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Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Two and half years ago, SAM & ME set out to walk America.

My partner agreed that as long as I was walking, my belongings would be welcome in our Bellingham home.

On June 24, 2012, upon returning to our home, I was asked to leave, taking my belongings.

Originally deciding to become caretaker for brother Jim's home, I changed my mind, deciding to return to the Outer Banks, North Carolina, accepting the offer to assume responsibility to manage Pastor Steve's Food Bank.

My plans to continue walking around the world have been temporarily put on hold for the next 12 months.

The past weeks have been filled with logistics to complete my move to Wave, Outer Banks, North Carolina. This included preparing SPIA for possible sale, servicing my MPV and motorcycle, and obtaining a 14 foot trailer to transport my remaining belongings to Wave.

Tomorrow, August 01, 2012, I plan to begin my drive with my MPV and the trailer pictured above. Our route will be I-90 to DeKalb, Illinois where I will once again visit sister Carol. Will then drive I-70 into Pennsylvania...then South to Kitty Hawk and the final 40 miles to Wave.

My MPV is a 6-cylinder 1995 Mazda with 249,795 miles on her. The trailer is heavily loaded with Motorcycle and all worldly belongings inside. We will take it VERY easy as the Mazda will be severely tested. Since it is so very hot all the way to Wave, I plan to do most driving at night to take advantage of cooler temperatures...taking motels during the heat of the daytime.

A word about my decision: Jim's is a beautiful home in a secluded forest setting. The more I thought about "hiding out" at Jim's, the more I realized I would be relegating myself to seclusion. On the other hand, my friends on the Outer Banks are in the midst of recovering from the disastrous Hurricane IRENE of last September...and need all the help I can give. I have decided, therefore, to dedicate myself for the next year to help in their recovery.

My expected arrival at the Outer Banks is 5 - 6 days, allowing 2 days to visit Carol. Arrival date is therefore August 6, 2012.

...and yes, I realize I am a simple old man struggling a bit at the moment. I choose, however, to struggle on my terms being helping those less fortunate than I.

Please think good thoughts.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Invited by Dr. Les Blackwell for an afternoon cruise on his yacht, TRUMPETER.

On Bellingham Bay on the way to the gas dock.

...passing Bellingham Cold Storage, destination of local commercial well as Russian high seas fish factory ships.

TRUMPETER at the gas dock, filling up diesel fuel tank.

Les is very brave, letting me con (steer) TRUMPETER...

Les is keeping a close eye on the Jib (front sail), making sure I don't screw up.

Passing yacht - with bikini-clad sun worshipers -

This yacht is a Catalina 30...30 feet in length with a 27 foot waterline. TRUMPETER has a 25 foot waterline, making the Catalina a bit faster.

Displacement sailboats have a formula for determining maximum "cruising" speed:

1.2 x square root of the waterline length; i.e., 25 foot waterline length =

square root of 25 = 5...

i.e., 5 x 1.2 = approximately 5.25 miles per hour maximum speed under sail.

Volcano Mt. Baker (80 miles away)...background for Bellingham down town hi-rises.

Returning to Squalicum Harbor, where TRUMPETER has her home.

Map of the San Juan Islands.

Bellingham is in the upper right corner.

Victoria, B.C., Canada is in the lower left corner.

Wish to thank Les for taking me along on his cruise...perhaps my final cruise on Puget Sound, as I have made arrangements to return to the town of Salvo, North Carolina, where I have taken a small home around the corner from the Food Pantry.

I will NOT move to brother Jim's home on Whidbey Island as previously planned.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I took a walk today.

On my way to collect my Hyosung 650 motorcycle from Mark, owner of URAL NORTHWEST Motorcycles, I passed by the above corporation. Should anyone not recognize the name of this Corporation, all will certainly recognize the product produced right here in Bellingham for the Aircraft Industry.

HEATH TECHNA manufactures the interiors for jetliners flying to the corners of the world. Those lucky enough to fly have been surrounded by the Aircraft Interior Solutions of HEATH TECHNA.

