in mind a few things: Leave early enough, bring the hiker’s guide (or, better yet, someone who has been up this trail before) and plenty of squirrel spray.  Michael Dashiell is editor of the Sequim Gazette. Reach him at

Editor’s Note: No reporters were harmed in the writing of this story.

Looking down the way trail toward Tull Canyon shows a rather precarious path of boulders and snags.


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Balloon bench provides accessible flights Story and photos by Diane Urbani de la Paz

The Dream Catcher balloon, equipped with an adaptive seat for riders with disabilities, lifts off beside Avamere Olympic Rehabilitation in Sequim on Veterans Day. WINTER 2019 | Living on the Peninsula



Captain-Crystal Stout and her therapy dog-in-training, Lucee, sit inside their Dream Catcher balloon bus.

erhaps you’re a senior, and you use a walker or wheelchair. Or maybe you live with a disability. Whatever your story, Crystal Stout — known around the world as CaptainCrystal — is ready to help you fly. “We both started laughing. It was amazing, just being in the sky again,” said Denise Smith-Irwin, who flew with Stout in the Dream Catcher, a hot-air balloon equipped with an adaptive seat instead of the traditional wicker basket. Years ago, Smith-Irwin was preparing to become a hot-air balloon pilot. She had logged many hours aloft and had gotten to know Stout at various balloon events. Then on Aug. 13, 2003, Smith-Irwin was in an automobile wreck that left her paralyzed from the top of her rib cage down. With some wrist and bicep function, she’s considered a high-level quadriplegic. Climbing into the basket below a hot-air balloon wasn’t something SmithIrwin could plan on doing. Then she reconnected with Stout, who had moved to the North Olympic Peninsula. Her balloon-pilot friend, who had already met plenty of other people with mobility troubles, was developing a chariot just for them. Stout, who grew up in Vancouver, Washington has been a resident of Sequim for seven years and a pilot for more than three decades now. She proudly calls herself a third-generation balloonist, since her father and paternal grandfather flew hot-air balloons. Stout has traveled many times to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the International Balloon Fiesta, a nine-day gathering of about 500 balloons alongside their pilots and fans. That up-and-away life was fun, said Stout, whose for-profit business, Morning Star Balloon Co., has been part of Sequim’s Air Affaire and other festivals. She takes people high over the

lavender fields and forests in her bluegreen and white balloon, witnessing marriage proposals, weddings and milestone anniversaries and birthdays. This work creating the nonprofit Dream Catcher program, to lift up disabled people — well, it’s something else. “It seems like I found my calling, my purpose, when I came to Sequim,” Stout said. The idea for an adaptive seat to replace the typical high-sided basket began to dawn when she got a call from Shelby, a woman with late-stage cancer. In her mid-30s, she lived in a wheelchair. She was overweight and needed an oxygen breathing tube, which is incompatible with a balloon’s propane burners. Yet a hot-air balloon flight was high on Shelby’s bucket list. Stout put the word about this request out to her fellow pilots across the country. Should I try to do this? “They all said the same thing. Make it happen, whatever it takes,” she recalled. Stout loaded up her Morning Star balloon and drove to Shelby’s home town of Battle Ground in Clark County. It was September 2012, and a beautiful day to fly, but Stout was unsure about how things were going to go. Shelby and her husband were waiting. “They said, ‘We want to see her last sunrise,’” said Stout. At the memory, tears filled her eyes. Together they managed to lift Shelby up and over the 4-foot walls of the basket, fire up the burners and ascend high into the morning light. Stout piloted the craft to an altitude of 3,500 feet, where she could turn off the gas and Shelby could turn her oxygen back on. After a few moments, “She said, ‘Take me down. It’s too much.’ Her heart was so full,” Stout remembered, still weeping. The captain landed the balloon in a family’s yard, where she received an enthusiastic welcome.


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with autism reached for Stout’s hand mid-flight; His mother began to cry and later told Stout this was the first time she’d seen him do such a thing. Then there was the man who had lost much of his ability to speak to Parkinson’s disease. As the balloon lifted him into the air, he called out. “Look! I’m flying!” he declaimed to his wife and daughter below. This November, Stout wanted to get the Dream Catcher out there to give free flights for elderly or disabled veterans. She and Heather Jeffers of Avamere Olympic Rehabilitation on South Fifth Avenue in Sequim planned a day of chariot flights on Sunday, Nov. 10, and Stout drove the folded balloon over to the field in front of the facility that morning. She and her crew planned to set up at 9 a.m. for flights from 10 a.m. till noon. But heavy mist turned to raindrops, scrubbing the event. A small crowd of people left disappointed. Stout returned the next morning: Veterans Day itself. The huge Dream Catcher unfurled, with its twin butterflies clinging to its blue- and green-striped sides, and began flying pilot and passengers at 11 a.m. It was an auspicious start, coinciding with the 11th-hour, 11th-day, 11th-month tradition of Veterans Day. Peggy Love, an Air Force veteran who served from 1964 to 1968, was one of the first to go up. She wore a big smile on landing, and said she was happy to be moving that very week from Port Orchard to Sequim. Then came Shirley Purvis, 88. She went smoothly from her wheelchair to her seat on the chariot and enjoyed her tethered flight. Back on the ground, she watched her husband, Jim, age 90 and also a former airman, lift off with Stout. Fifty-eight riders flew that day, including the veterans who went up for free, plus family members and friends who left $15 donations. After three hours, the Dream Catcher crew packed the balloon, chariot and gear back into their bus. Stout and Smith-Irwin, who now serves on the Dream Catcher board of directors, have ideas for the future. One is having a wider chariot built to accommodate one more passenger, and another is equipping it to enable a disabled person, after training, to pilot the balloon. Fundraising for such expansions may well be on the near horizon.  Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance journalist who contributes to the PDN and other publications in the Pacific Northwest.

Consider the butterflies, Stout said. The creatures emerge from a chrysalis, symbolizing a human who comes out of a wheelchair — taking flight with a hot-air balloon for wings.

