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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

POST 669; 06/27/12: BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON

Our Bellingham, Washington home.

After the wonderful reception at the Peace Arch, I drove "home". No one was there. My key still fit and my room was exactly as I left it 1.5 years ago. I made myself at home.

Yesterday, SPIA received a thorough look-see by Les Schwab Tire Company and pronounced SPIA was sound, fit, and - except for need of front wheel brake job - ready to drive cross country or to the Bearing Straits, Alaska...or wherever I wished to take her.

Good news as I was concerned about the serviceability of the leaf springs and air shock absorbers...both of which systems are still in good operational condition.

This morning, Wednesday, June 27, 2012, I worked until noon gardening; i.e., cleaning and trimming the front lawn and rockery to the standards of our Gated Community.

At 12:30, I met my faithful young friends who have been tracking SAM & ME for over 3 years...long before SAM was even built and before I had any idea that I was about to walk America.

My young friends are in Juvenile Detention. They - both boys and girls - have taken SAM & ME as a daily project, (they named SPIA = Seniors Performing Incredible Acts). When I walked into their conference room, they were all smiles, proudly showing off the wall size maps with SAM & ME travels day by day from Day # 1. We spent the next two hours chatting...mostly, they asked questions and I tried to give intelligent replies - yes, I know...a questionable effort on my part.

This was the second visit I have made to JD, and I hope to be invited back more times.

Arriving back home, my Partner and I prepared for evening gathering at the Squalicum Yacht Club for BBQ and visiting. I was received with hugs and congrats for my walk - SYC members also followed our blogs -.

A few pics taken at SYC follow.


The mountain in the background is LUMMI ISLAND...45 minutes away under sail. The "V" on the top of the mountain ridge is directly above a small harbor, complete with waterfall and protected rocky beach...steering for the harbor one steers for that "V".

Lummi Island is one of 172 islands in the San Juan Island group. Waters are deep, cold, and a visiting yacht to any harbor may well be the only boat in sight. Killer Whales live in the San Juan Islands year 'round...we have three "Pods" (families). I have twice been on board yachts when all three Pods gathered...about 50 whales playing - diving and leaping - to put on a show.




View of Bellingham Marina from SYC Clubhouse.


While I was out walking, a new entrance was hand built by SYC members. This handrail is unique in that it, like the rest of the entrance, is hand made...a length of steel pipe, designed and crafted by hand.

The completed entrance...that elegant ship's front door was installed only today after being hand crafted - NO machine tools were used - by one of our members.


SYC Yacht Clubhouse is a converted Barracks from World War II. It has been an ongoing project since 1948, having received many thousands of man/lady hours of work...all done by members. The new entrance porch, I am told, took additional thousands of man hours as it is completely hand crafted and free standing; i.e., not attached to the building, except for the roof.

No longer having my own yacht, I look forward to being invited to join as a guest aboard other yachts during cruises into the San Juan Islands.

I am evaluating a number of options as to what SPIA (and perhaps SAM) and I will do next. It is premature to discuss them, but a decision is not far away.

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