Little known historical fact: My own Sister, Bonnie, was a long time technician for HEATH TECHNA. Today, Bonnie, at 80 something years old, is a Nurse's Aid working the past many years at the Valley General Hospital in Renton, Washington...yes, the same Renton, Washington...a bit South from Seattle...where Boeing Airplane Company manufactures the popular 737-XXX aircraft.

...and being on the subject of siblings, I want to wish my sister, Carol, happy birthday. Bonnie and Carol are joined by our third sister, Millie, just back from touring Scotland. I know Bonnie, Carol and Millie join me in remembering our four brothers, Chuck, Russell, Jay, and Jim...all having left us some years ago.

URAL NORTHWEST Motorcycles is located about 8 miles North of Bellingham, on the road to Lynden. My walk began on Northshore Drive along Lake Whatcom, another 4 miles to the Southeast of downtown. In all, those 12 miles were covered in 2 hours 50 minutes...yes, I virtually jogged...but not quite.

I turned to look over my shoulder as I headed West on Smith Road to find Mt. Baker looking down on me - still shrouded in a bit of haze... a vision the equal many...and I have seen a few.

Please say HELLO to my Hyosung first true motorcycle which has already taken me a few thousand miles in all weathers day and night.

As I look on this photograph, it brings back to a moment two years ago deep in the Oregon High Desert, when I met a young lady on a bike. Danielle writer, guitarist, performer, sculptress, and a truly gutsy woman...performing at this moment in a venue near Winnipeg, Canada. Daniel can be followed on:

if you like SAM & ME, you will fall in love with danielle.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Bellingham - Tacoma, Washington.

In the middle lies Whidbey Island, the second largest island in the continental United States - after Long Island, New York.

In the next few hours, Whidbey Island is destined to become my home for the next year or so.

Please click click to enlarge the above map. At 6:00, left of the town of "Everett" lies the small village of Bay View which is located on Whidbey Island. Here lies the 40-acre property of my recently deceased brother, Jim. I have been asked by Jim's family to "babysit" the property as it is prepared for sale.

I plan to move to Bay View within the next week or so.

In the meantime, here some photographs taken from our home in Bellingham, Washington...

New growth on the limb of our 30-foot Blue Spruce tree. There were three such trees, but my "partner" removed two of them...was sad to find them gone.

The above is a "runner" of CLOVER, which has threatened to take over the entire lawn. I have been on hands and knees the past two weeks pulling this plant...some runners are near 3 feet in length and must be removed - roots and all to keep it under control.

This the top of a 3-foot high THISTLE. I have kept it alive in the garden until the magnificent bloom bursts forth...hopefully within the next couple days.

On September 01, 2012, I will embark on a three-week walk from Bay View to Kennewick, Washington, to attend my 60th High School Reunion. Details will follow in a bit.

No, I am NOT pleased to be leaving Bellilgham. No, I am NOT pleased to be making yet another major change to my life. Yes, I am looking forward to resuming my walk...blogging all the way.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Arriving in Bellingham in January 1987, the population was 30,000. Growing by leaps and bounds, Bellingham has maintained it's small town image and remains one of the most desirable towns in the world to live.

Traversed by countless walking / biking trails through all parts of Bellingham, every neighborhood is only minutes away from a city park, including numerous beaches lining the two in-town lakes...Lake Padden and Whatcom Lake...not to overlook nearby Lake Samish, where the Western Washington University Scull Team holds daily practices.

On the flanks of nearby Mt. Baker - 80 miles from downtown - one can ski from October to June.

To the West lie the 172 islands of the San Juan Islands.

To the North is Vancouver, B.C., Canada...paradise for international influences, and easily visible from Bellingham hill-top residences.

To the South is Seattle, Washington...home of flying Salmon...and the Space Needle.

From Bellingham, one can take their vehicle by ferryboat to numerous cities in Alaska...or, ride AMTRAK between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

Local markets feature fresh products from the surrounding Puget Sound waters and the expansive orchards and fields of the Columbia Basin, only 100 miles across the Cascade Mountains.

