Paddle Journey canoes to land in Port Townsend, Jamestown, Port Angeles starting Sunday

Sights, sounds and traditions that recall the Pacific Northwest of pre-European settlement arrive on the North Olympic Peninsula starting Sunday.

At least 16 canoes are expected to make their first Peninsula stop around 2 p.m. at Point Hudson at the northeast tip of downtown Port Townsend.

The arrival is part of the annual Paddle Journey, in which as many as 100 canoes from 60 Northwest and British Columbia tribes will eventually join from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound north to the eastern side of Vancouver Island.

This year, the trek is leading to the Chemainus First Nation reservation in Kulleet Bay, British Columbia.

Journey already under way

Olympic Peninsula crews from the Makah, Hoh, Quileute, Lower Elwha Klallam and Jamestown S’Klallam tribes have already started their journey at the Muckleshoot Reservation in Tulalip.

They are scheduled to arrive in Suquamish today, then Port Gamble on Saturday.

Hundreds of onlookers are expected to view the arrival of the canoes and interesting traditional ceremonies as the paddlers reach Point Hudson on Sunday.

Last year, 12 canoes were expected to arrive in the Key City — instead, 33 showed up.

People wishing to attend and welcome the canoe paddlers ashore can park at Point Hudson in the public parking areas along Hudson Street in front of the Shanghai Restaurant.

If parking at Point Hudson is full, additional parking is available along Monroe Street, requiring a short and delightful walk through the historic downtown district.

Landing organizer

Mary McQuillen of Port Townsend, a Makah tribal elder and organizer of the landing in her hometown, said the canoes must come in with high tide.

As such, 2 p.m. is an estimate of when the canoeists will make their way to shore. Last year, canoes landed over a period of about three hours.

The beach landings are festive occasions. McQuillen will welcome each tribal canoe ashore in a traditional ceremony.

Afterwards, the crews will gather for a feast.

Paddle crews will stay overnight on the grounds of Memorial Field before paddling Monday to Jamestown Beach northeast of Sequim.

Jamestown parking limited

Because of limited parking at Jamestown, a shuttle to the landing site will be available from Helen Haller Elementary School, 350 W. Fir St., Sequim.

The landing will start around 2 p.m. at Jamestown. About 23 canoes are expected, according to the host Jamestown S’Klallam tribe.

People attending the event are asked to take the shuttle from the school and be respectful of private property at the landing beach.

Arrival in Port Angeles

Then on Tuesday, canoes will arrive at Hollywood Beach in Port Angeles around midafternoon to stay overnight, hosted by the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe.

Viewing of the canoes entering Port Angeles Harbor is excellent from the tip of City Pier.

Near the entrance to the pier, the paddlers will come ashore on the beach in front of the Port Angeles CrabHouse Restaurant.

Tuesday’s Port Angeles visit will be the last on U.S. soil for 2004: The Paddle Journey continues Wednesday on a six-hour pull across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Esquimalt, British Columbia.

Several more stops are planned along Vancouver Island until the canoes come ashore Aug. 4 at Chemainus on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island.

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