Bellingham, Washington (2,957 miles)

7/2/15 to 7/5/15

We scheduled four nights in Bellingham in order to make any repairs that were necessary and to resupply the larder in the last major US city we would pass through on the way to the wilds of western British Columbia. On Thursday we located a dog park so that Gus could have a run. On Friday we did laundry (We find this must be done, vacation or no.), got Donna’s hair cut (same thing as laundry) and rebuilt the trailer structure that should have, but didn’t, support the refrigerator. Overall, we still love the Arctic Fox, but the engineering and construction of the base for the double-wide refrigerator were inadequate. Stephen installed a wooden bracing system and angle-iron to bear the weight of all our food and the fridge itself. He discussed this design flaw with the Arctic Fox engineers while we were in La Grande. In performing the upgrade, he discovered that 1) his upper body strength needs work, 2) assistance from a 90-pound puppy doesn’t add much to the project, and 3) one never has enough screws.

Puppy non-help
Puppy non-help

On Thursday we went to the Visitor Bureau in Bellingham and found far too much to do while we are here. There is a music festival underway, a Ferry Farewell Flotilla (Many of the boats in the town accompany the Alaskan Highway ferry as it departs for Ketchikan. These include a longboat replica, kayaks, canoes, rowboats and paddleboards.), a brewery crawl, a July 4th fireworks show and tours of several parks.

The Northwest Tandem Rally is happening in Bellingham this weekend, and 410 tandem teams are here. We wandered into the launching site for the Saturday ride and were surprised to find friends from Dallas who now live in Kansas. It was a treat to see Alan and Renee Kailer, and watching 400+ tandems take to the road was fun. From the tandem rally we went to the Saturday farmers’ market (a raucous event) and downtown Fairhaven. Bellingham is “blessed” with a lot of bike lanes, so, in the afternoon, Stephen set out for a ride. As with most bike lanes, these are full of broken glass and other trash, so he managed twenty miles of riding and replaced two flat tires.

NW Tandem Rally
NW Tandem Rally Start Line
Bike Big Unit
More than a Tandem
NW Tandem Kailers
Alan and Renee
USS Enterprise
USS Enterprise

On Sunday we left early to drive up Mount Baker in order to be home in time for the World Cup football game. The drive itself was beautiful through forests of Western Red Cedar, Hemlock and Douglas fir.   The air was hazy, mostly as a result of forest fires in every direction, according to the Park Ranger with whom we spoke, so the pictures are not very clear but the mountains are imposing.

Bagley Lake
Bagley Lake
Mt Baker
Mt Baker
Mount Shuksan
Mount Shuksan

We had asked our bartender at the Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham for a recommendation for lunch on Sunday, and he suggested the North Fork Brewery. They had good pizza and beer in an eclectic setting.

North Fork Brewery
North Fork Brewery
North Fork Falls
North Fork Falls

Our Canadian friends told us that we cannot bring poultry products into Canada as a result of Bird Flu, so Gus is eating more boiled eggs than usual, and we had grilled chicken last night, with coq au vin coming tonight. This is not a terrible sacrifice. All three of our passports are prepared for crossing the border. We hope this one is easier than the last time we drove to Canada when the border guard asked how many guns we had about forty times and then spent half an hour looking for these nonexistent guns. I guess he could not believe that we were traveling from Texas without guns.

Guard:                        “Where do you live??

Stephen:         “Texas.”

Guard:                        “Do you have any guns with you?”

Stephen:         “No.”

Guard:                        “Do you have any hunting knives?”

Stephen:         “No.”

Guard:                        “Where do you live??

Stephen:         “Texas.”

Guard:                        “Do you have any guns with you?”

Stephen:         “No.”

Repeat ad nauseum.

We’re hoping for a more welcoming crossing this time. We still have no guns, hunting knives or chicken.


2 thoughts on “Bellingham, Washington (2,957 miles)

  1. Good luck with your crossing. I hope you look less threatening this time. Scaring those poor Canadians… I want to get married again at the Beer Shrine. I don’t know how the pizza is, but the sign is wonderful!

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  2. I heard a similar story about the Canadian Border Control from one of the guys taking my DPS Citizens Police Academy class. He and a friend were both RV’ing into Canada and his friend had the necessary paperwork to import a shotgun. They go to Border Control, his friend presents his papers, shows them his shotgun, and is on his way. My friend goes through the 20 questions routine and a search for non-existent weapons. I think he was traveling the Alaskan Highway so this happened multiple times. He said if he had to do it again he would get the necessary papers and take a shotgun just so he could save time by fulfilling the stereotypical image of every Texan having a weapon.

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