Today, I took a walk along Lake Whatcom to the "Y" Road...then North to Mt. Baker Highway...then West to Yew Street, then back East over Alabama Hill, returning to our home in Eagle Ridge overlooking Lake Whatcom.

...a total of 16 miles under cloudy / foggy 3 hours 50 minutes.

Some of the sights I walked are shared here...

The Lake Whatcom railroad trestle - no longer operational - spanning Whatcom Creek - which we featured a few days ago.

Not all Bellingham homes are elegant...there is, however, not a single slum or undesirable neighborhood to be found.

Walking North Shore Avenue along Lake Whatcom, there are 17 homes on the "for sale" market within 1.5 miles of Eagle Ridge (our home).

The twin to this entrance lies behind the camera.

North Shore Avenue as it winds East from Bellingham into the Cascade foothills.

Sandstone is the primary stone found in and around Bellingham and the San Juan Islands.

From weathering - wind and rain, many caves are found.

Fog shrouded the low lying hills surrounding Lake Whatcom.

Pristine pastures are found nearby. are a number of small lakes.

A large community of Dutch settlers live in nearby Lynden...leading the way to keep the entire Whatcom County in tip top condition.

Above is pictured the fuel tank from my motorcycle - which needs a name -. This tank developed a pin-hole leak when it was still new. The "dealer" went belly up, leaving no chance for repair under warranty. During the 2.5 years my Hyosung (South Korean) 650 was in storage, all the fuel escaped through that tiny hole...and a good thing too !!

Removing the tank for repair, I was informed that the tank contained only small amounts of corrosion INSIDE, allowing easy repair.

My repair shop - Bellingham Radiator Shop - has recently repaired many fuel tanks for small engines...nearly all severely degraded from corrosion caused by ETHANOL fuel...this information according to the owner of BRS.

Tomorrow, my motorcycle gets reassembled, giving me a third vehicle for discovery of the Pacific North West.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


No photographs today.

Have been kept quite busy chasing after vehicle repairs (maintenance: brakes, tires, motorcycle gas tank leak, putting finishing touches on the garden / lawn of our home...which is about 90% complete and looks as nice as any in the neighborhood..., and attending various doctors to obtain a full body checkup.

Went on a short ride in the MPV to take pics of Mt. Baker. It is very "smoky", masking all the nearby mountains. Some folks are suggesting the unusual smoke is from fires burning in Eastern Russia and China.... Perhaps it will clear up enough to take photographs in the next few days.

Summer has truly arrived in Bellingham. Temperatures are in the low 80s F. The local parks and lakes are well attended by sun lovers. Also perfect weather for boaters to visit their favorite secluded harbor in the San Juan Islands.

Had good news from my Primary Physician. Had complete battery of blood tests this morning. Advised this afternoon that ALL aspects of this old body are near perfect; i.e.,

Blood Sugar is perfect
PSA is on target
Hemoglobin (red blood cells) are exactly as recommended.
Cholesterol is next to perfect.

...any my Cardiologist - heart attack in 1995 - says this old man is healthier than any 35-year-old has a right to be.

I have avoided medical discussions in my blog. I have however, come to some tentative conclusions about my health.

Since beginning my walk 2.3 years ago, my weight has remained + / - 5 pounds the entire time. This morning, I weigh 199 pounds and am 71.5 inches tall, having shrunk 1.5 inches since my last measurement a few years back. I have during this same period, reduced my waist from a 42 to a 36 inch trouser.

From "walking", I have yet to receive my first blister, and except for fainting in Georgia from lack of oxygen, have not encountered any injury. Also, have not had a sniffle, tooth / ear ache, strained muscle, indigestion or other internal malady.

Have received a cut or two, which, in spite of my taking daily blood thinner medication - because of the heart attack in '95 - have healed within hours WITHOUT medicine.

I attribute all this to developing a keenly functioning immune system, especially a fine-tuned lymphatic system...the result of my strenuous walking regimen.

