Ski to Sea Shakedown

29 May

We took one last shakedown cruise to the Ski to Sea race in Bellingham, WA with the RV this last weekend before we take off on our 3 month long road trip of the National Parks of the West June 1st, 2009 .  I’ve gone through the entire rig from top to bottom, but I haven’t found any big surprises, so with a knock on wood I think this thing is ready to roll.

We stayed with our buddy Bill’s place at his super deluxe home on Camano Island overlooking Rosario Strait. It was the night before the big race and we had a big pasta feast and multi desert over load along with a few beers and a good fire.

We woke up early and after a few initial setbacks we had a great 18 mile race down the Nooksack River.  Personally I’ve never paddled so hard for two and half hours before in my life.  I was just a little disappointed in our time given the immense effort.  The Ski to Sea race is a multiple leg race which starts at Mt. Baker ski area and ends up in Bellingham, WA. It’s a great race and I encourage anyone to learn more about it at

They had a killer party afterward, which I found to be the best part of the whole day. Bellingham is a really chill kinda town. It’s the kinda town where people stop and talk, wave to you on the street and say hello if they pass you on the side walk. I met Joe who’s family has lived in his house overlooking B’ham Bay for 3 generations. Joe invites me in to his house for a drink after yelling out “short trip” when I came back to the RV after forgetting my cell phone. We ended up hanging out for ½ hours before I made it back to a not so happy g-friend.  His place is the epitome of an American classic home with family photos covering the wood paneling, 70’s décor and shag carpeting. The big deck offers a spectacular view over looking the bay with Lummi and Orcas island in the background. Joe is a fisherman and is probably my age, but has the weather worn face that only 15 years on the Bering Sea could produce.  He is the kinda guy you would like to have as a neighbor.

Not to say that I do not love living in Seattle, but that just does not happen in Seattle. Also, I do not know if it was the huge street party afterward, but after walking back to the rig from morning’s breakfast I noticed two cars that had their keys in the ignition and most of the other cars unlocked. I remember when I went off to college I would tell people I’ve never owned a house key or ever came home to a locked house and I always would leave my keys under the front seat of my car. It was a hard transition to not think like that anymore. It’s good to see there is a town that still has that mentality. I could definitely live here.

After a good breakfast Jen and I went on a good road ride. We stumbled onto the Interurban trail which winds through town and a great way to get around on bike. We ended up on Old Sammish Rd and took that all the way out and around Lake Sammish on an old country road. We passed beautiful farm houses and tucked away hobbit like houses in the canyon. I found the old fishing cabins on Lake Sammish very rustic and charming. It’s odd not to see those old places replaced by the McMansions of Seattle. After a nice long ride we headed back to B’ham for a bite and a beer, but since it was Memorial Day we found the places near our rig closed, so we jumped back onto the Interurban again and road it into town. We ended up having H.H. at the Bellingham Bay Brewery, which makes one of my favorite beers. Then onto Casa Que Pasa which houses the tequila research institute, famous for their potato burrito. It’s one of our favorite stops when we come back from kayaking in the San Juans.
Overall, it was another great weekend in the rig.

I could really get used to this type of lifestyle…


Leave a Reply


  1. Chris Struble

    June 1, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I like Bellingham too, we’ve been up that way several times and it seems like a great place to retire, very laid back and great views of the water too. We spent several Larrabee State Park just down the coast (I hear the park may be closed, I hope not), and spent a day at the university there last year, our girls want to go to college there now. Enjoy your adventure.

  2. KonstantinMiller

    July 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm

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