Page 1





take enjoy keep



The bugaboos


in victoria


THE JUAN DE Fuca trail


autumn’s best rides snorkeling with salmon into the tombstones George Dyson’s Baidarkas A season in antarctica >>> EXTENSIVE OUTDOOR EVENTS CALENDAR INSIDE

SUNDAY SEPT. 23 2012 (First wave at 11am)





Over 20 Spectator friendly obstacles. Boundary Bay beer garden, several local food vendors, live music, kids zone and a bonfire! Costumes are encouraged and you can SIGN UP as a family, team or individual! KIDS are only $10, STUDENTS are $20 and ADULTS are $30

K2 • Burton • Arc’teryx • The North Face • Volkl • Nordica, Lange • Ride • Jones • Marmot • Smith • GNU • Marmot • Rossignol • Atomic • Marker


Swap, Oct 13-14

Voted best Ski & Snowboard shop in Bellingham!

Drop off starts 10/8

Cascadia Weekly

2420 James St., Bellingham, WA

Labor Day Ski & Board Sale

360-671-1044 1-800-600-1044

Aug 29th to Sept 3




SPOKANE YAKIMA RICHLAND/TRI-CITIES BELLINGHAM OLYMPIA TICKETING TACOMA BELLEVUE Bellingham tickets available at Mount Baker EVERETT Theatre (, BREMERTON SEATTLE 360.734.6080), Fairhaven Bike & Ski, AUBURN Sportsman Chalet, and KIRKLAND

Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox Capitol Theatre Chief Joseph Middle School Mount Baker Theatre Washington Center for the Performing Arts Pantages Theater Meydenbauer Center Historic Everett Theatre Admiral Theatre McCaw Hall at Seattle Center Auburn Performing Arts Center Kirkland Performance Center

Oct. 20 Nov. 02 Nov. 03 Nov. 08 Nov. 09 Nov. 10 Nov. 11 Nov. 14 Nov. 15 Nov. 16 & 17 Nov. 18 Nov. 20 & 21


Ticket holders receive savings coupon at event


Buy 10 or more tickets and get $2 off every full price ticket, FREE SHIPPING, & a download card for a

CALL NOW: (800) 523-7117


race | play | experience


CONTRIBUTORS Steph Abegg has climbed extensively in various climbing areas across western North America. Her home range is the North Cascades, where she enjoys the rugged glaciated beauty. No matter the difficulty of the route, she always has a camera along, documenting the adventure and capturing images of the spectacular terrain. Visit her at: Anita K. Boyle is a graphic designer, illustrator and poet who lives just outside Bellingham. She has lived in the Pacific Northwest over fifty years, and still considers the contemplative beauty of this place as her greatest inspiration. Visit her at Brett Baunton’s photo credits range from National Geographic to Nature’s Best magazine to Whatcom Places, Alaska and Washington Tourism, Audubon and Sierra Calendars. The USPS featured Brett’s Pacific Crest Trail image on a “Wonders of America” stamp. Brett’s studio, ArtScan is located in the Bay Street Village in Bellingham. Visit his new website at

FALL | 2012 Volume 7. Issue 3 ing and running, he can often be found napping with his cats, Giuseppe and Scruffy Gray. Visit him at As he enters the quiet eye of a mid-life storm, freelance scribe Ted Rosen distills his worldweary musings into fine droplets of hopeful mirth. His lousy back has re-centered his adventures on European travel rather than rocky tent floors, and he likes it that way. On a typical day at 80°01’S, 119°57’W, Abigail Sussman wore two layers of long johns, a Patagonia R1 hoodie, a light down puffy, insulated Carhartt overalls and jacket, goggles, a toque, and a Buff. She spent most days shoveling snow and is not being at all facetious when she says she enjoyed it. Shout out to Becky and Nick for the advice and to all Byrds and PIGs. Lisa Toner grew up hiking and backpacking in the North Cascades. She began climbing with the Bellingham Mountaineers in 2006, and has summited many peaks in the Western United States and British Columbia. Though she spent this past summer cycling through Europe, she often dreams of alpine scenery and the feeling of solid granite beneath her rock shoes. She can’t wait to return to the mountains.

Along with being an admitted summerlover and fall-phobe, Mike McQuaide is a Bellingham writer, guidebook author and bike addict. His latest book, 75 Classic Rides: Washington (Mountaineers Books) was published in May. His blog is www.mcqview. Jessica Newley is a graduate student at Western Washington University, pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Education. She is an avid SCUBA diver, passionate about the environment, and enjoys the adventure that photography brings. Jessica is currently teaching at the North Cascades Institute ( as part of her Master’s program. A bicyclist, backpacker, kayaker, and regular contributor to Adventures NW, Laural Ringler has published almost 80 articles and blogs at She was reading Eugene Linden’s The Octopus and the Orangutan on the Juan de Fuca trail in the days just before seeing the Giant Pacific Octopus up close and personal. Craig Romano is currently island hopping, researching his next book, Day Hiking San Juan and Gulf Islands. The book includes a chapter on Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula, which means more great trail running! Author of eight books; when not hik-


race | play | experience

A Look Ahead:

