Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 Ski to Sea

Memorial Day weekend in Bellingham is not only Memorial Day weekend. It is also the biggest annual community event: Ski to Sea. Ski to Sea is a relay race that began exactly 100 years ago as the Mount Baker Marathon. It has been updated through the years, and the 100th anniversary of the race includes 7 legs: cross-country ski, downhill ski, run, road bike, canoe, mountain bike, and kayak. The race, as the title suggests, begins on lovely snow-capped Mount Baker and ends in the blue waters of Bellingham Bay. There are lots of different divisions in the race, so everyone from Olympic medalists to high schoolers and senior citizens participate.

We've already posted photos of some of the other Ski-to-Sea events, including the Junior Ski-to-Sea Parade and the Ski-to-Sea Grand Parade. Today we have some pictures from the main event itself: kayakers gliding past Boulevard Park to the finish line at Marine Park. It was a beautiful day, but exceptionally windy as you can see from the whitecaps in the pictures. Because of this, the patrol boats had their hands full with rescuing overturned kayakers, and I believe the last 100 or so kayakers had to be turned away.

This is Greg Gilda from team #269, Dot's Happy Hikers.
They were in the Competitive Open Division and placed 44th overall and 19th in their division.

Traci Cole, from team #402, SSC You Call, We Haul
Competitive Mixed
45th overall, 3rd in their division

Kristen Jacobson from team #166, Dirty Muffin Tops
Whatcom County Mixed
46th overall, 3rd in their division

Chris Duppenthaler from team #438, Drinkers with a Racing Problem
Competitive Open
48th overall, 21st in their division

Tim Thorpe from team #103, Spaceman Spiff and the Wild Zontars
Competitive Open
49th overall, 22nd in their division

In front is Levi Jefferson, from team #238, Whatcoms Up Must Come Down.
They placed 5th in their division. 
Risa Greenwood, behind him, must have pulled ahead after I took this shot.
Her team, #457, Canuckin' Fast, placed 51st overall, 
and Whatcoms Up Must Come Down placed 52nd. 
Canuckin' Fast placed 3rd in their division.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ski to Sea 2011

In Bellingham, Memorial Day Weekend is also Ski to Sea weekend with 500 teams competing in a 7 leg race from Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay. Skiers start the race at Mt. Baker and it continues on with snowboarding, running, road bikes, canoe, mountain bikes, and finishes with sea kayaking in Bellingham Bay. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the races. For more
info you can check out the website HERE.

Ski to Sea weekend kicked off yesterday with a parade through downtown Bellingham. Today we're off to the carnival, the finishing celebration in Fairhaven and a classic car show. More pictures to follow!

Here are some shots from yesterday's parade:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Children's Art Walk

There was an Allied Arts children's art walk recently in Bellingham, and most downtown businesses are still displaying artwork from kids in various classrooms throughout the city. While we were at Mallard Ice Cream the other day I took pictures of three of my favorites.

This is "Rainbow of the Night" by Ella Gouran at Columbia Elementary. 
Not only is it pretty, I love the imaginative title and what she has to say about her piece:
"I spent a lot of time on it and it turned out great!"
If only every kid had that sense of pride!

This picture is by Wyatt Shipp from Columbia Elementary. All of the kids in his class did the same picture in their own style. Most were titled "Big City" or "City at Sunset" or "City on the Water."
Wyatt titled his "Black Wisdom." Oooh, intriguing!
Other artist descriptions mostly went like this: "This is a big city at sunset," or "This is a picture of Seattle." Well, that's just too pedestrian for Wyatt's imagination. His statement:
"It is a picture of bildings on the far side of Mercurey."

This is a picture of tulips by Landon Kerzman, also from Columbia Elementary.
Like Wyatt, Landon refused to bow to the peer pressure of titling his piece something like "Tulips" or "Pretty Flowers" and saying "My picture is of some pretty tulips," like most of his classmates did.
Landon's title: "Rock and Roll"
His statement: "It's awesome."
Well said, Landon. Well said.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

House Sparrow

This house sparrow perches on a post at Hovander Park, taking advantage of the handfuls of corn thrown by children for the farmyard animals.

