Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Great Outdoors

Living in Bellingham certainly has its perks, particularly for outdoors enthusiasts. Within Bellingham, Whatcom County, and the surrounding area are some of the most breathtaking landscapes at our fingertips-- a paradise for hikers, bikers, paragliders, horseback riders, photographers and general lovers of the trail. It is clear that being an outdoors-person in Bellingham comes with the territory.

The classic image of this "City of Subdued Excitement" just may be the Subaru complete with bike rack, happy dog out the window, and "Co-exist" or "Buy Local" bumper sticker making its way to the Co-Op for some organic produce after stopping at the Sportsman Chalet for some gear, (and Otion for some handmade soap! ... sorry... had to slip that one in), and finally heading out to the mountain for some fun.

Needless to say, if you haven't fully taken advantage of the amazing hikes and views in the greater Bellingham area, you may just not quite be considered a Bellinghamster. If you feel like you are missing out, visit this great site for more information on hitting the trail. There places for everyone with a variety of skill levels and terrain, from mountains to beaches.

Some of my favorite spots include Teddy Bear Cove off Chuckanut Drive (pictured at top) and in order based on the photos; Skyline Divide trail below Mt. Baker, (Nooksack Falls is a great stop in the Mt. Baker Wilderness as well), Larrabee State Park (more for the views and less for the hiking), Fragrance Lake (great swimming spot in the summer), and Blanchard Mt. where you just might catch some paragliders jumping off. For a real workout, try Pine and Cedar Lake trail. It goes straight up. And up. And up. In fact, it will have you pep-talking yourself through the whole thing. Anne-Marie conquered the beast last summer!