Port Townsend is an awesome little hippie town out on the Olympic Peninsula. We usually go up there to hit the food co-op and at least one beach. Gotta hit a beach, even for five minutes…that Puget Sound sea air is addicting. The shops downtown are a great stop as well. Something about the place draws you in.
We started the trip walking around downtown; the place is usually hopping on Saturday but it seemed extra buzzy this time. We soon learned that the annual Strange BrewFest was happening. We headed to a few shops that we hit on the regular. One of them is Phoenix Rising — one of the largest metaphysical bookstores and shops in the country. You also can’t go wrong hitting the record store or one of the cool used book stores.
We shopped for a little bit, but the beach was calling, as it often does. PT has amazing sandy beaches. This trip we decided to go to Fort Worden State Park, which is full of army bunkers and has a cool old lighthouse. We don’t normally go all the way down to the lighthouse so this time we thought we would finally check it out. The lighthouse is just over 100 years old. You can walk all the around the lighthouse which gives you great views of the Puget Sound and Whidbey Island. It was a beautiful day to get out and adventure. We had to take advantage of a 60 degree day in January.
Before we left we grabbed some groceries at the PT Food Co-op. I have to say that this co-op is the best one we have found; we head up to Port Townsend a couple times a month just to get awesome fresh, local and sustainable food. Even if you just want to grab lunch, the deli is top notch. After adventuring for about 4 hours it was time to head home. With so many rad people to chat with and cool things to do, leaving Port Townsend in a bad mood is nearly impossible.
Thanks to my amazing lady for taking this photo. Don’t take photos while driving! Downtown Port Townsend The place with the gems and crystals in Phoenix Rising. This store encompasses what PT is all about. This is Getables. It’s full of awesome gifts and treasures. When we are looking for a thoughtful gift this is a great spot to check out. It doesn’t take long for one of us to need a break or the restroom. In this case it was both. With MS resting is a necessity. PT has a perfect rest area in the public restrooms. 2 birds , 1 stone. By this point we were all ready to hit the beach. Off to Fort Worden.
Lighthouse on the beach at Fort Worden
Here is a special little gem I wrote after getting harassed by a community watchdog while legitimately parking in a handicap spot. In her defense it was for my own good.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR | A refresher course in manners
4:12 PM, Nov 29, 2012
Kellen Prouse, Bremerton
A refresher course in manners
“You don’t look very handicapped to me!” she yelled in a condescending tone. Her mind was made up before I even got out of the car. As soon as she saw my cane, the older lady continued with “Oh good, I’m glad that you are,” and without remorse explained that she does this all the time … and it’s for my own good.
Looking disabled has nothing to do with being disabled. I’m 27 and have severe Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve had my handicap-parking permit for 2 years. I have tattoos and piercings, but I’m also a loving father and husband and I support my community. Multiple Sclerosis has left me blind and paralyzed at times. Some days are better than others; on the really good days I might be able to go without my cane. I am constantly fighting double vision and the fatigue and weakness are always there.
I’m not old, my appearance isn’t conventional, and without my cane you might not know I’m disabled. It’s not easy to come to terms with my disease, and being judged and harassed by others makes it all the more painful. My point is this: you don’t know the struggles others are going through based on their looks alone. Be kind and think before you speak, or you may just do more harm than good.
Have you ever wondered what the requirements are for a disabled parking permit? You might be surprised at how many you can’t physically see. Check out the Washington State DOL for the entire list, if you’re curious.
Getting up in the morning without power seems like it wouldn’t be such a big deal…until you realize your electric kettle is useless. So what exactly is one to do in this situation? Bust out a sauce pan full of water, 3 slices of bread and fire up the propane grill, of course. I don’t know why we haven’t been doing this every morning. (Disclaimer: if you decide to do this please remember to leave the grill outside). How did it turn out? The bread was really good. The water……eh. It was a tad off, but fulfilled the morning ritual.
After the power being out for 10 hours we had to start thinking about the fridge. The fridge is not only home of the food we eat, but it’s also home to my MS medication. A single box of syringes costs over $4k, and Medicare doesn’t jump to replace them. Time to pull out the coolers and ice the important things. So off we went to get ice from the corner store and more importantly, a real cup of tea from Scout Cafe and Honor Bar. We highly recommend this place.
We got home just in time to watch the tree service dudes remove the tree that had been suspended by the power lines. With the last little bit of daylight we prepped the house for the impending darkness. We collected all the candles and flashlights and we rearranged the living room so we could bundle up and sleep around the fire. Time to think about dinner. This was an easy (but not so healthy) choice…Pizza!
With darkness upon us, our bellies full, and our phones charged from driving around in the car, we settled in. What is there to do when the power is out? Play card games! One of our very favorites is Uno. It can get pretty heated in the Prouse House when the Uno cards are out. After a few games we switched to a goofy card game called “Would You Rather…?”. This game is great. Example: “Would you rather, eat through your belly button or poop through it?”
After games we all passed out huddled around the fire. The power came on sometime after midnight but that wasn’t going to stop this living room campout. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the adventure.
What awesome things do you like to do when the power is out?
I am so stoked to get Wheels & Red up and going. It’s where I am going to write about my adventures in life with MS. It will be our Adventure Log. What can you expect from this? Everything. We sometimes forget that we have this really cool thing in common: we are all human. We all share this amazing planet with one another.
I didn’t start Wheels & Red just to share our story. It’s also to help spread awareness and education about MS. I love talking to people, all people. Seems like everyone I talk to knows someone battling MS. The older I get the more I realize that making money isn’t everything. Life is about doing the things that make you happy, because they make you happy. I’m always inspired to see people doing what they love. That’s why I will be sharing conversations with other rad people we meet along the way. I want you to know that life can be anything you want it to be.
If our journey gives you the warm fuzzies and you feel so obliged to throw a little monetary support our way, you can do that here: Creations. We’re also happy to receive your good vibes, high fives and friendly comments or messages.
Thank you all for your love and support. My family and friends rock! I’m excited to share Wheels & Red with you!