Shirley Purvis of Sequim, left, was among the veterans who flew with CaptainCrystal Stout on the Dream Catcher balloon on Veterans Day. To find out more about volunteering with, sponsoring and experiencing a Dream Catcher balloon flight, contact Captain-Crystal Stout at and 360-601-2433, and visit The nonprofit Dream Catcher Balloon organization welcomes donations, corporate sponsorships and gifting of flights. Stout also pilots the Morning Star balloon, offering Olympic Peninsula tours and special-occasion flights. For information visit

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Stout even took the children there for a ride and shot video of everything. She edited it into a keepsake for Shelby and her husband, adding Shelby’s favorite song, Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic,” as the soundtrack. “Two weeks later, her phone was disconnected,” Stout said. From that time forward, the pilot has dreamed of graceful entries and carefree flights — for everybody, no matter what their condition. Stout began to “put the energy out there,” talking with just about everyone she encountered about her idea for a barrier-free balloon bench. In Sequim and beyond, business owners, donors and, especially, welders stepped forward. Dan Donovan of Allform Welding, Troy Tosland and Ian McAndie — “three amazing Sequim men,” she called them — worked on the design and fabrication of her adaptive seat. Stout held fundraising events and sought donations from individuals and matching programs from Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and the Boeing Co. It took three years to accumulate the money, acquire the Dream Catcher balloon itself and get the certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. Then, in October 2015, she drove the whole package to New Mexico for its Balloon Fiesta inauguration. Smith-Irwin joined Stout there and watched as scores of youngsters with disabilities rode the chariot up. They floated under the enormous “envelope,” as the inflated part of the balloon is called. It’s 42,000 cubic feet — which means you can fit 42,000 basketballs inside, Stout is fond of telling kids. Most Dream Catcher flights are tethered, so Stout and her passengers rise to about 25 feet above the ground. She has free-flown with about a dozen people after they were checked out by their doctors. The body has to be able to take the adrenaline rush; the lungs have to be strong enough. “We’re up to the 1,000-person mark,” Stout said, adding that news media outlets from as far away as Brazil have come to Sequim to produce features about the Dream Catcher. Early on, the balloon simply carried the chariot up and down, with Stout and passengers seated and facing in one direction. The pilot wanted to make it “more of an adventure,” though, so she and her welders redesigned the equipment to make the seat spin, giving fliers a 360-degree view of land and sky. This has gone over well, with each flier responding in his or her own way. A man

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for pie

Spruce Goose Café brings pilots nationwide with delectable dessert Story and photo by Shawna Dixson


ndrea Raymor and Chris Cray had been working together for 12 years when their friend and real estate agent Bernie Arthur presented an opportunity to buy the Spruce Goose Café, a fly-in diner at Jefferson County International Airport in Port Townsend. The women already had shared experience working at a restaurant, but were unsure whether they were ready to take on an ownership role — that is, until they visited the restaurant for the first time. Situated parallel to the airport’s runways and lined with large windows, the diner’s mountain vista is unobstructed, except for the occasional plane coming in to land. If you’re lucky enough to be there on a nice day, the patio offers a comfortable place to enjoy the amazing view, clean air and warm sunlight. Over lunch, Raymor and Cray fell in love with the diner’s fantastic setting, family atmosphere and sense of community. On March 6, 1999, they began their adventure as the newest owners of the Spruce Goose Café. Inside, dozens of model planes hang from the ceiling and aviation memorabilia adorn the walls, given to Raymor and Cray by customers. Wooden propellers, retro posters and photos from decades of regulars cover nearly every available surface. Detailed aeronautical charts from 1967, used by Ron and Barbara Way on their honeymoon and later donated to the restaurant, are displayed under glass on each table. Even the painting that inspired the Spruce Goose Café logo features a local pilot

who started flying at age 13, Summer Martell, and her red biplane. The café began in the ‘60s as an informal fly-in pie and coffee stop. Started by “Patty,” a pilot whose love of flying kept her in the air during business hours, customers would leave their money on the table in honor-system fashion. Although the Spruce Goose has since evolved into a full-service, sit-down retro diner with classic breakfast and lunch selections like pancakes, scrambles, chicken-fried steak, BLTs and fish and chips, Raymor and Cray say pie and pilots are still their main attraction. In fact, they won first place in the nation for fly-in pie from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in 2017. They also were in the top 25 for overall fly-in destinations in the U.S. “We get phone calls from pilots — ‘Save us pie! Save us pie!’ Cray said. “Sometimes, by noon, our pie is sold out completely before it’s even out of the pans because they call us [before they fly over]. They want to make sure they get their pie.” “They reserve their pie before they order their lunch,” Raymor added. Over the last 20 years, Raymor and Cray estimate they have made 66,000 pies. They bought the original pie recipe alongside the diner itself. Although they were unable to disclose their precise recipe, they explained that their crust is a vegetable oil-based crust. It holds together just enough to make it to your tongue, where it then crumbles and dissolves, mixing with wonderfully gooey filling. For their marionberry pie, they use frozen berries from Oregon to provide consistent, year-round quality. Luckily, they keep the added sugar minimal, allowing the sweet-tart berries to shine.

14 Living on the Peninsula | WINTER 2019

Top: view from Spruce Goose Bottom: marionberry pie The lingering sweetness of berries and sugar-dusted crust is finished off nicely with a sip of their bold — yet not bitter — coffee, preparing you for the next delectable bite as you gaze at the nearby mountains. According to Raymor and Cray, flyin diners are fading. Especially in the Northwest, flying is a seasonal thing and airports are often in remote locations. Although their scenic venues add to the allure of these restaurants, they also make surviving the “off-season” all the more difficult. Raymor and Cray attribute the continued success of the Spruce Goose Café to their loyal locals and dedicated long-time employees. They even see the same pilots year after year. The waiters know many of the customers’ names and preferences,


Fly-in diners are just what they sound like: on-airport restaurants, often with plane parking and located somewhere remote and scenic. Aviation hobbyists in pursuit of new places to experience will fly in for a convenient bite to eat before returning home. and the sense of camaraderie between everyone is palpable. For anyone wanting to enjoy a relaxing meal, this little café is sure to leave you with a sweet taste in your soul. 


