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Monday, September 13, 2010

BELLINGHAM

FAIRHAVEN HARBOR
CIVIC STADIUM - BELLINGHAM

SQUALICUM HARBOR ENTRANCE - BELLINGHAM


FAIRHAVEN - BELLINGHAM



FAIRHAVEN STREET




FAIRHAVEN SCENE -





WHATCOM TRANSIT AUTHORITY - BELLINGHAM






HOTEL BELLWETHER (On The Waterfront) - BELLINGHAM







FAIRHAVEN - TOWN SQUARE








FAIRHAVEN - 1800's ARCHITECTURE









COMMERCIAL FISHING FLEET - SQUALICUM HARBOR - BELLINGHAM










WWU CREATION?? - BIKES ARE POPULAR IN BELLINGHAM











SQUALICUM CREEK - SALMON HATCHERY












WATERFRONT WALKWAY - BELLINGHAM (Marinas in background)













BELLINGHAM BAY - TOWARD FAIRHAVEN














GOING OUT TO ENJOY THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS















THE "BISTRO", BELLWETHER HOTEL - BELLINGHAM
















SQUALICUM HARBOR - BELLINGHAM (My 38' Yacht "Journey" was docked here)

















SQUALICUM HARBOR - BELLINGHAM


















SAFE RETURN - DEDICATED TO BELLINGHAM SEAFARERS WHO HAVE NOT RETURNED






































Still no word from my Dr. regarding new blood tests. Very very unsatisfactory.

In the meantime, I have made a tour of my town, Bellingham, complete with pics, which may be of some interest.

Bellingham sits on Bellingham Bay in the North East corner of Puget Sound, about 100 miles North of Seattle and 45 miles South of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The USA/CANADA border is 20 miles North of Bellingham at the town of Blaine.

Bellingham began as a lumbering and Salmon processing center in the mid - late 1800's. At one time, the largest Salmon processing factory in the world was in Bellingham. When I arrived in 1987, I could not navigate my yacht at night through Bellingham Bay because of the unending strings of Gill Nets set to catch the millions of Salmon entering the Skagit River, the Nooksak River, local streams and the Fraser River in Canada. Today, Gill Nets are nearly nonexistent and the Salmon are rare to these waters (all this in only 23 years).

Bellingham is a People Town. There are walking paths criss-crossing all of Bellingham. You can walk anywhere on a well maintained path to any part of Bellingham. A number of organized walking groups use the paths daily. Training for my walk, I used many of the pathways. A particular interesting one is along the 3 - mile Bellingham waterfront. Much of this path is over the waters of Bellingham Bay. In season, it is allowed to take Dungeness Crab from the walkway.

Bellingham is a consolidation of three early towns. Fairhaven, to the South of downtown Bellingham, is a true artist colony with period buildings from the 1800's still used today. New construction in Fairhaven has maintained the architecture of old Fairhaven. It is a favorite destination for locals.

Bellingham is the terminus for the Alaskan Ferry. Year-round ocean-going ferry service is available from the new Fairhaven Ferry Terminal, which is also the AmTrack terminal.

In Bellingham's front yard sit the San Juan Islands, a group of 172 islands of unspoiled beauty. A boater can often sail or cruise in a single day to the most distant island where one may find their favorite bay filled with Bald Eagles, Dungeness Crab, and not another boat in sight.

As the result, Bellingham's Harbor is a very busy place. It is home for many commercial fishing boats for crab, halibut, salmon, shrimp, and a number of other seafood species which can be found in and around the San Juan Islands...or as far away as Alaska. Sitting next to the commercial fleet are hundreds of yachts from 16 foot to 116 foot. The waterfront marinas are maintained in immaculate condition. Parks surround the marinas...a continuation of the many walking paths.

Bellingham is also home to Western Washington University. Beautifully sited in the saddle of two hills South of town, WWU affords a wide range of studies. In days past, many teachers received their degree at WWU. Today, one can study a number of high-tech subjects equal to any in the USA.

In 1987, the population of Bellingham was roughly 30,000. Today, it is more than double that number. Communities are thriving in all directions. Favorite is Lake Whatcom, a fresh-water lake over 300 feet deep providing clean clear water for the growing population. Another favorite is Lake Padden and the magnificent Lake Padden Golf Course adjoining the Park-like setting. Trails abound, as do sports fields, a dog-run field, and lake swimming with life guards in attendance.

Bellingham is perfectly sited to receive far less inclement weather than either Seattle or Vancouver, B.C.. Bellingham is in the "cone of protection" formed by the Olympic Mountains along the Pacific Ocean to the SouthWest. The ocean weather systems bump up against the Olympic Mountains, creating a true Rain Forest on the Ocean side. Even some of the San Juan Islands have Cactus growing due to the protection of the Olympic Mountains.

Then, too, there is Mt. Baker, an active volcano just 80 miles East of Bellingham, The ski resort at Mt. Baker often has the earliest opening date of the entire USA, and has been known to have the highest snow pack (in the world??)

Skiing continues into May when the annual Ski-to-Sea Race is held, welcoming hundreds of teams from around the world; Competitors must ski UP-HILL, then back DOWN-Hill, where a medallion is handed to the next team mate who RUNS DOWN THE MOUNTAIN, where a Road-Racing Bicycle takes over, handing over to canoes on the Nooksak River, then to mountain bikers for the run into the Marina. The final leg is in Bellingham Bay, with competitors paddling kayaks up to 7 miles per hour across the sometimes wickedly rough waters. The finish line is at the waterfront park in Fairhaven next to the Alaskan Ferry Terminal.

There is so much more to Bellingham. Hope this taste helps explain why so many World War II veterans returned to the Pacific Northwest to retire. I have been to the far corners of the USA and the World. One is hard pressed to find a spot to compare to Bellingham.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bruce, you are always in our thoughts and wishing you good health. Please take care of yourself, dear friend.

Barbee, Larry and Sailor, the cat.