Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bellingham park walk

Early morning light through the fog
Eighteen Senior Trailblazers met at the Senior Center this morning to start our walk in dense fog. We knew it was forecast to lift fairly soon, but the clear skies of the previous night caused it to be really cold as we set out walking from the Center.
Frozen berries
I saw these berries that looked as cold as I was feeling when we set out on the city streets. The entire walk was either on pavement or very established trails, so nobody needed trekking poles, and most of us left our hiking boots at home too.
Wide enough for two
Since most of the time the trails were wide enough for us to have two or three abreast, we chatted the entire way, along Railroad trail to Northridge Park, the first place we visited. Then we headed off to Big Rock Garden, a beautiful 2.5-acre garden with permanent outdoor sculptures. It's tucked away among the evergreens, and many of our hikers didn't even know it was there. From that link:
The Park boasts over 37 permanent works by distinguished international and local artists. ... Each May the Friends of Big Rock Garden Park and the Bellingham Parks & Recreation Department sponsor a Mother's Day Celebration with a focus on the garden and the opening of a new seasonal sculpture show.
I knew about the park, but not about the Mother's Day celebration. I'll be back for that! It's a sweet and peaceful place. Here's one of the sculptures we saw today:
Positive Spirit by Shirley Erickson
You can also see that the fog had begun to lift a little, and by this time I had warmed up considerably. The garden is near Whatcom Falls Park, so we reluctantly left this lovely place (plus we were all beginning to get cold) to see the falls.
Dam and bridge over the lower falls
The stone bridge over the upper falls has an interesting history. I found some information about it from the park's website. (This excerpt is taken from the Park's PDF brochure.)
Roosevelt’s New Deal Works Progress Administration paid workers to move the Chuckanut sandstone arches from a downtown burned-out building to the park. In 1939 the sandstone was used to construct the landmark stone bridge.
The sandstone bridgework on the left
I feel very fortunate to live in a city that has so many beautiful parks within its boundaries. It would have been really nice if that sun we kept hoping for would have made a final appearance, but we weren't in the right place at the right time, I guess. However, here's a picture of the upper falls taken from the bridge. Looking at the picture I can almost hear them roar.
Whatcom Falls
We stopped to eat a quick lunch in the gloom, as the fog had deepened around us again. But then as we began our trek back to the Senior Center, the sun came out for good, and we managed to get warm and toasty as we finished our ten-mile-long walk around town. And on one of the final trails, we spied this hawk who eyed us suspiciously for several seconds before taking off.
Maybe it's a Seahawk
Since I was just getting ready to snap the picture as he was perched, it was serendipitous that I caught him, almost in focus, as he took off to escape our attention. It looks to me like this might be his very own roosting spot. 

All in all, it was a good day, with lots of good company and the ability to visit with each other the entire time. My knee doesn't really like those hard surfaces for such a long distance, so I'm sitting here writing this post with a cup of tea and some ibuprofen, happy to be relaxing. Of course, NOW the sun is out in full force, but I'll enjoy it from my easy chair.


  1. the sculpture park is really neat. the falls are, too. (maybe it's a seahawk. :))

  2. Of course the sun will show up after you hike is over. Everything is very beautiful but the sculpture is my favorite. We have fog with occasional snow over this way.

  3. You had a beautiful place to walk and some awesome companions.

  4. i think i have been to most of the parks if not all in my city...that one with all the art is really cool...i want to see more of the of the coolest places here to walk is old city cemetery which has many relics from the city history...

  5. Nice walk. Nice to have all those trails around. Love that picture of the frosty berries.

  6. There's something not quite right here but I can't seem to put my finger on it. It'll come to me...

    What a wonderful area you have to explore this way. I'm hoping that my new area will have something similar. More importantly, I'm hoping to find a great group with whom walk. But for now, I love to see the places you go. It's so cool that you can always bring us along this way.

    Too bad your knee is sore. I hope the ibus help. And NOW I know what's not quite right. It's got you drinking tea instead of wine. That's just.. wrong! ;)

  7. This was a change of pace. It looks like a nice change of pace. What were the berries? That photo is really nice. I loved it.

  8. Nice walk, but no climbing. ("Nice" is relative; it wasn't snowing, so that's good.) The pictures of the wall and the falls are interesting.

    I hope your knee quits acting up. It could put a wrench into your plans for Skydiving and Mountain Climbing.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

  9. Must be a Seahawk! The sculptures look interesting, you will have to show us more sometime! Another great hike even if it was intown, I don't like the hard surfaces either my ankle protests:)

  10. That's a great walk that I would take over and over again, but I would have to divide it in two. Of course I might be able to do ten miles if I slowed down. :-)
    Let's say it was a seahawk, and it was a good omen.

  11. You posted early in the afternoon, which is unusual. Looks like a very pretty walk through the park.

  12. This feels like a deeply spiritual place to me although I'm not quite sure why.

  13. Beautiful sculpture park I bet!!! And the hawk...definitely an omen.

  14. It sounds like the kind of hike I would enjoy if it doesn't require hiking boots and poles. Nice scenery with art and history too. Your intrepid group is growing.

  15. You usually scoot up mountain trails. I really like the idea of being able to chat and walk side by side. That always makes the time fly. More my kind of hiking. You really have a great group of hikers and a variety of places to go.
    Linda might be right about the omen.

  16. Love the pic of the falls. I always enlarge your photos. It makes me feel like I'm right there.

  17. What a lovely walk. You live in such a beautiful part of the country. Did anyone eat any frozen berries? ;)

  18. Ahh. Nature, good company, crisp air, wildlife, beautiful structures, paths to walk along without being knee-deep in snow.. it all speaks bliss to me!
    I like your "sea"hawk's perch - what a beautiful shot of him with his wings spread.

  19. You really get to know a place when you walk through so much of it. I love the frozen berry photo, and I love your cutline. Seahawk, indeed. Someone has the Super Bowl on her mind. :)

  20. This is such a pretty place. I'm sorry about your knees though. It didn't even occur to me that it would hurt your knees worse than on the other long hikes in the mountains that you take.

  21. What a lovely walk. It would suit me just fine, only half the distance please. Lots to see and good company. Wonderful.


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