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WINTER 2019 | Living on the Peninsula   15

Paul Kuntz’s Pipistrel Sinus Photo by Graham Productions

I V A Sequim’s residential airparks provide pilot paradise Story by Ray Ballantyne


s you pass over Olympia and up the Hood Canal on a beautiful afternoon, the air is crisp and clean. The sky above is cobalt blue and little cars are visible below, threading their way along the curves and twists of US Highway 101. Unlike the earthbound cars, worrying about everyone staying in their respective lanes, crossing narrow bridges and creeping through sharp corners on that little two-lane road, you are free to make your way home along a direct path through open air. Flying 2,000 feet above it all, the valleys of the Olympic National Park are visible, lightly dusted with snow and filled with dramatic shadows between rows of mountains fading into the distance. 16 Living on the Peninsula | WINTER 2019

Coming by Quilcene, the Strait of Juan de Fuca comes into view, with sparkles of sunlight coming off the deep blue water. As you fly by your home, you open the hangar door from the air, land on the street in front of your house and taxi the airplane to the hangar, arriving from Olympia in less than an hour. For the people who choose to live in residential airparks near Sequim, these joys of flight are part of everyday life. RESIDENTIAL AIRPARKS The Peninsula provides a wide range of recreation opportunities. Whether you like to fish, hunt, hike, bike, kayak, ski or, yes, even fly, you’re likely to fi nd others to share the experience with.

n e v a h R O T A I

In Sequim, there are four small airstrips where the residents not only share the joy of flying, but also the privilege of parking their airplanes at home. There are 426 airparks in the United States. Florida has the most and Washington is second. Properties around the runways of an airstrip can range from manufactured housing to high-end estates. Many of the airpark homes in Sequim have beautiful views of either the Olympic Mountains, the Salish Sea or both. The properties often have large lots or acres of land, which creates a sense of peaceful, rural living. In these open areas, wildlife is prevalent — sometimes too prevalent, as it is with deer near Diamond Point. Eagles, herons, waterfowl, coyotes and peacocks can regularly be seen near local airparks.

There are four airports within a 15-mile radius of Sequim where you can “live with” your airplane: Discovery Trail Farm at Sequim Valley Airport, Blue Ribbon Farms, Rakes Glen and Diamond Point. Each has its own unique characteristics and appeal. Neighbors among these airport communities know and look out for each other, drawn by mutual love for aviation into something close to family. Although flying can be an expensive hobby, keeping the airplane at your house eliminates the cost of renting a hangar and many of the residents who built their own aircraft can perform their own maintenance. There also are many qualified airframe and powerplant mechanics among the residents, some with inspection authorization. This means that, when an aviator needs help fi xing or maintaining their airplane, the community can provide help and expertise — and they usually do. WINTER 2019 | Living on the Peninsula



Along with several other small aircraft, a vintage Cessna 170 flew into one of Blue Ribbon Farms’ summer barbecues. Photo by David Woodcock

Sequim Valley is the most widely known airport in Sequim. The airport is open to the public, but privately owned by Sequim Valley Airport Inc. If you want your hangar as part of your home, Discovery Trail Farm, on the west side of the airport, has 15 one-acre home sites with taxiway access to the 3,500foot paved runway. The remainder of the airport’s 65 acres have been dedicated as a farm preserve. This not only sets aside 50 acres of Sequim farmland in perpetuity, but also maintains a gorgeous view of the Olympic Mountains to the south for the residents of the community. One of the houses on the west side was built by Paul and Mary Kuntz. Their hangar has a 60-foot door to house a sleek two-seat composite [made from epoxy and carbon fiber cloth for strength and light weight] airplane with really long wings. Paul Kuntz’s Pipistrel Sinus (pronounced seenus, pictured on the preceding page) was a kit delivered from the factory in Slovenia. He built the kit and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified it as an amateur-built experimental aircraft. Its wingspan is about 50 feet, and it has a glide ratio of 27 to 1 (the most popular singleengine airplane, the Cessna 172, has a glide ratio of 10 to 1). It is a great sailplane with the ability to “self-launch.” It can also go over 125 mph while using very little gas. “I use about three gallons per hour at cruise, for about 42 mpg,” Paul Kuntz said, “with the added benefit of being able to fly in a straight line, rather


The DART is a county-sponsored volunteer organization of local pilots and ground support personnel who help provide emergency support for aerial surveys, transportation of food, goods and medicine during a natural disaster. These pilots donate their time and aircraft to prepare for assisting the community in a time of need. The DART is part of Clallam County’s Emergency Management Plan, being the first such team in the country. Close to 40 people have volunteered and trained to work around and load aircraft, conduct food transfers and provide aerial surveys.

David Woodcock’s 7-year-old grandson Collin poses in his bomber jacket next to Woodcock’s 2000 Aviat Husky. Photo by David Woodcock

18 Living on the Peninsula | WINTER 2019

On a recent training mission to Sekiu, a resident said, “We will be totally isolated (during a major disaster). You [the DART team] will be our only hope if someone needs medicine or something.” There are DART volunteers at all the airports in the Sequim area.

than following twists and turns of the highways — and no traffic slow-downs.” Paul Kuntz has repeatedly traveled to Wisconsin and California, in addition to making regular local flights, some of which are just for fun. He recently retired from Boeing as an engineer and his last project was the US Navy P-8 Poseidon project (bit. ly/poseidonP8). Kuntz says he and his wife can get to Friday Harbor for lunch in a 20-minute flight, rather than a six-hour slog via car and two ferries. “What I like most [about living on Discovery Trail Farm] is having the plane handy in a hangar attached to the house, with the ability to pull it out and taxi to the runway to go flying whenever I want to and the weather permits, which is most of the time here in the Sequim ‘Blue Hole,’ ” Kuntz said. “A close second is enjoying spectacular views of the Olympics from our sunroom.”


Located on the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula, approximately five miles northwest of Sequim, is the Blue Ribbon Farms residential community. Blue Ribbon is situated in one of Washington state’s most scenic areas. It is adjacent to Clallam County Dungeness Recreation Area. The Strait of Juan de Fuca provides its northern border, with Victoria, Canada, 25 miles across the strait. Just eight miles to the south, the Olympic mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for it all. Blue Ribbon Farms has a grass airstrip, approximately 120 land parcels and 15 hangar homes that have direct access to the strip via the community’s private roads and taxiways. Like most residential airparks, the community is tight-knit, with neighbors providing a support network for one another. They hold an annual picnic and all the pilots share the responsibilities of mowing and maintaining the runway. There are a variety of airplanes based on the airpark, including an AT-6 and two Boeing Stearmans, which were models used for training pilots during WWII. There also are bush planes with big tires, several single-engine airplanes (including Cessnas and Pipers), kit planes built by their owners (RV-4/RV-6) and a fully restored 1947 Republic Seabee that won the prestigious goldlevel “Lindy” award at the national Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) convention at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 2014. David Woodcock, who lives on Blue Ribbon, has been involved with aviation and the EAA since 1969. He is a retired dentist and took the photographs for the bestselling coffee table book “From the Air — Olympic Peninsula.” Woodcock owns a 2000 Husky bush plane on amphibious floats and a 1952 Cessna 170. He also built an amphibious airplane that won a Silver Lindy at EAA in Oshkosh — the Seafire is an allmetal four-seat plane with a speed of 140 mph and a 1,000-mile range. Woodcock currently volunteers as the co-chair for the newly formed Clallam County Disaster Airlift Response Team (DART).

