Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Exploring Beautiful Bellingham

       The above song is in honor of me being so close to getting my drivers licence back.  Sooo close, but not there.  With the clogged streets leading to Seattle so close to us, not much can beat heading down a back road and exploring on a day when you have nothing but time to kill.  I believe all roads in Wyoming are back roads though.   Some what on this topic, yesterday I jumped the bus, two buses actually, with all intents to go to the DMV and take and or pass the written test.  I was not fully awake, but I had read the drivers manual several times through.  Once I got the English version of course.  I was excited to see an almost empty parking lot as I neared the dreaded building.  Almost too empty a parking lot it seemed.  As I got very close, I noticed a gentleman in his truck leaning way out the window, trying to read the sign on the front of the DMV doors.  I instantly tried to think of any holidays falling on Monday.   Alas-- the dang government workers here get Mondays off work!  Another day to flunk the test----eerrr study!  If I ever make it to the office, when they are actually open, so far today's plan, I will report the success rate of the trip.   Most hopefully it will be a much better result than the day they were closed.
   Yesterday I also noticed how scarce pay phones are.  Working pay phones are an even rarer breed.  Everyone has a cell phone or three.  Maybe you have a cell phone that works as an answering machine for your real cell phone.  Whatever the case, in an effort to keep funding for getting our car road legal, our family only has a working house phone at the moment.  So while searching for a way to call home, I realized pay phones are almost another extinct object.  

     The Bellingham area is easily the most beautiful place I have ever lived.  Awesome views and hikes surround our home.  In fact literally a few feet out our door, I am greeted by the start of many trails or a view of the bay.  My picture posts show some of the beauty.  But it is impossible to capture even close to it all.  I will be starting a 2nd blog very soon, with just posts about Bellingham and Whatcom county.  Full of pictures and information.  For others to enjoy and as a constant influence in an attempt to get my parents and friends to visit.  Please let me know what you think of my pictures and thoughts.  And feel free to suggest were I hike next!  With the Bellingham blog I will also be welcoming YOUR pictures and exploring adventures in any medium you chose to share.  I will have a Facebook page up soon to make this extremely easy & of course will give you credit for any submissions ---but until than, or if you are smart, and do not have FB---please contact me at pontos62or@yahoo.com   Thank you!  ;)

    Ever time I adventure I also find it imposable to be a non believer in God.  There is simply no way  so much beauty could exist with no amazing creator.   Although I can easily understand people's varying belief levels.   I am not sure what this has to do with anything, but thought I would throw that out there.  I enjoyed lots of sun and fresh air over the weekend, with time to think.   Both last Friday and Sunday offered exploring time.  On to some pictures!!

    In an attempt to get some great sunset pictures and wear out the dog and kids, we ended up down by the bay on Friday.  In Fairhaven, going down Harris Street and veering left past the Bellingham terminal and ship yards, you come to a bay side park. 

             I am not sure of the parks name---Such a bad Bellingham resident, I am!
               This first picture mainly just proves that we did indeed see sunshine!

    Like the country song says--Rain is a good thing, but it also gets old fast.  I have my webbed feet already from living in Oregon five years before moving to this fine state.  
                                               Cold water for sure!   But also hours of fun!


   Many more adventures await if you follow the track line heading south-ish of the park.  This is a very busy set of tracks, so stay well away from the tracks at all times.  Freight trains can be heard well before they near you, but Amtrack is VERY quiet and can sneak up on you. 
                                        This abandoned rail leads off the rocks into the bay. 

                                Always take some time to enjoy the view and skip some rocks.  

                                                           Max being "king of the hill."

    We did not venture far on this trip but saw some great sights as always.  This heart took someone some time to make.  It is hard to make out in the above picture.  But multiple colored rocks give it a great layer effect.  Do not worry, after snapping the picture I kept Max from "marking" the heart!

     When the tide is out, around these kool trees, is some great beach to explore.  Near the tallest tree, look for the memorial --with a snowboard headstone.  Please be respectful while visiting.  There are usually objects left around the headstone, left in honor and remembrance.  Including beer bongs, flowers, and ocean polished stones.  

   Just past the trees--- is this work of rocks.  A maze of sorts large enough one could walk through.  This picture was takin' last year, but I was very pleased to see the art was still there.  
   Sun is still sinking.  This defiantly was not the best sunset I have captured.  But still allowed for some nice pictures.  

                                                          A sure sign of a successful trip..........

    And now it is time for today's picture of the day.    I love this tree in the park.   And have many pictures of it.  Two of the pictures of this tree, I enlarged, and now have hanging above our computer desk.    I now just need one of the tree surrounded and covered in snow.   I like the below picture, because each branch is starting to bud out in rejoice of spring time!  

                    Some older shots of the same tree----from a slightly different angle.   

       And now part II of sorts!    On Sunday afternoon we took off just up the road to the Chuckanut  Mountains. 
      There are miles of trails in this area.  Enjoy the woods, quiet, bay views, etc.  Heading to lakes, water falls, bat caves, Oyster Dome and beyond.   I have been on many of these hikes, and hope to repeat them so I can share about each in turn.    The road offers great views and turn outs for taking pictures, or starting a hike.  But if you are the driver, it is hard to take it all in.  Thousands of islands dot the bay side.  And you will soon loose track of all the boats you see enjoying the water.  Larabee State Park is also in the area.  All trails are marked, but like many of the trails in Washington, not marked very well if you have not traveled in the area before.  This is from tails branching off the main trail that are also well traveled and the fact that most trails pass through residential areas and start again blocks down the road.  
                                       This sign helpfully got us back to the parking lot.  

  Always recall to bring along snacks and plenty of water!  This is something I usually forget.  There are not stores at the top of the mountain, yet.  Well maybe at the top of Alabama Hill, but that is not a very exciting hike.  But it is not something to forget if you have kids along for the adventure.  
      Extreme close up/self picture.   I have blue water today from freshly squeezed Smurfs we found along the trail.   

 Long pants are also a plus.  They might not be as comfortable as shorts, but they protect from biting insects and plants.  In case your voyage also takes you off trail.   Mine usually do!   Trails have been explored before thus they are boring.   On this day, as most, it proved to not be the best idea.  I lost my footing while at the top of a waterfall, and about went down--head first. I have noticed that I am fine, as long as I hit my head, but the fall was still not at the top of my to do list!  During this time, we also lost our dog for awhile.   He basically pulled our daughter down a hill while she was holding his leash.  So we let him run free for awhile.  Apparently to long.  Eventually we found he was not lost, and was waiting up above us on the trail.   Rather impatiently I might add, but still being good.  
       On this day we ended up at Chuckanut Falls.  

As every trail, perfectly maintained trails ramble through the woods.   You even get boardwalks in the most muddy areas.  

  I was defiantly the slow one on this hike.   And found that most of the trail was easy but also up hill.  Even when we were headed down to the parking lot, it seemed.  
                                                    Pausing by a huge rock along the way.

                                                  A very rare shot of resting by the falls. 

                                                                My turn to rest.

                                         And now some pictures of the actual falls.  

                                                 Max cooling off below the falls.  

     Any thoughts on were I should hike next??   Do you have better pictures of any of the above?  Please share.      And as always

                                        HAPPY TRAILS!!

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