Gig Harbor Washington.
Gig Harbor is a bay and a city of about 7000. The bay was discovered during a heavy storm in 1840, Captain Charles Wilkes brought the Captain’s gig (small boat) into the harbor for protection. In 1841 when Wilkes published his Map of the Oregon Territory, he named the sheltered bay Gig Harbor. I use the word discovered with some hesitation. After all there were lots of people already here who had been here for thousands of years. But more on that later. Twenty six years later fishermen began arriving in the Gig Harbor area, they were immigrants from Sweden, Norway, and Croatia. The town was platted in 1888 and officially incorporated as the city of Gig Harbor in 1946. Steamships provided transportation to market for the commercial fishing, boat building, and logging economy until the construction of the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940. Unfortunately the bridge collapsed just months after it was completed. I would not have wanted to be that design engineer. The resource demands of World War II prevented another bridge from being built until 1950.
A new Tacoma Narrows Bridge was completed in 2007, doubling the capacity. The bridge has an interesting history but that is a subject too long for this blog.
Today we traveled north and west to a town called Sequim, pronounced squim, oddly enough. More about Sequim later. On our way, we drove through an area called Discovery Bay. Another place with a history tied to the sea and stormy weather.
For the next day or two we will be traveling west and north along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is cold and windy and drizzly. We are a day or two ahead of schedule so we may be taking some side trips to kill some time so that we start the official journey on Jan. 1, 2012.