Isn’t it dangerous to fly near the house? As this photo of Blue Ribbon Farms’ grass airstrip shows, residential airparks often put houses into very close proximity to landing planes. According to the National Transportation Safety Bureau, there have been no fatal accidents at any of these local airparks. There have been a few incidents in which aircraft were damaged, but no one was seriously hurt. According to the 27th Joseph T. Nall Report and the General Aviation Accident Scoreboard, general aviation is safer now than ever. The rate of general aviation accidents in the U.S. officially reached a record low in 2015 and unofficially fell even lower in 2016 and 2017.

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Diamond Point Swifts Ernie Hansen, shown flying this Globe Swift, once owned three Swifts at the same time. This low-wing, two-seat, side-by-side monoplane was designed and manufactured right after World War II. Often flying in a diamond or “v” formation, the Swift pilots from Diamond Point perform at local events and thrill the crowds with skill, noise and smoke. The team has won formation flight competitions at the national Swift convention in Tennessee.

Photo by Lisa Ballantyne RAKES GLEN Rakes Glen Airpark was developed by Glen Rakes in 1979 and consists of 10 five-acre homesites west of Ward Road, just south of the Olympic Game Farm. This airpark is unique because Kitfox Lane, which provides vehicle access to all the houses, also serves as the airpark’s only runway. Pilots fly over the airpark to alert residents of a landing aircraft and then activate radio-controlled lights and strobes to show that Kitfox Lane has now become runway 07/25. Vehicles and pedestrians watch for the lights and hold short of the road/runway until the aircraft operation is over and the lights are turned off. There are many different types of airplanes at Rakes Glen, from standard single-engine Cessnas, to a unique oneof-a-kind, scratch-built and -designed, high-speed, aerobatic aircraft with retractible gear — far more complicated than your average hobby plane. In 1980, Barry Halsted decided he wanted to build the perfect airplane. He started the engineering with a book for reference and began construction with a maple hammer. Initially, Halsted ran into engineering issues with the landing gear and challenges with the flight tests, but his plane, named “SAFFIRE,” was completed after 10 years of hard work. SAFFIRE won the EAA Lindy twice. Halstead keeps the plane at his home hangar, along with an award-winning Piper Cub PA-11 that he restored.

Halstead and neighbor John Meyers have both received the coveted FAA “Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.” According to the FAA website, “The Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to pilots certified under ... Federal Regulations ... part 61. This award is named after the Wright Brothers, the first US pilots, to recognize individuals who have exhibited professionalism, skill and aviation expertise for at least 50 years while piloting aircraft as ‘Master Pilots.’ There are 13 Master Pilots in the Sequim area, many living in the local residential airparks. Fewer than 6,000 of the approximately 600,000 pilots in the US hold this award. Some of the Rakes Glen residents use their airplane like others use a car. Michael Payne, the director of the Port Townsend Aero Museum, uses his 1948 Cessna 120 to commute to work at the Port Townsend Airport. Who else can say they commute in a vehicle produced in 1948?


Diamond Point Airport is a private community airport on the northeast corner of Miller Peninsula eight miles east of Sequim. The views of Mount Baker and the Strait of Juan de Fuca are stunning on a clear day. Although Diamond Point is a robust community in its own right, only a few homes have direct access to the airport’s runway. A helipad, designed and built as an

20 Living on the Peninsula | WINTER 2019

Eagle Scout project by Ben Wright, was recently added to the airport. This facility provides a dedicated landing pad for emergency helicopters to airlift medical patients to nearby hospitals. The community is currently fundraising to provide the helipad with lights for night operations. Many of the pilots at Diamond Point own and fly the Globe Swift. At one time there were 13 Swifts on the airstrip, but that number has declined to approximately eight. Bill Shepherd has owned his Swift for over 50 years and joins others from the airpark to do formation flying. He also restored and flies the “Aero 45.” Made in Czechoslovakia, the light twin has a sleek, teardrop-shaped fuselage, with a rounded, extensively glazed nose affording excellent visibility. This low-wing airplane with retractable conventional gear turns heads everywhere he and his wife Dot fly. Shepherd, a former airline captain, is currently restoring a YAK 3 that he purchased from South Africa. This World War II Russian fighter plane has a 1,700 horsepower engine capable of speeds up to 450 mph, more than half the speed of sound! Collette Miller recently moved to Diamond Point. Miller and her husband decided to move from Southern California to Diamond Point and bought property on the airstrip. Her husband died after they had already bought the land and hired a builder, but before

ground was broken. She persevered through the building process and now has a home with an attached hangar. Miller is currently building a Sonex kit plane in her hangar, which also houses the Bellanca Citabria she has owned for approximately 20 years. A retired teacher and current artist, Miller first learned to fly in the 1960s and was always involved in aerobatics. Her new Sonex also will be aerobatic. Even before the house was built, neighbors were reaching out to Miller. When declining an invitation to dinner, her neighbor said, “You have to [come], I’ve already set you a place.” That’s the way the community gathered around her, even though she didn’t really know any of them. It felt to her like she had come home. Over the next few weeks, several people said things to her like, “You really do belong here.” That is how she has felt ever since. Just as these “families in aviation” provide amazing support networks to one another, they also take the time to provide the local area with disaster airlift response services and stay prepared, ready to extend aid to the Peninsula community at large during times of need. Whether for transportation, recreation or service to neighbors, aviation is a passion that anyone on the Olympic Peninsula can share. Ray Ballantyne is the secretary of the EAA Chapter 430, an active member of DART and a resident of Rakes Glen.


