It’s time… Port Townsend Cruise 2009!!

Posted on January 6, 2009 – 3:27 pm

It’s time again for the annual Port Townsend Cruise!! This year marks the 5th of what has turned out to be an annual event and this year’s drive will be held on Sunday, March 1st, 2009.  Details from previous years are outlined below for everyone’s convenience but please take note of a few changes.

Where to meet: Southcenter Mall parking lot (by Nordstrom on the west-side of the mall) at 9AM. Everyone (european car enthusiasts) in the greater Seattle area meets up at Southcenter Mall to shoot the breeze and get acquainted with each other. Make sure to have your own route info and map printed up prior to the meet. (printable version with .pdf below) Also, be sure to arrive with a full tank of gas. There is a Chevron gas station just across the street from where we will be meeting.

Southcenter Mall Security will more than likely come through to check-up on us as we gather for the drive. Please be courteous to them and let them know what is going on, and that we will be leaving at around 9:35. You can count on them notifying local and state authorities so mind your driving as we enter and exit the mall parking lot and surrounding areas.

Take off: 9:35am

We will leave Southcenter Mall at 9:35 and head out the west-end of the parking lot (Nordstrom side), and head south, then west towards I-5, then head south on I-5. In past years with the number of cars attending, we can expect to be separated by lights and traffic. If everyone in the front of the line keeps within the posted speed limits, others left behind should be able to catch up… Even if catching up doesn’t happen until you get to Tacoma, drive carefully and responsibly.

Also in previous years there has been a pit-stop at the rest area where Hwy 104 and 19 meet just before arriving in Port Townsend. We’ve over-grown this lot considerably so this year we intend to have people guide cars for parking upon our arrival in Port Townsend – no pit-stops. This will also give us more time to actually spend in town for lunch.

Route: **Please download a map of route and timeline**

* I-5 south, HWY 16 West, Hwy 3 North, turn left on HWY 104
* After Hood Canal bridge take right onto Hwy 19, continue north onto Hwy 20, end at Port Townsend.

FRS Radio Channel: (optional)
* 6-8 (main channel – sub channel)
* If you don’t have a Motorola Talkabout radio here is a list of the non-Motorola Privacy codes.

In Port Townsend: Everybody will break for about 3 hrs. (max.) to find a place to eat in town. After that, we’ll cruise on to Fort Worden State Park for a group picture similar to the one above. After that, everyone is on their own as far as cruising home or group up however you wish.

Our “VIP Parking” space will be pretty similar this year, in that we will park along Memorial Field on Washington St. However we will this time use both sides of Washington St. and parallel park in a single-line (as opposed to double like last year). There were concerns from lowered-cars that passengers could not get out of the car without hitting the door on the sidewalk. This also ensures that anyone who has to leave early can do so without being blocked in. Any over-flow parking will end up in a parking lot on the far-end of Washington St., next to a skate park. Any further over-flow beyond what spaces are reserved will need to fill up the other spaces along the adjacent streets from the main group. Again, this year’s parking fees will be taken care of.

In Fort Worden: Around 3:00pm, we will leave the VIP parking lot area in an orderly fashion and slowly cruise through Port Townsend into Fort Worden for a group picture. Our Special Activity Permit request was approved under the conditions that we adhere to the posted speed limit in the park at all times, which is 15mph on main roads and 10mph in the campgrounds. Based on attendance, a group picture will be taken either at the bottom part of the park (near the water-front) or in the upper lot which can accomodate many more cars. Once the group pictures are taken, everyone is free to do as they wish.

Drive carefully and safely!! I cannot stress enough the importance of how this is to be a safe drive.  WSP, Port Townsend PD, and Fort Worden Rangers are being made aware of this event. That said…

Mind your driving habits on this cruise! When we drive as a group, each and every one of us represents the community as a whole . No burn-outs in the parking lots, no illegal lane-passing (or shoulder passing), keep a controlled speed and safe following distance at all times, and respect the Port Townsend community, Fort Worden visitors, and other communities that we pass through. Give everyone else the right-of-way. DO NOT keep people from merging onto the Hwy just because you do not want to be separated by the european car in front of you!! I strongly encourage anyone to call 911 and report those driving unsafely. There is a rather large risk in traveling in large groups like this and we need to realize that despite our numbers, we do NOT own the road!!

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Toll: Please don’t forget there is a toll ($4) on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge now. It is only charged east-bound. Of course those taking the ferry back will not have to pay that fee.

Updates will be made here if and when they become available so book-mark this link!  As always, contact us if you have any questions.

******UPDATES*******

2009-01-23:  Just got word from The Pizza Factory in Port Townsend – they report they have expanded their seating capacity and are looking forward to our visit.  They booked a live Reggae band specifically for our cruise!  Stay tuned for more details in how The Pizza Factory will further be involved with this event!