It was a cold (25 F.) foggy morning when Jean led our small hiking group from Barkley Village, climbing up Alabama Hill to the Rock Garden...thence across the hill top to Whatcom Falls Park and back to our starting point...a distance of 4.2 miles.
On this trail, dogs-on-lease are welcome - picking up doggie doo with the plastic bags provided in trail-side dispensers.
Please say HELLO to Jean and our walkers.
Yesterday, Sunday, a run / walk around LAKE PADDEN was scheduled for 10 am. I waited until 10:05...when no one else showed, I began the 2.6 mile circuit along the frozen-over lake. Half of this walk is through low forested hills ringing the Southern shore of Lake Padden. The Northern shore is open, with numerous picnicking spots, swimming beach, boat launch, and baseball fields. A city-block from the lake is one of the finest 18-hole public golf courses to be found in the Pacific Northwests. I have golfed at Padden Lake for many years...but not recently, so I don't know today's cost...it was something under $20.00 for 18 holes.
The Lake Padden trail on the wooded southern shore is through giant (2nd growth) evergreen trees. This trail is suitable for wheel chair, walkers, bikers, and horses. Even in the rainy season, 99.9 percent of the trail through the wooded hills is dry, well landscaped and tended...not a single piece of trash to be found.
One of two Lake Padden Fishing Docks. Not so many years ago, SALMON migrated to Lake Padden...today, only trout are available. The lake is accessible from any shoreline...and a modern boat launch is available - NO Gasoline Motors allowed.
After circling Lake Padden clockwise and not finding any of our walking group, I reversed to counter-clockwise for a second walk around...still no familiar faces. My two circuits - 5.2 miles - took 76 minutes = 14.62 mph = slightly faster than 4 mph...not bad for trail walking.
CHUCKANUT RIDGE - Trail Head Parking
(One Mile South of FAIRHAVEN (Bellingham), Washington
This morning, Monday, a POWER WALK up to the top of nearby CHUCKANUT RIDGE, was scheduled at the last minute. I showed up at 9am, ready to climb the mountain. A moment later, Ginger drove in...and we two started up the trail. Within five minutes I knew I was NO condition to complete this POWER WALK.
Ginger literally flew up the steep trail...I was panting and puffing...Ginger, I said...I have to confess I cannot do this walk...Well, I did say it was a POWER WALK, and I must get in my exercise...and this is only the easy part !!!
Ginger, being very considerate of this old man, escorted me back to the trail intersection with the CHUCKANUT INTERURBAN - a turn of the century (1900) railroad right of way from Bellingham to Seattle, which was abandoned some years ago. Ginger went back up the CHUCKANUT RIDGE Trail...I headed South on the Interurban. I finally reached the South Trail Head at LARRABE STATE PARK, where I turned around to walk back to the parking area.
All told, I walked the interurban for about 10.5 miles in 2.5 hours.
INTERURBAN TRAIL - CHUCKANUT RIDGE in the distance.
Waterfall along the INTERURBAN Trail.
I have not walked with serious intent since returning from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina - 3,030 miles - reaching the Peace Arch 94 days later on June 24, 2012...6 months ago. I am in terrible condition - and shape...my belt is on the last hole...testament to too much good food and not enough walking. That has started to change since I joined Jean's walking group.
It is evident that unless I find employment, there will be NO $$ to finance my walk from Lisbon, Portugal to the Sea of Japan. Alternatively, I am making logistic search to fly (DELTA Miles) to retrieve SAM from storage in Wilmington, North Carolina...then, walking with SAM back to Bellingham (PEACE ARCH)...completing my fifth walk coast to coast (Atlantic - Pacific)...across America.
Then We Shall See....