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JUST plane AWESOME Port Angeles a pretty fly place for an outing

Peaks and valleys across the North Olympic Peninsula are a major highlight of a Rite Bros. scenic flight. Story and photos by Laura Foster With winter settling in on the North Olympic Peninsula, it might be difficult to find the motivation to put on seasonal attire and head outside for an adventure. With the Peninsula’s winter weather weirdness — sometimes rain, sometimes snow, sometimes fog, sometimes sun — it can be a last-minute decision to get outside for those few hours of daylight we get. But if you find yourself landing in Port Angeles, fitting a daytrip into only a few hours is definitely doable.


For this daytrip in Port Angeles, I started off with a late morning flight with Jeff Well of Rite Bros. Aviation Inc. (, 360-452-6226, 1402 Fairchild Airport Road).

After meeting with Well — a winsome veteran pilot with a mustache that could compete with Tom Selleck’s — we ventured outside of the William R. Fairchild International Airport to the loading zone, where our plane awaited. We hopped into the tiny but comfy cockpit featuring sanguine upholstery, thick windows and a complex control panel, and Well gave me an initial safety rundown of flying in his C-172: door lock, seat belt, fire extinguisher. He handed me a headset and by the time I figured out a comfy position, we were humming along the runway, and Well was on the intercom to alert other aircraft of our imminent departure; Since Fairchild doesn’t have a control tower, pilots rely on alerts through headset frequencies. Like a graceful bird, we took off and were in the air in a matter of seconds, looking out over the Strait of Juan

de Fuca all the way to Canada, with Victoria clearly visible. Well took me out over the mouth of the Elwha, which is still in a constant state of change, despite the fact that its dam removals were completed over five years ago. We then flew over Freshwater Bay and Salt Creek, with Well giving me the usual narrative he gives to other scenic flight passengers. The day was bright and clear, and we could see for miles and miles. Lake Sutherland and Lake Crescent came glistening into view as we headed west. Squinting through the sun, we could make out the Pacific Ocean. Well pointed out the outline of Cape Flattery and the silver basin of Lake Ozette. Sooner than expected, we were flying over the Olympic’s glaciers and lakes. Well pointed out Seven Lakes Basin and quipped that there are more than seven lakes. “They didn’t have an aerial advantage when they named it,” he chuckled.


While this might sound like a frivolous way to start the day, Rite Bros actually offers relatively inexpensive one-hour flights over the beautiful Olympic Peninsula. For $182/hour for everyone, you can ride in the three-passenger Cessna 172, which accommodates up to 600 pounds. Parties of up to five cost $264/hour for all passengers on a Cessna 206, accommodating up to 1,100 pounds.

To watch some of this flight, scan the QR code with your phone. It will take you directly to the video on YouTube, at

You can download a free “QR scanner” from your phone’s app store or type the web address into your browser directly.

WINTER 2019 | Living on the Peninsula


The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center is open year-round, offering delightful rotating exhibits.

“Taking It In” by Steve Belz allows the viewer to interact with the art in the gallery.

Maureen Heaster interacts with a stone and driftwood abacus sculpture tucked away in Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park.

24 Living on the Peninsula | WINTER 2019

Blue Glacier came into view, sparkling white in the sun, and Well remarked on how, if he sees hikers, he usually adjusts his course so he doesn’t take away from the natural remoteness and stillness hikers want after they reach such a destination. We made a turn and saw remnants of waterfalls that, in the spring, will barrel down the sides of the mountain ranges. We saw the Elwha flowing toward the ocean as we targeted Hurricane Ridge, and from the plane we could see miniscule cars making their way up the road toward the teeny visitors center. Passing over Hurricane Hill, we found ourselves descending over the Blue Mountain area. It took me a minute to realize where we were, but it clicked when we flew over Olympic Cellars Winery. We have definitely covered some ground — er, air! As we made our way out over the water of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Well shared a few romantic stories. He has had several customers propose during one of his scenic flights. He said he’s usually in on the plan, and he can make pre-arrangements to pop some bubbly up in the air after an affirmative answer. He just has to be the one to pour it. And don’t worry about spills. This flight is smoother than any car ride you’ll ever take. As we passed bluffs and headed back into downtown Port Angeles airspace, a Coast Guard helicopter gave us a heads up that it would be crossing our path toward the station out on Ediz Hook. In the distance and below us, we saw them whiz by, and Well gave the acknowledgement over the headset. After discussing the eroding bluff line

Suspended from invisible wire, this sculpture is an anomaly among the trees.

and people’s irrational fears about flying, Well turned off the engine as we started our descent back to the airport. (No, we did not just fall out of the sky.) Just like the take-off, Well landed his bird with ease. After all, he’s only been flying for over 20 years. We were in the air for just about one hour, but we covered miles and miles of the Olympic Peninsula. If you plan on taking a scenic flight, feel free to let Well give you the standard tour, or if you have a location in mind, he is open to altering his flight path to give you the air tour you desire.


After my breathtaking flight across the Peninsula, I met up with my friend and co-worker Maureen Heaster for brunch at the Chestnut Cottage (, 360-4528344, 929 E. Front St.), a local favorite for savory and sweet dishes. We chatted over fruity mimosas and delicious egg scrambles served with a side of cinnamon roll and fruit streusel. Per usual, the service here was great, and the quality of food for the price can’t be beat for this upscale brunch venue. In totality, my meal was just shy of $30 with tip.


Ready to get outside, Maureen and I headed to the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center (, 360-457-3532, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.) where, prior to the printing of this publication, Steve Belz’s “Taking It In” solo exhibition was on display. The PAFAC is the legacy of Esther and Charles Webster. Mrs. Webster devoted herself to painting and to stimulating a cultural climate around herself. After being diagnosed with cancer in 1979, she set in motion a plan to create the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center. The semi-circular Webster House, designed in 1951 by Northwest architect Paul Hayden Kirk, sits on the crest of Beaver Hill. Sweeping vistas of the city, the harbor, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the horizons of Canada’s Vancouver Island frame the artistic visions in the gallery, according to the website. After admiring the sculpture fountain that welcomes art seekers, we were greeted by a friendly volunteer who gave us a rundown of the exhibition. From there, we wandered through the intimate gallery, stopping at each piece and sharing thoughts on what they could represent.

