This morning, I slept in a bit, knowing that we have a day or two to "kill" before reporting in at the Peace Arch on Sunday, June 24, 2012, at 2:00 pm.
By the end of the day, everything has changed...we are now racing to fit everything in.
With the Cascade Mountains left behind, we now have the foothills of the Skagit and Whatcom Counties to admire. Bellingham and the Peace Arch are in Whatcom County...my home for the past 25 years.
US 20 will also be behind us in a few hours as we take Highway 9 North towards the Canadian Border, about 60 miles distant.
Yesterday we met Rebbecca and Dennis. Here are more scenes from their "fishing hole".
Still waters - full of trout and running deep.
We have all made a scare crow at some time in our lives. Here is a most creative scare crow...for those not in the know: a Scare Crow is a garden creation designed to keep the "crows" birds from chomping the veggies and fruits.
This is the kind of tree-hedge we all strive for.
In the Far West, art on stone is a common practice. This message may soon be painted over; a new message taking it's place.
Lots of dogs are residents of Washington homes. Nearly all behind stout fences.
Stopped in for a late breakfast at this roadside Restaurant.
Lyman...where the restaurant is.
This is a stream of clear water. Washington is noted for it's abundance of clear-water streams.
Water is actually flowing across the entire gravel stream bed.
Walking early the morning from Hamilton , we did a 5-hour walk to reach Sedro-Woolley, Washington.
We then drove to Sedro-Woolley, filled SPIA with gasoline, and continued driving North on Highway 9 to the town of Praire, Washington, where we parked SPIA while I walked for 3 hours BACK toward Sedro-Wooley.
Another of Washington State's clear-water streams.
This tree is commonly called a "Monkey Tree". This is the largest one I have seen.
A baby ALPACA.
As everyone knows - or think they know - Washington is a "wet place". We do have a bit of rain, but not in total inches...it merely drizzles a lot of the time.
I call our drizzle "Liquid Sunshine".
The constant drizzle does, however, contribute to our "rain forest" plants such as the above fern.
As I was taking this picture, a car blasted out of the driveway demanding why I taking pictures of his wood for sale...is it so beautiful that you just couldn't help yourself, the driver asked.
After explaining my trek, the driver shoved my SAM & ME business card into his visor and drove off...gotta go pick up my girl friend walking up the road...as he sped off.
Washington State Flower: Rhododendron
The North West has many "Granges"...a social meeting hall in rural countryside.
Lake Whatcom lies beyond that distant hill. My home sits one block from the shore of Lake Whatcom...with a nice view of the water.
I look forward to enjoying that view for some time to come.
We shall see !
Wee Black Alpaca having dinner...Mom does not look pleased to have her pic taken at this moment.
...and yet, another clear-water stream...this one with a mini waterfall.
Please say HELLO to Jim (L.) and Carl.
Carl (Johnson) just happens to be my Nephew...son of my brother Russell, who has passed away.
Carl has looked after me from the beginning of my walk, having not missed a blog update.
Carl lives nearby - in Alger, Washington -, and doing his job as Track Inspector for the BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad) he was working on the RR tracks today with Jim and Bert...then drove Highway 9 until he found SPIA and I parked at a wide spot in the road just as I returned from my walk from Prairie to Sedro Woolley and back.
Please say HELLO to Burt...the third man of Carl's crew.
Three identical "White" Collie dogs...I believe the center one is the Mother as her voice was much older / a bit fluctuating / than the other two...all three quite friendly.
For Carlos...another example of clear cut forest.
This cow actually snubbed her nose at me...I was chatting with her when she intentionally lifted her head in that sneer.
Somebody stole the name of our Depression (1930s) era home in Midway, Washington.
These pods are about to open. They will develop into wild blackberries, found by the TRILLIONS all over the North West. They do have seeds, but are deliciously sweet, making excellent pies, cobblers, jams, and yes, even wine.
Our family has always called them "Himalayan" (sp?). They will ripen in about 4 weeks and continue for nearly a month. They can be found in berry patches-by-the-mile along nearly every roadway and fence line.
Take a 1# coffee can for picking, but bring along a big basket or tub because the berries are large, some reaching more than 1 inch diameter...the buckets fill quickly. Using a "boat pole" with a hook on the end is a great way to pull the vines down to standing level as the vines grow many feet in length and are covered with spines similar to thorny rose bushes.
Nephew Carl led SPIA and me to park over night in the rail yard of Frank and Angie, owners/operators of the Lake Whatcom Railway...a 4.5 mile long railroad consisting of a Diesel Engine, a 1901 Steam Engine, three passenger coaches, plus many more pieces of rolling stock.
Frank sells tickets for the 4.5 mile run on special occasions and on weekends during the Summer.
The actual right of way for Frank's Lake Whatcom Railroad. I have lived in Bellingham over 25 years and never knew it existed.
Angie whipped up some steak and veggies with toast & drink for me this evening...even allowing SPIA to plug in to the home electrical outlet to charge up the batteries. During my din din, Nephew Carl and his gorgeous wife Teresa - and my Niece, too - popped in. We spent the remainder of the evening touring Frank and Angies railroad engines and cars...awesome, simply awesome as most of the cars are from actual Northern Pacific Railroad trains dating back to the turn of the century (1900 - 1925). Will try to include some pics in tomorrow's blog update.
This morning, I anticipated a rather mundane walk...must remember to keep an open mind as...around every corner...over every hill...awaits my future...often, unbelievable future.
A couple additional events presented themselves to me today. I am still in the process of working out the details; however, these events are crowding into the few hours remaining for me to walk the final 50 miles to the Peace Arch.
In the morning, I must get on my horse and ride ride ride...I must reach Lynden, Washington by tomorrow evening...40 miles distant.
We shall see !
SPIA surrounded by ancient railroad museum pieces.