Saturday, 17 May 2008

Trip to Bellingham


Friday was one of those perfect days. My school had the day off (long story - not a Pro-D day but and actual holiday), the weather was absolutely perfect, and I was psyched for a new personal challenge - scooting to Bellingham, USA!

Last summer, I made my first scooter trip into the USA - just south of Lynden, Washington which is a few miles south of the border. Ever since that trip I have been thinking of pushing the distance a little bit.

Friday was ideal as my wife an kids had school so it was like a bonus day for me to do what I wanted. I go up early and by 7:45 was on my way, crossing the river on the Albion Ferry in the sunshine.

I got to the border about an hour later. There was quite a lineup because this particular crossing is only open 8AM to midnight. I did the terrible cut in thing by zipping down the breakdown lane (which, I found out, is technically illegal in British Columbia) and only had a five minute wait. The border guard was not overly unfriendly and I was on the road.


I took mostly quieter roads. One photo I took was a view north to the Golden Ears, in Maple Ridge.


First stop was Lynden. I stopped at the breakfast place I had visited before but instead of having a giant egg, bacon and hash brown meal, I just had a latté and a bagel. I still like the look of Lynden - it’s a very friendly little town.

I then pressed on south to Bellingham. It was a very nice ride, zipping along in the sunshine, although I made sure that I pulled over whenever there were a few cars behind me.



I got a bit lost on the way to the downtown area, but that’s part of the fun of this kind of adventure. I stopped at the Roeder House which is a stately home. He was big into fishing and built the home in 1903. It was closed, though, so I couldn’t get a peek inside.

After a few more zigs and zags, I ended up at the downtown area. It was Ok, the hub of the area being the local Starbucks, but either I was too early or it was a pretty quiet area. I suspect it was the former as there were a nice variety of stores and lots of potential.


I then headed a little north, stopping to take a photo of this great guitar store.

Five minutes later, I was at Bellis Fair Mall. This mall was built when Canadians frequently crossed the border to grab great US bargains as the two dollars were pretty close in value. Then the Canadian dollar slumped to around 60¢ and the mall almost died. Now that the dollars are close again, the mall is returning to its former glory.


A great find was the Daiso Japan store. It’s like going to a bargain store in Tokyo - almost everything is $2 and all the packaging is Japanese. Very cool. I bought some Japanese toothpicks and resisted the urge to cart a trailer full of nifty items home with me.


I then stopped at the food court for lunch. I went to one of those Mongolian places where you pick some food and they weigh it and cook it. I was feeling rather healthy so I picked a bunch of veggies and a bit of chicken. Imagine my surprise when the woman behind the counter weighed it and the charge was $10! Oh well, at what price health....

I then sped back towards the border in the sunshine, this time being given a bit of a gruff attitude by the Canadian border guard. Quelle suprise!


On the way home, I stopped by Otter Park in Langley. It was just a little place that I almost missed but once I was in there, the absolute Greeness of the park sort of summed up how the whole ride seemed. What with the sun , warmth, and amazing greenery on both sides of the border, I felt, well, green! An excellent ride on an awesome day!

8 comments:

Gianluca said...

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Dave Dixon said...

Hi Gianluca

I found your Twowheelsblog quite interesting, although I;m not keen on all of the ads. I have put a link for it on my blogroll. Hope you enjoyed reading my blog....

TVH said...

Dave,

What a great ride. I have taken my scoot into Lynden from here in Langley too. My parents live there for half the year. Hannegan St. was a great choice to get to Bellingham: less busy than the Guide and less construction too.

I cross the line quite often but usually in the minivan since it holds more gas (We're paying about $5.10/gal. here in BC! That's why ride my LX50!)

I usually receive more grief from the Canadian border officials than the US ones too. Go figure.

I have never seen nor heard of Otter Park before. Looks like a nice stop. I'll have to check it out someday.

Thanks for keeping up your great blog!

Dave Dixon said...

TVH

That route is certainly a nicer one than trying to keep up on Guide Meridian. My next step is to figure out a nice ride to Seattle - maybe this summer.

Glad you're enjoying the blog!

Heinz & Frenchie said...

What a nice ride and thanks for sharing it with us. We loved the phtotos of Lynden, such a quaint place. How many miles did you cover and how many hours? So happy that you are now having nice riding weather.

Stop By - Have Fun said...

Hi Dave,
Your Blog is inspirational. Thanks for sharing with us.
Can you post (When you have time) a more detailed outline of the route map say from Langley to Bellingham. Where to cross the border, which route to stay on...etc....
Berge
PS: Your trip to Japan was also a very interesting read.

scgt said...

That Mongolian meal is kinda steep for $10. And they weigh it? Wow! Must be organic chicken...

--Lorenzo

Dave Dixon said...

heinz and frenchie
I'm not sure - I think it was about 2 and a half hours to get to Bellingham including a half hour break in Lynden. Probably around 50 or so miles (80 km). It was the only nice day preceded and followed by a month of rain!

Stop by - have fun
I'll get on that in the summer after I've seen the last student out the door. Glad you enjoyed the Tokyo journal.

Lorenzo
It wasn't the deal I was hoping for, that's for sure.