For a list of Winteride activities, visit Also on tap for PAFAC is “Obsessed: The Art of Nerd-dom.” According to Jane, this exhibit will reclaim the “oncepejorative term ‘nerd’ to mean anyone who obsesses over created content.” Hoping to work with the Port Angeles Library, the plan is to examine the artistic side of “nerd culture” and people’s innate desires to expand on the creative content they so love. Artwork will range from illustrations to comics to game design. Maureen, who is an illustrator and comic book author and enthusiast, beamed as we learned of the upcoming exhibit. She exchanged information with Jane as we thanked her for filling us in on some other plans PAFAC has in store for the community; you’ll just have to wait until they announce them! After taking one last look at “Taking It In,” Maureen and I headed through the sculpture park. Thanks to autumn’s insistence that tree leaves must fall, our path was carpeted, making it a challenging start. Once we saw the first sculpture, though, our trail became clear. With each step, our eyes caught sculptures that were burrowed into the scenery or that stood out from tall trees. It was almost like a scavenger hunt, us seeing who could find the next sculpture as we wound our way through the forest. Despite being close to the physical arts center and the Port Angeles Community Players auditorium next door, spending some time in Webster’s Woods

took us out of the city and plopped us into an abstract fairy tale, where our interpretation of the sculptures told our story.

tools and clothing from the ensuing archaeological dig, plus historical memoirs and tribal stories, fill this exhibition space.

PAFAC’s gallery and adjacent Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park are both free and open to the public year-round. Hours and exhibits are listed on the website.

The Museum at the Carnegie is open Tuesdays-Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It is open Saturdays, but hours can change; call for up-to-date information.



Our next stop was the Elwha Klallam Museum at the Carnegie ( departments/carnegie-museum, 360-4528471, ext. 2904, 205 S. Lincoln St.), home of two Elwha-focused exhibits. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe took over management of this building in 2016 and now utilizes the space to display cultural and historical artifacts related to the history of North Olympic Peninsula tribes. The first exhibit — just to the right after you climb a few stairs to enter the gallery — showcases the ongoing history of the Elwha River Dam Removal Project, focusing on why the largest dam removal in U.S. history was necessary and what it means for not only our community, but for the wildlife that lives in and around the river. With lots of photos and videos to enjoy, it is definitely an interactive exhibit anyone can appreciate. The second exhibit features artifacts from the ancient tribal village of č’ix wíc n (pronounced ch-WHEETson), uncovered by the Washington State Department of Transportation in 2003 when it attempted to construct a graving dock to facilitate repairs to the Hood Canal Bridge. Beautifully restored

After taking in the beautiful exhibits at the museum, it was time to check out downtown for some shopping. With the holidays upon us, downtown businesses are serving up sweet seasonal deals and, as two bargain hunters, we were out to find savings. Downtown Port Angeles is consistently growing, and its offerings speak to people of all ages. There are bookstores that offer not only the obvious, but also toys for children and stocking-stuffers for adults. Bubbly men and women welcome you into their boutiques and art galleries. Antique stores have something for the thrifter in all of us. Sprinkled in between are wonderful spots to stop in for coffee, a quick snack or lunch. After perusing several stores, Maureen and I thought it was in our best interest to burn a few more calories by climbing the stairs behind the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain. Once at the top, we got a bird’s eye view of the bustling downtown and the slate blue Strait spotted with cargo ships in the distance. At the top of the stairs is a little park with several benches, and we paused to take in the view and catch our breath. Descending the stairs, we agreed to stop at Spruce (128 E. Front St.,


From the gallery, one of the picture windows drew our gaze out onto downtown Port Angeles. Aside from the beautiful sculptures, it’s hard to beat the view from the fine arts center. As we were departing for Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park, we were afforded the opportunity to meet up with Sarah Jane, gallery and program director, and Lauren Bailey, community outreach coordinator, to chat about the PAFAC and upcoming shows. Back in their office space, which used to be the servant’s quarters, Jane talked with us about Wintertide (Dec. 5-Jan. 4). This artistic experience focuses on light, which is in short supply during Northwest winter months. Throughout the holiday season, PAFAC will host a number of workshops and events that will light up the longest nights of the year and create “a magical nighttime experience for visitors of all ages.”

The museum entrance leads visitors to a beautifully restored exhibition room.

360-504-2951) for a drink before more walking and shopping. Spruce is a newer addition to downtown that is quickly gaining popularity. Boasting a Pacific Northwest “cabin noir” style, Spruce offers locally sourced comfort food, cocktails and craft beers. On a Saturday afternoon, Spruce wasn’t too busy, so we sidled up to the bar and each sipped on a specialty cocktail (I tried The Lohan, which was superb thanks to our skilled bartender, Sarah). Realizing it was getting late, we hit up a few more stores before making our way to Midtown Public House for dinner. We originally had wanted to head out to Ediz Hook to check out the feral cats (at a distance!) and the Coast Guard station, but with light failing early, we nixed the idea for another day.


Midtown Public House (, 360-457-1647, 633 E. First St.) opened February 2017 in the space that was occupied by the China First restaurant. According to the website, Midtown is still owned by the same family, but it is now run by the next generation and has been revamped into a family-style eatery offering Asian fusion pub foods. It offers a rotating selection of local draft beers, ciders and wines, as well as a full service cocktail lounge. With a modern-industrial feel, the pub is a cool hangout whether meeting up with friends or taking the family out for dinner. Maureen and I sat ourselves in a booth near the door and ordered a Bahn Mi sandwich and a spicy noodle bowl with Korean BBQ beef. We also ordered a beer flight each, because it only seemed fitting for the theme of this publication.

Half of the exhibits at the Elwha Klallam Museum at the Carnagie are dedicated to telling the story of the tribe’s history. WINTER 2019 | Living on the Peninsula


In each flight, we received three samples of different beers that we chose off a big-screen TV displaying our options. After our food arrived, we discussed the decor of Midtown and the people around us. We recapped our day thus far, admiring that we visited so many educational and diverse spots right here in Port Angeles, where we have lived and worked for a while. I’ve lived here longer than Maureen, a recent transplant from Wisconsin, and four of our stops that day I had never bothered checking out in previous years. I would enthusiastically encourage anyone to immerse themselves in the history and current happenings of Port Angeles. Whether you’re just visiting or you’ve lived here for any length of time, do yourself a favor this wintry season and enjoy anything and everything the port city has to offer. Don’t let winter keep you from enjoying a day on the town. 

