Connecting In Bellingham

It was a bitter-sweet moment getting off the plane in Seattle. Our bicycle tour had ended prematurely following Lars’ diagnosis.

Seeing Lucas and Ashlee waiting at the airport dissolved that feeling of sadness, wonder and regret we were carrying from Bogota. We exchanged hugs all around and then scoffed down the thoughtful care package of healthy snacks and tinctures they had brought along with them for the final two hour drive north to Bellingham. In the morning, we would wake up to a bright new day and the next phase of our trip.

Bellingham is a small city situated between the San Juan islands and snow capped North Cascades mountains. Needless to say, the people here love the outdoors. You can hike, bike, snowboard, kayak and sail all in the same day – hence the annual Ski To Sea race. It was a perfect opportunity to spend time with family, enjoy the outdoors and get to know the community.

Hanging Out At Bonnie’s

For two and half months we stayed with Lars’ Mom Bonnie in her beautiful home. It has a stunning view of Bellingham Bay from the sitting room where we sat drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Bonnie is a talented ceramics and metalwork artist and has a studio on her property. We whittled away many hours making crafts and Lars built her a website to showcase her art. Check it out at HellFireRaku.com.

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A family portrait

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Bonnie, Jenny, Luke and Ashlee

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Everyday started with the morning coffee.

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Bicycle helmets were used for keeping the plasterboard in place whilst Ashlee secured the screws.

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Lucas and Lars tinkered with Bonnie’s MIG welder.

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Jenny felt the power of a chain saw.

Raku tiled table made by Bonnie Henning
We sat around a raku tiled table made by Bonnie Henning (Lars’ mom)

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Kali brought us presents.

Hiking Near Mount Baker

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After an unusually long drought, we were able to hike without our snowshoes most of the way up to Artist Point at the Mt Baker Ski Area.

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… sipping on mate to keep warm …

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… until we got *too* warm after some more climbing.

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Jenny tried snowshoes for the first time; they’re not exactly common footwear in the UK.

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And she liked them… a lot!

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We reached Artist Point for an afternoon picnic and sunset…

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… with Shuksan glacier catching the last of the day’s sun…

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… and Lars sipping the last of the mate.

Shlukee’s house

Luke and Ashlee live near Lake Whatcom in the woods. Before the snow melted away we went up there to go sledging.

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‘Dude Lebowski’ – bird and rodent hunter and general badass extraordinaire.

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You’ve got to split wood around these parts to keep warm in winter.

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We hiked to the highest point for some good sledding action…

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… but it was not quite steep enough, so Lucas had to pull Ashlee down…

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… after a snowball fight…

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… resulting in cold ears.

Portraits á Gogo

A couple of years ago, Lucas and Ashlee they started their own business Portraits á Gogo, a unique custom-built photobooth rental company for events.

Image courtesy of Portraits á Gogo
Image courtesy of Portraits á Gogo

So we took the opportunity to see them in action.

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 Lucas and Ashlee’s Photobooth 2.0 at a local event in BHam

 

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*All photos courtesy of Portraits á Gogo

Community Fun

Every Monday Lars and I joined Bonnie to volunteer at the Bellingham Food Bank. Anyone in Bellingham can receive assistance from this organisation mainly run by volunteered support.

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Bellingham Food Bank. Whatcom County’s largest emergency food provider

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We helped Bonnie sort through the produce donated daily by local supermarkets and farms.

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Several big truckloads arrive each day and the fresh produce is sorted into boxes for distribution to those in need.

Fun Walks And Other Silliness

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Jenny And Bonnie keeping warm

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The trusty ‘Life Is Good’ frisbee made its way through Mexico to Colombia and back to Bellingham.

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One of P Gogo’s many props; this one makes the most annoying beeps you’ve ever heard.

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The Sehome Hill Arboretum sits proudly above Western Washington University campus.

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Upside down stairs

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Holding up the sky

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One of the many beautiful sunsets, this one seen from WWU campus

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The courtyard outside Village Books, Downtown Fairhaven

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