I arrived at the US / Canada Border at precisely 2:00 pm on the afternoon of June 24, 2012.
Leaving KOA Kampground in Lynden about 8:00 am, drove to Bellingham, Washington. Stopped first at WAL-MART to check out overnight parking...then to Diamond Jim's Grill in the Fountain District for a relaxed breakfast.
Drove on to the Marina, where my yacht(s) have been moored the past 25 years or so...a bittersweet moment for me.
Entrance into the Inner Marina from Bellingham Bay.
Bellingham's waterfront hotel...where I have enjoyed many lunch and evening meals.
The outer Roads of Bellingham Harbor.
Bellingham Harbor is the last deep-water (40 feet at the docks) un-developed port on the West Coast of the USA. Georgia Pacific (Paper) Company occupied the waterfront for much of the last century; GP recently closed down all operations and "deeded" their entire properties to the City of Bellingham.
Bellingham waterfront is still largely undeveloped, offering tremendous opportunities for the future.
Seaview Boatyard, where I have spent many days (and nights) refurbishing the hulls of my yachts. Each year yacht bottoms are sanded (mostly by hand) and repainted.
SQUALICUM YACHT CLUB Clubhouse, sitting on the waterfront looking out on the yacht filled marina and in the far distance, Lummi Island, the first of our 172 San Juan Island Archipalegio.
Inside Squalicum Yacht Clubhouse. A World War II Army Air Force Barracks, this building has received loving care and weeks upon weeks of man (and lady) manhours...now a showpiece on Bellingham Harbor.
In 1995, I was Commodore of BYC.
Favorite BYC pastime ... rafting on a cruise to the San Juan Islands.
My yacht, Journey, is fourth from the right.
This is how yachtsmen carry heavy loads from car to yacht.
A bit before 12:00 noon, drove the 25 miles to near Blaine, Washington, the location of the CANADA / USA border crossing where my walk will complete at 2:00 pm.
Blaine Marina is in the foreground.
Blaine waterfront Caboose Restaurant/Cafe.
Vintage 1957 Pontiac Station Wagon parked in front of the Thai Restaurant overlooking Blaine Marina.
Blaine waterfront home.
Not too many years ago, Blaine (and Bellingham) held the distinction of having the largest Salmon Canneries in the world.
Since noon, I walked out a couple miles from Blaine and back. At 1:30, I made my way toward the Peace Arch about 1/8 mile North of Main Street Blaine.
...where I was met by Border Park Ranger, Jason.
Jason was apparently waiting for me as he offered to drive me the final few blocks through the Peace Arch Park all the way to the Peace Arch...not your everyday service...
Thank you, Jason.
Walking the final few yards to the Peace Arch, I recognized a number of friends - and family.
...including my Daughter, Monica. Monica, living in Burns Oregon, drove over 10 hours through the night to be there for my arrival...yes, I was shocked; and, a bit overwhelmed.
Monica, whom I adopted when she was 10 years old (she says she was 9).
I can honestly say I have been closer to Monica than to my four Sons.
Teresa, my "new" Niece also made the trip with Nephew Carl.
Two special people...Bob and Pam...
Bob came to my rescue a number of times during my building of SAM and during my walk when faced with unexpected ER (Hospital) expenses. Bob actually gifted me his entire weekend overtime pay - deposited $$ into my Debit Card account.
How does one thank such kindness.
Bob was the only one to answer my plea to guide me in building SAM's electrical system.
Thank you, again, Bob.
My friends and family under the Peace Arch, Blaine, Washington.
Wendell and Erlene Poole,
Lynn and Les Blackwell,
Carl and Teresa Johnson,
The PEACE ARCH which stands astride the CANADA / USA Border at Blaine, Washington.
Thank you, all, for coming out to welcome me home.
Bob, Pam, Monica, and Kim treated dinner at the Thai Restaurant overlooking Blaine Harbor.
I then drove to my own home on the shore of Lake Whatcom in the town of Bellingham. My partner was not at home, having visited the village of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. She arrived about 6:00 pm with the words...where did YOU come from !
(HELLO to you, too, I thought)
Together, we have enjoyed yesterday evening and all day today together in our home. My room was exactly as I left it 2.5 years ago.
Already received my first few "honeydu" items.
For the moment, I gather my wits and give thanks for a fascinating safe adventure and a kind and warm welcome home.
"Tomorrow Is Another Day" : Gone With The Wind