Recapping the day, one of the most memorable moments was flying over the Olympic Mountains with Jeff Well of Rite Brothers Aviation.

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‘OLD AIRPLANES Young people’ Youth Pilots Program central to PT Aero Museum’s ongoing success Story and photos by Diane Urbani de la Paz


ORT TOWNSEND — The look on the reporter’s face says a lot. It’s joy. Amazement. Eloise Shannon Richardson, Denver Post staff writer, got to do something available to few in her day: fly. A photograph of her, seated and beaming on the wing of a small airplane, hangs in the Port Townsend Aero Museum at the Jefferson County International Airport. Richardson’s granddaughter, Anne Richardson of Port Townsend, donated the picture to the museum many years ago. Along with the historic aircraft surrounding it, the image reminds us that air travel wasn’t always a run-of-the-mill part of life. There’s another notable thing about Richardson’s tale. Three weeks after she wrote her article for the Post, the pilot she’d flown with was killed when his plane crashed. Well over a century later, the saga of air travel lives inside these high walls. And thanks to the Aero Museum’s youth program, it’s an ongoing story, alive in the vintage planes and their pilots, who range from age 16 to 80-plus. Nearly two dozen aircraft stand together here, like various winged horses and ponies in a barn. Thoroughbreds pose beside workhorses. There’s the sky-blue Curtiss-Wright “Junior” from 1931, the 1924 Dormoy “Bathtub” replica, the Bowlus “Baby Albatross” sailplane, the nearly 90-yearold Stinson Detroiter and the apple-red Beech C17B, aka the stagger-wing.

That plane, when it first took off in 1937, was the forerunner to today’s corporate jets. It’s just a five-seater, but can fly at speeds up to 200 mph. Like most of the planes on the museum floor, the stagger-wing takes to the sky over Jefferson County pretty regularly, said volunteer Don Walls, one of the museum crew’s licensed pilots. He has been flying since 1953, when he was 18. Central to the Port Townsend Aero Museum’s prosperity are its young volunteers. Teenagers from across the North Olympic Peninsula and the greater Puget Sound region exchange weekly work shifts — helping restore aircraft, staffing the front desk, maintaining the grounds — for flight training. This country has several aircraft restoration facilities, but it’s a rare operation that involves the local youth, museum director Michael Payne said. Payne, an automobile mechanic who became an aircraft mechanic for museum founders Jerry and Peggy Thuotte, heads the pilot mentorship project that has educated many young men and women in the years since it began in 2008. Seventeen youths are participating now, he said, adding that they make it possible for the museum to thrive as a restoration center. In addition to the classics on display, there are several more project planes in the shop. “I love this place,” said Augusta “Gus” Bradford, another of the team of volunteers. A Kingston resident, she has explored many aspects of aviation: as a flight attendant on Paul Allen’s private planes, as a pilot and as a flight instructor around Puget Sound.

Eloise Shannon Richardson and an unidentified pilot appear in this 1911 photo at the Port Townsend Aero Museum. Richardson was a Denver Post reporter when she took flight in the early days of aviation. WINTER 2019 | Living on the Peninsula


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The Port Townsend Aero Museum, at 105 Airport Road, 5 miles south of Port Townsend, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, with admission at $10 general, $9 for seniors and military, $6 for children age 7 to 12 and free for kids 6 and younger. Memberships also are available, and the space can be rented for parties and other events. For details about the museum and its youth program, visit or phone 360-379-5244. Information about the Jefferson County International Airport surrounding the museum can be found at The atmosphere here is ideal for young people who are learning to fly, Bradford said. They try their wings in the wide-open sky above rural Jefferson County, which is, naturally, preferable to a place like Seattle’s Boeing Field. “That’s going right onto the freeway,” as Bradford put it. Pointing out the plaque honoring the Thuottes, Bradford said the couple wanted to combine the mentoring of young people with the restoration of elderly planes. That idea inspired the museum’s mission: “devoted to the future of flight,” the home page states. Jerry Thuotte “was old school,” Bradford added. “He ran it militarily and didn’t take any lip.” Payne has a gentler style, she said, though the newer director emphasizes this is no easy path. Students invest a full day of volunteering each week and study aviation history, management and technology. “There’s no horseplay, no joking around,” said Payne. Whatever their age, the students are treated like and expected to be responsible workers. “We have some 14-year-old volunteers who have student pilot certificates in their pocket,” Payne noted. “That kind of responsibility — following through on it — is a huge confidence builder. It’s a victory for those kids.

A flock of intricately painted model airplanes lives at the museum. “At 16, they can solo in that airplane. They can get their license at 17,” after a written test, an oral examination and a flight test. “Imagine flying in that Corben, solo,” Payne added, motioning toward a small, snow-white craft suspended from the ceiling. The 1929 Corben “Baby Ace” weighs just 595 pounds and cruises at 115 mph. Planes such as these come from a time long before Americans began taking air travel for granted. The pilots of their day could hardly have imagined the numbers: At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the eighth-busiest in the United States, more than 30 airlines make an average 1,200 landings and takeoffs every day. Last year, close to 50 million people flew in and out. The people who co-created the Port Townsend Aero Museum are a long way from blasé about flight. Many years ago Payne met the late Robert Rux, a retired Boeing Co. flight test engineer. Rux wowed Payne with his collection of model airplanes, each hand-painted for complete fidelity to its era and role. He started building models when he was a boy in the 1940s and never quit. Rux’s donated assemblage — more than 100 models — is now displayed at the museum, upstairs above the showroom floor. A gallery of original art shares the space.

Soren Andersen of Seattle visits Port Townsend now and then, and makes it a point to stop in at the museum. The place has a friendly feel, he said, and the aircraft on view are in pristine shape. “A small detail, but a telling one: The drip pans under the engines of the exhibited planes remind one that these aircraft are not just static displays, but are meant to be flown, which they are,” he said. “The museum’s hangar doors are rolled up and the planes are then rolled out, and up, up and away they go from the airfield on which the museum sits. Very cool.” 2020 looks to be a year of expansion for Payne and crew. Earlier this year the Aero Museum won a grant from the Harold Hanson Family Trust — a whopping $1.5 million — to be paid as the main building is extended to the south. The Aero Museum will dedicate its building addition to the late entrepreneur Harold Hanson and use the new space to display the planes from his North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Museum in Concrete. That museum, founded in 2008, has shut down. “We hope to start construction in the spring,” Payne said, adding that the new old planes will share space with other antique aircraft and memorabilia the Port Townsend museum has yet to acquire. 