The house sparrow was introduced to North America in 1851 in Brooklyn, New York. It's unrelated to native sparrows, and is the most widespread wild bird in the world, having been introduced, on purpose or by accident, to most parts of the planet. Although it is only found near houses and buildings (hence its name), and some people view them more as pests than wildlife, I enjoy them because they're so friendly.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Polka-Dot Balloons

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a fan of balloons...
but these are so cheerful, they even put a smile on my face!

Just don't bring them any closer, please.

(I have globophobia-- aka a fear of balloons. 
Go ahead and laugh. I'm happy to brighten your day with my mental illness!)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Bellingham's Ski to Sea Festival kicks off each year with the Junior Ski to Sea Parade. We marched with the Loving Space Pre-School who dress in the colors of the rainbow and march grouped by color. The weather was great and we had a blast!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Skywatch Friday: Rays of Light

The setting sun shines its light on the beach at South Whidbey Island State Park.

Sun, oh sun, it is so nice to see you again!

Skywatch Friday

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Run, Baby, Run!

For Mother's Day I decided I deserved a new pair of running shoes. I was directed by a friend to Fairhaven Runners, and I'm so glad I went. Silly me-- I thought I would pick a shoe or two I liked the looks of, try them on, and say "Sure, this one's good!" and out I'd go. Luckily, the knowledgeable guy who helped me knew better than I did what I needed, and after plenty of trial runs I found the perfect shoe for me.

Guess what? The sun is out, and I'm going for a run!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Weathered Stone, Weathered Wood

On the beach at South Whidbey Island, someone had decorated a huge old driftwood stump with various shells and stones. I liked the way this stone was placed, its marbled swirls and whorls echoed in the aged lines of wood behind it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Meerkerk Gardens

This last weekend we went camping at South Whidbey Island State Park. (We lucked out with the weather, as you can see-- apparently it was raining in Bellingham all weekend. Yessss!) Along with the usual camping activities of hiking, beer-drinking, beach combing, fireside storytelling and s'more-making, we visited this magical place called Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens.  

Meerkerk Gardens is a not-for-profit rhododendron garden, with acres upon acres of beautiful rhodies like these... 

...and these...

...and these!

The Rhododendron is Washington's state flower.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Kind of Blue...

...just like one of my favorite jazz albums.

This will be our only post this weekend, as we're leaving today for camping at South Whidbey State Park.
I hope everyone enjoys their weekend as much as we're going to!

Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Letter

Dear Pacific Northwest Weather,

Yes, I know it rains a lot in the northwest. I have long resigned myself to gray skies and wet sidewalks. When I take a walk, I expect to come back home thoroughly soaked, despite my boots and raincoat. The typical soundtrack to my morning blogging-and-coffee routine is the swoosh of tires on the puddled street. When people complain-- as they inevitably do-- about the incessant rain, I'm the first to leap to your defense, and point out the emerald surroundings that result from all the wet weather.

However, I'm sick of it.

Have you forgotten that we are approaching mid-May? Because it really feels like February out there. Actually, never mind. February was nicer.

You may have been bored with the typical spring weather of sunshine and temperatures in the mid-sixties, but you know what? We liked it that way. Hey, forget the mid-sixties, I'd be happy with hitting sixty degrees. It would be so exciting to leave the house without a jacket.

So if it's not too much trouble, could we lighten up a bit here? Maybe have more than one sunny day in a row, maybe even a couple warm ones? I have gardening to do... that is, if my vegetables become convinced it's spring. And I'm rapidly running out of the photos I took on rare non-rainy days. I have obligations, you know. People will probably stop visiting Bellingham Daily Photo if I only post pictures of my kids, my cats, and rain-streaked windows.

Please. I'm begging here. Please stop with the cold, the wet, the windy. Please bring back the sun!

Soddenly yours,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Only ghosts catch the train here.

Living passengers must wait for the train at the bigger, newer station in Fairhaven.

The old Bellingham train depot was designed by local architect F. Stanley Piper and built in the early 1920's after the original building burned down. Passengers walked through these lovely arches and waited for the train under glossy high-beamed ceilings and fancy wrought-iron chandeliers. In the early 1980's the depot was deemed too small, and passenger service switched to Fairhaven. Located at what is now a little-known dead end on D Street, most people drive near this beautiful old building every day without any knowledge of it.