Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Whatcom Backroads


        Although I have found very few dirt roads in Washington, that are not logger roads.  Which are accurately more mud than dirt.  I love a great back road.  I grew up in a small town, almost a village, it was so small in Wyoming.  And was surrounded by dirt back roads.   The best ones took a long time to get no were.  The great ones took an explorer up the magnificent Rockie Mountains.  It is no wonder many a great country song involves getting lost on back roads.  Away from the gridlock and hassles and just seeing, being, and enjoying. 

Rockie Mountains
With a glimpse of all that is Sheridan, Wyoming.

        In today's blog I focus on just a few areas.  Not really on any real mission or any actual dirt roads.   And I showcase some of the sights along the way.   I start with my journey to Lummi a few weeks back.   I had lots of time to kill, and wandered through the farm land.  The main mission in my picture taking, never happened on this trip.  I wanted some shots of Mt Baker, but although it was a sunny day, most of the mountain was blocked behind pesky clouds.  Every time I drive to work, I marvel at this sight, and at how much snow is on it's face.  Especially since we have seen NADA snow in Bellingham this year.  Possibly because we jinked it and bought sleds before winter hit.  But, even after all of that great hype, I have no pictures of the mountain to share today.   I do have lots of pictures of old buildings and barns.  Old barns have always been fascinating to me.  And I have pictures from ones all across this state and others.   One of my favorites is in Wyoming, and no longer stands.  It was collapsing, and the used wood was salvaged by a contractor. 


    Another great spot for such barns is out on the back roads of Lyndan, especially near the new casino, again these are not pictured today. ;)  Although many of the buildings are out past Wal- Mart.  Today we start with the roads near Lummi and the Silver Reef, were I work.  If you keep up with my posts, the last entry was about the joys of Lummi exploring. 

I drive past this lone tree all of the time. 
It stands in the middle of the fields
and I think it makes for a great picture.
This lonely pumpkin head stands guard at one of the local pumpkin patches. 

                                                  The old barn at the pumpkin patch.
                                           And a few more dotted across the nearby country side.

The next day I ventured out past Wal- Mart taking side roads through the country side.
Just off of the Guide is this huge memorial to all of the babies killed by abortion each year.
This picture only shows a portion of the sight.  But makes you stop and think. 
       All of the blackberry bushes kept me from exploring much further on this sight, not the sign so much.  
And a peek inside this building...
I do not think this boat has seen use for awhile, but they are certainly ready for escape in the next flood.
Two angles of the same building.
                                                                  Some old wood.

  I was not aware this mining sight was even here.  I had to sneak past some more keep out signs to get this shot of my new swimming hole?

Sadly they were tearing the above buildings down when I passed.
But I have them preserved forever to view here. 
                                                        And some more old barns!
Last shot for today
An old barn in Blaine Washington
Now it's your turn to get away from it all and explore a back road or three. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lummi Nation

      I am very proud and happy to work at the Silver Reef Casino.  Because I like my job and wish to keep it, I do not share much about work---but for the most part really love my job.  I have posted some pictures and such from trips to the casino with my beautiful wife.  I can say that I am the token white boy on the night crew.  Not that I smoke, but that I am one of the few workers in the Cafe on nights, that is white.  I would like to say this helps my tips, but I doubt it.  I can also say that the great Casino, is soon to get greater, with the next huge phase of it's expansion being completed on the 9th of May.  With a huge events center, another restaurant, 300 more slot machines, and lots more parking.  Of course I will have a picture filled blog about this before our big move.    And the next exploring blog will be about the land around the casino.  Were I was mostly trying to get some pictures of the great snow covered mountains in the distance, but it was to cloudy of a day for that on this day.   Today is about venturing further --to the reservation land. 

      You can take this journey on the city bus.  This is nice, reasonable price, but time consuming.   No matter how you drive to the reservation, you can defiantly tell when you get on Lummi Land. 

    From all of the nifty speed checker signs, to the over-turned boats just off the side of the road.  Or from the spray painted signs warning you of the local speed limit.   Of course not all of the great aspects are negative.   These are a great people, and this is a rich land in sights and resources.  Plus the carvings all around are amazing!   Just past the casino you start running into some great carvings and totem poles. 

There is also a great raised walkway/boardwalk.  That I was pleased to see so many people out jogging and running on.   This day was once again a very rare -for the season-sunny day.

On this trip I traveled out I-5 and than down Slater Road. 
This road is full of great sights.  Like the above barn.  In the next blog post I will
include more landscape pictures.
I tried to frame the great mountains into this picture.  But it was to hazy and cloudy for that.  
This bridge was out of commission for two months over the summer after a truck driver hit several of the beams and the bridge was deemed not safe.  By the travel commission.
This allowed for some very long commutes to and from work --leading through Ferndale. 
Another fun thing to do while enjoying the sights, is to read the many motivational posters.
This one can be found just before the ferry out to Lummi Island. 
Of course, like much of this state, fishing is big business here.
Hi-tech security at it's best. 
I thought this picture was a great balance between beauty and just gross.
Ferry pulling up.....
On this day I did not have enough time to journey to the island.  But it is a great trip. 
Although taking a vehicle is encouraged.  Sights are spread across the island and it quickly turns into a long walk.   The voyage on the ferry is very nice.   And reasonable.   Some state ferries are extremely expensive. 
I hope that all of this reflects all the beauty that can be found in Lummi.
I do not intend to knock this great area or tribe in any way in this post.
I hope you enjoyed
And as always 
**Happy Trails!!**

Thursday, April 4, 2013

More Exploring

     This is going to be a quick -picture filled post.  I have several posts from this great area of Bellingham and hope that you have enjoyed them all!   Or will go back and enjoy them.  Since we are moving out of state in about 60 days--I have been trying to get all of the pictures of this beautiful area I can.  The cross country move and our new location will happily become my third blog series!  
     On this day our youngest had earned a day out-- with dinner.   He chose Subway.   There are so many of the sandwich shops in this area, I wanted to choose one were we could do a little exploring before we ate.  And we ended up down by the bay, and the outlet near The classic and elegant Bellwater Motel. 

   But first we made a detour downtown to the Alamo Apartments.   This is a classic old building near WWU and above the great downtown.  This building has a very rich history.  Although maybe not the most glamorous.  And is now a three story grouping of studio apartments.  The first time I lived in Bellingham, this is were I lived.  Anyway, one of the residents of these apartments painted a huge mural on the large outside wall of the building. 

This huge mural pictures many of the classic buildings that make this town great.
It was painted by a resident of the Alamo that was arrested years ago for painting graffiti.  And now is trying to give back to the community.
      The above is also at the Alamo, by the same artist.  And goes down the smaller wall.   If nothing else it shows how much it rains here. 

                                           Than it was time to go down to the bay.

    This coffee shop was closed --- but I thought the window reflections were great!  Than some quick exploring to work up an appetite. 

    Very close to here is an outlet of the Coast Guard.   And of course a large, busy marina. 


                                                         Looking back at the big city!
                                                              As the sun starts to set.

     We than took off along the bay line.  And saw some great views. 
    I always try to capture views of the sun, because it is so rare this time of year. 

     You can just make out the statue in this pictures background.   For all of the brave sailors that went out, and never saw land again.

           This was shot in front of one of the many restaurants along the water.   A fountain trickles down all of the rocks and the bright light in the background is a flaming ball of fire. 

                        Next blog post is all about exploring Lummi, Washington