I was on the road 820 days. 120 days were in the Outer Banks where I continued to work hard every day and walk nearly every other day. The 700 days actually walking, I "rested" a total of three (3) days - one day in Walnut Creek, California, one day in Phoenix, Arizona, and one day at Cape Canaveral, Florida. That means I walked 697 days without rest, averaging over 30 miles per day plus another 3 - 5 hours each evening to create this blog.

I classify my walk as daily extreme athletic exercise, which is the direct cause of my lymphatic system being fine tuned.

My medical report today tends to confirm my long-time position that daily exercise...HARD daily critical to MY body's health and well being.

Since returning to Bellingham, I have continued my hard labor and extreme walking...and I feel great. Will celebrate this evening with an extra glass of wine and down two desserts - fresh strawberries and three scoops of French Vanilla Ice Cream.

Berries have come into season in and around Bellingham. Nearly every type of berry is to be found growing wild or under cultivation within 10 miles of down town. A great time to live under the lee of the Olympic Mountains...(it is because of the Olympic Mountains that Bellingham has a fantastic MICRO CLIMATE to near perfection all year 'round).

Is now 5:45 pm. Time for my first glass of wine.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


My trip to Lopez Island, Washington, began early Saturday morning with this shrouded view of our local volcano, Mt. Baker in the Eastern Sky. At 12,251 feet, she towers over her subjects.

Drove the MPV to the ferry terminal at Anacortes, Washington, parked in the upper parking lot ($10.00 for 24 hours), and walked aboard.

Fisherman Bay, my destination, is on the left inside the peninsula.

The "golf ball" sitting on the extreme bottom right of Lopez Island is the recent purchased property of Paul Allen (Microsoft).

Lopez is the crescent shaped island at 6:00 o'clock in the above image - taken from the Lopez Museum with my camera.

San Juan Islands...deeded to the United States as the result of arbitration by Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany to settle the "Pig War" between the British and the United States.

172 islands, cold (53 F.) clear waters washing their shores. A boat at anchor in any one of the many hundreds of small harbors and inlets would most likely be the ONLY boat present.

During the past 25 years or so, I have had the privilege to stick the nose of my yacht(s) into nearly every harbor of the San Juan Islands.

Our Ferry Boat is passing the northern-most shore of Lopez Island.

The forward observation deck of our Ferry Boat is totally enclosed with glass to afford magnificent view of the San Juan Islands, while inside away from the cold wind created by the forward motion of our boat. With water temperature at 53 F year 'round, the wind is always cold.

Do NOT fall into these waters. Without life protecting immersion clothing, hypothermia sets in in about 5 minutes...death follows shortly after.

Please say HELLO to Joanne, a fellow passenger for Lopez Island. Joanne invited me to her home for dinner this evening. Alas, my prior commitment with the Squalicum Yacht Club means I must take a rain check.

Please say HELLO to Isaac Berg, also a passenger debarking at Lopez Island.

Isaac is on "The World Race", an 11-month Ministry to 11 countries around the world. Isaac may be reached at and on

Unloading the Washington State Ferry at Lopez Island.

Vehicles in line, waiting to board our ferry boat for the trip back to Anacortes or, perhaps on to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

Apologize I do not know this bicyclist' name. His beautiful Husky is tethered to his bike, pulling bike and rider up the steep hill from the ferry landing.

A moment later, his wife and daughter - about 8 years old or so - arrived, also on bikes.

Biking Lopez is a favorite to tour the island. A number of bike-rental businesses are available.

I poster announced that this park, Odlin Park, had just received a 50-year lease on their property. Another sign informed visitors that the campground was full.

Hailed the local Sheriff, George, who stopped to chat with me for a bit.

It is 5 miles from the ferry landing to Fisherman Bay Marina, which I walked, passing by the following...

...while being followed most of the way by these three (four with the baby). For the life of me, I cannot bring their names into my thick head. I do know the center gal is Kristin with her brother and his wife.

They invited me to join them this evening in the tent campground area at Fisherman Bay Marina, which I did...around the campfire.

