Some of the Fairhaven walkers, January 1, 2010
To start my new year, I went on a walk with the Fairhaven walkers, a group of (mostly) women who meet in various places around Bellingham to walk along the boulevard, around a lake, or to the marina. While they were gathering our breakfast treats after our walk, I lined up a few of them to snap a picture. That's Cindy, the organizer, looking down. They take a brisk walk every Saturday between 3 and 7 miles.
Every New Years Day they meet an hour later than usual (today at 9:00 am) to begin the new year with a walk and a shared treat. Cindy brought hot chocolate and coffee, someone else brought cookies, and another brought homemade breakfast burritos. Cindy brought enough hot chocolate for twice as many!
The group is a small one of 8 to 13, according to Cindy, with some occasional walkers and other hard-core ones (like my friends Linda and Peggy). Since it was very windy, we walked around Lake Padden on the less windy side and then turned around and walked back, for about 3 miles. I had to jog every once in a while to keep up, but otherwise it was a truly wonderful time. It never rained, but the wind was whipping up whitecaps on the lake.
After they left, I stayed around to take pictures of the Polar Bear Club, which also meets at Lake Padden every New Years Day for the annual plunge. I wasn't sure how many people would show up, but it was a huge crowd. I tried to make sure I wasn't in the way of the bathers, and I got this shot of them lining up waiting for the stroke of noon:
It doesn't look like so many people, does it? The picture below, however, shows maybe half of the "swimmers," and you can see some are already heading out of the water while others are going in. I would say it was definitely in the hundreds. Bellingham Polar Bears, indeed! I had no idea I was in a town of so many crazy people. No wonder I feel so at home here...