The museum’s volunteer crew includes pilot Augusta “Gus” Bradford.

Mike Payne is the director of the PT Aero Museum’s youth pilot program.

WINTER 2019 | Living on the Peninsula


Photo by Laura Foster



By the Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith


o encounter the Olympic Peninsula, there are many ways to journey. One can arrive by the twists and turns of a road dancing on the edge between forest and sea. Another is drawn across the water aboard the gentle rocking of a boat toward its welcoming harbor. Some use the strength of their bodies to match the rhythm of the land as they cycle or walk upon the ancient earth. And others arrive from the realms of the air above, approaching the landscape from the higher view of flight with a final landing on ground or sea. Each traveler experiences this beautiful place with a unique perspective not only of how the journey was made but why.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” — “I, Leonardo da Vinci” One captivating aspect of life on the Peninsula involves the sky above that invites communion with it. Overarching mountains, shores and forests, the sky holds the wonder of sun, moon and stars making their heavenly circuits. Across its expanse, clouds circulate and gather bringing shade and storms. It is the realm wherein there abides a wide variety of life from eagles and geese to butterflies and dragonflies. And through the amazing gift of flight, humans become able to uplift beyond earth and join in this sky dance of life. To see the Peninsula from the ground is a wondrous journey. For some, this can be transcended by the higher view

that comes with seeing the beauty of the landscape from above — from a place where there are no markers of city limits or state lines, only the natural flow of water in streams and the established cascades of mountains. From above, the details are unseen but the wholeness of a collective creation becomes visible.

“Flying has always been to me this wonderful metaphor. In order to fly you have to trust what you can’t see.” — Richard Bach Pilots can explain the aerodynamics of flight that they implicitly trust as they head for the far reaches of sky. But it is the experience of gathering speed, feeling the wind lift expansive wings and then arising off the ground that brings the magic and mystery. To hurl oneself into the air is a great leap of faith, regardless of the underlying science. It is to trust the invisibility of air and a sensed uplift of wind. To take off in a power plane is to feel the increasing hum of engine and the building energy of uplift that sends one hurling forward. Once sky bound, it is a rush of increasing elevation as the ground drops farther and farther away. It is opening to new possibilities, welcoming new perspectives and embodying new adventures.

“A butterfly is a caterpillar who never gave up on his dream to fly.” — Matshona Dhliwayo As the daughter of a World War II pilot, I’ve always loved flying. Once I was in a power plane over Dallas with

30 Living on the Peninsula | WINTER 2019

a pilot friend and thoroughly enjoying the beautiful day and feel of flight. He suddenly looked over at me, turned off the engine and then watched me for a reaction. I looked back at him and waited with some concern but trust as well. After a few moments, he turned the engine back on and upward we went again. He asked why I hadn’t panicked and screamed as the engines went silent, and I said that if he had started screaming as the pilot, I would have joined him instantly. Otherwise, it was all part of the adventure. To see the world from above, to feel the energy of the wind and to leap into trust. The mundane becoming wondrous simply by being viewed from a new perspective.

“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.” — Coco Chanel Another part of my lack of fear when the engine stopped came from years of soaring with my father in gliders above the plains of Texas. A power plane would pull us up into the sky with a tow rope, lifting us off the ground like a dinghy behind a sailboat. My favorite moment was when my Dad would let me pull the lever that popped loose the rope to free us for flight as the other plane returned to the airfield. The sound of engines replaced by the powerful swish of wind that would send us circling upwards into the heights of a thermal. When

time came, the careful navigation of currents allowed our return to earth with the exciting uncertainty of landing with only the wind and rudders to stabilize us. Wings of metal and wings of spirit uplifting us and then returning us safely. A flight of heart and soul as well as of body.

“Grace is what picks me up and lifts my wings high above and I fly!” — C. JoyBell C. So take a leap of faith and see your world from a higher perspective by being aloft. Whether you fly in a powered plane or soar in a silent glider … whether you land upon earth on wheels or upon water on pontoons … whether you actively pilot or ride along as passenger … your world expands. It reminds you to also let your imagination elevate into higher realms of possibility and to open to see your life anew. It empowers you to remember to truly let grace lift you and let you fly. Fly in every sense of the word. The sky calls.  The Rev. Pam DouglasSmith is the minister at the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center in Port Townsend who leads international spiritual pilgrimages. Contact her at

Your septic system could be impacting this delta!

Young Thespian theatre this winter!

Help protect it — get your system inspected.

5 Day Workshop starting December 30

Ages 8–18: The Flip Flop Flotila –the story continues! A week-long stage film project!

Afternoon Class Series

Ages 4–8: Jellybeans! Tuesdays, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Jan. 14–March 17 Ages 8–18: Renaissance of the Bard! Wednesdays, 3:30–5:30 p.m. Jan. 15–March 18

How can you help the water quality be as beautiful as this view from above? Have your septic system inspected regularly based on your system requirements! By doing this, you will also protect your investment, comply with the law, and protect public health and the environment. 414 N. Sequim Ave. (360) 683-7326 • 360.417.2258 •



This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement PC-01J18001 to the Washington State Department of Health. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

entertaining, educating and inspiring community involvement

January 6–11 2020

through experiences in the arts.

San J Juan Villa

A Community Designed Uniquely for Memory Care

Memory Care Community

Ÿ Secure and homelike environment

Ÿ Daily group activities

Ÿ Unique life stations designed for Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ

Located in Port Townsend, WA Call 360-344-3114 Visit

9C 2444973

Drop in for a tour and see if this Caring Place feels like home.

residents with memory loss Two beautiful outdoor areas Raised flower beds for gardening Spa room with jetted spa tub Individualized service plans Licensed nurses Dementia-trained caregivers Respite services available

A Caring Places Management Community WINTER 2019 | Living on the Peninsula


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Special Sections - Living on the Peninsula Winter 2019  


Special Sections - Living on the Peninsula Winter 2019