Lopez Island Fire Department.

Lopez Village Museum, located a mile North of Fisherman Bay.

The following images were taken from displays in the Museum.

This passenger boat called at many cities throughout the Puget Sound - Salish Sea.

Historic Note: During my recent walk through Montana, walked past the Salish Indian Reservation. Should have mentioned that fact earlier.

Please click click the above - and below - photographs, both taken over 110 years ago.

The clothing is nearly exactly that which I and my brothers wore during the Depression (1930s and 1940s)

Please also note: I could find nary a single smile on anyone in the above two images.

A sign of the times, I guess.

The fourth young man seated from the left looks suspiciously like yours truly at that age.

Pedal Organ.

Desk exactly as I used at DeMoines, Washington Grade School from 1940 - 1945. I started first grade at 5 years old...actually 5 years and 2 months.

Duplicate of our phone - when we finally got one back in 1940 - on the Stump Ranch. We had a 5-party line, featuring ability of any and all to listen in to the other's conversations.

Close up picture of the design and construction of spoke connection on wagon wheels.

Please say HELLO to Harland Eastwood.

Harland was one of the first Curators of Lopez Museum. Harland and I worked together from 1962 through 1976 and were close friends...we had plans to go into business together at one time supplying hard-to-find spare parts for the U.S. Navy Shipyard Cranes throughout the world, for which Harland had engineering drawings, and hand made the wood molds for metal castings.

Harland also built his own motor yacht - by hand; maintained a collection of dozens of antiques clocks which he repaired; built his own home on Lopez Island Fisherman Bay - I helped him set in place the center roof girder cut from one his own trees -; and numerous other accomplishments such as playing on the San Francisco professional football team and, as a Forest Ranger, was a guide for Congressional visitors to Mt. Rainier when it was made a National Park...

...all without the benefit of his right arm, which he lost in a hunting accident.

A painting depicting Captain Vancouver sailing the San Juan Islands, accompanied by Lummi Indians in dugout canoe. The mountain in the distance is our own active volcano, Mt. Baker.

Saturday is Farmers Market day at Lopez Village.

In the center of Lopez Village is the above public restrooms...a welcome site for the many visitors to Lopez Island.

San Juan Island and "American Camp" in the far distance as seen from Lopez Village.

Please say HELLO to Ann.

Offering Wine Tasting, Ann kept the glass full as I sampled wines vinted on Lopez Island.

I actually purchased the bottle Ann is holding, sharing it with SYC Cruise members during our evening potluck down on the marina docks.

Fisherman Bay at low tide. Sailboats with deep keels must be VERY cautions entering Fisherman Bay at low tide as the entrance is shallow and constantly shifting because of the tidal action.

PUFFIN is Steve and Joyce' yacht. Steve and Joyce were Cruise Captains for the cruise to Fisherman Bay, Lopez, Island.



French design Beneteau yacht.

a 14 foot tide is normal for Fisherman Bay and surrounding waters.

Bicycles for rent.

In all, about 10 SYC yachts attended the Fisherman Bay Cruise this year.

Seaplane transportation is available from downtown Seattle to the various resorts in the San Juan Islands.

SYC members during our Potluck dinner.

Nearing Sun Down on Fisherman Bay.

I brought my sleeping bag, sleeping on the grass next to this picnic table last night.

Campground bonfire... sitting on logs toasting marshmellows and hot dogs on a stick.

Kyacks for rent.

Going Home.

Please say HELLO to Winston and Gwen.

Visiting the San Juan Islands from Placerville, California, we enjoyed a few minute chat before docking at Anacortes.

Our Washington State Ferry sister ship...leaving Anacortes as we are arriving.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my overnight to island I have been visiting Harland since 1962. Harland passed away about 10 years ago.

Back in Bellingham, I have been sitting at my computer editing photographs and this blog for the past 7 is now 11:15 pm.

Many more walks such as to Lopez Island will be made during the next many weeks. We have only scratched the surface of the places we will visit.