Our Winter Issue Winter Hikes Riding Galbraith Saving Vendovi Island

John Scurlock’s Lonely Lookouts


Snorkeling with Salmon Ruminations from the River

When Dreams Come True Climbing in the Bugaboos

Jessica Newley


Lisa Toner


No Time for Tea, I Have to Run

Craig Romano

Making Tracks in Victoria, BC


Hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail

Laural Ringler 22

Coasting on Vancouver Island

Chasing the Sun Autumn Bike Rides without the Gore-Tex

The Colors of Autumn The Splendor of the North Cascades

Into the Tombstones A Journey to the Arctic

George Dyson From Tree House to Turing’s Cathedral

Mike McQuaide 26 Brett Baunton 30 John D’Onofrio 32 Ted Rosen 38

When Clouds Become Mountains

Abigail Sussman 42

A Season in Antartica

“All we have, it seems to me, is the beauty of art and nature and life, and the love which that beauty inspires.” - Edward Abbey

COVER Rappelling from the summit block of Bugaboo Spire Photo by Steph Abegg

Out & About eARTh: The Art of Nature Cascadia Gear Race | Play | Experience Calendar Advertiser Index Next Adventure

8 37 47 48 56 58

Photo by John D’Onofrio


There’s A World Of Possibilities Out There. Client: race | Pub: Ad:

Island Bank playWhidbey | experience Adventure NW “Possibilities” Ad


ADVENTURES nw > FIND Adventures NW is available free at hundreds of locations region-wide: throughout Whatcom, Island, Skagit, and San Juan counties, at all Washington REI stores, in select spots in Snohomish Co., Leavenworth, Winthrop, Wenatchee, Vancouver, BC, at area visitor and transit centers, and through numerous races and events. > SUBSCRIBE Have ANW mailed to your

home, your work, or as a gift subscription. Info at Multi-copy subscriptions are available, with discounts based on quantity and location.

> ADVERTISE Let Adventures NW magazine help you reach a diverse, receptive audience throughout the Pacific Northwest, and be part of one of the most valued and engaging publications in the region. Info is at or by writing to dennis @

> CONTRIBUTE Adventures NW welcomes original article queries—including feature stories, expert advice, photo essays, the Next Adventures shot, etc. For information: john @ AdventuresNW. com.

FALL | 2012 Volume 7. Issue 3

> EVENTS Have your outdoor-related event, race or public outing listed in the quarterly race|play|experience calendar and the regularly updated online version. Write to dennis @ for information.

> DEADLINES Winter Article queries Sep 1 Ad reservations Oct 20 Final ads & calendar listings Nov 1 Spring Article queries Dec 1 Ad reservations Jan 20 Final ads & calendar listings Feb 1 Summer Article queries Mar 1 Ad reservations Apr 20 Final ads & calendar listings May 1 Fall Article queries Jun 1 Ad reservations Jul 20; Final ads & calendar listings Aug 1

Adventures NW magazine

John D’Onofrio

Publisher/Editor john @

Dennis Brounstein

Advertising Sales dennis @

Jason Rinne

Production Manager jason @

Marian Jensen

Accounting accounting @ Adventures NW magazine is printed by Lithtex NW Printing Solutions, Bellingham

Adventures NW proudly supports hundreds of important local & national organizations, events and efforts, including:

100% green power

CO2Carbon N








scratch-baked pastries & desserts • coffee • breakfast • lunch & ...

now serving dinner downtown! Wednesday-Saturday 3:30-9pm

Thanks cycling fans for another great Tour de France! • Visit us at our Fairhaven location next to WECU • 360-715-2195 6

race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

Autumn Music I love autumn. Make no mistake: I’m a big fan of summer too. The long, lingering evenings, the carpets of wildflowers that turn alpine meadows into fields of light, the exhilaration of plunging into glacier-fed lakes. And frankly, truth be told, I’ve been known to enjoy winter and spring quite a bit also. Each season has its own riches and delights here in the Great Northwest. But autumn is my favorite. I love the way the low-angle sun gleams on the Salish Sea at this time of year. I love the crisp morning air and hunting chanterelles in the fragrant forest. I love the reds, oranges, and purples of the heather and huckleberries, the crimson berries of the mountain ash, the yellow leaves of big leaf maple and the stunning gold of larches against a cobalt blue sky. These idyllic autumn days are made all the sweeter by the knowledge of how quickly they pass and dissolve in winter’s embrace. It’s a time of year where it is especially vital to seize the day, put aside the busy-ness of life and get out and play. Turn around and it’s November and all of those vivid colors pass like a dream, blown away by the cold wind. Timing is everything. And there’s so much to do in Autumn: biking, running, hiking, climbing, and yes, snorkeling with salmon are all ways that you can connect to this most ephemeral season. Adventure beckons. In this issue, we highlight British Columbia, that wonderland just across our northern border, with features on the Bugaboos, Vancouver Island’s Juan De Fuca Trail, and running in that most charming of Canadian cities, Victoria. BC is paradise for

outdoors-lovers of all stripes and autumn is an ideal time in which to avail yourself of these pleasures. Capturing the beauty of this most colorful season, Brett Baunton’s stunning photographs illuminate the landscapes of the North Cascades in all their glory, highlighting the photographer’s passion for the beauty that surrounds us. Brett likes autumn too. We have some more exotic treats as well: One of our favorite writers, Abby Sussman reflects on an enlightening season spent in Antarctica, 750 miles from the South Pole. You’ll also be introduced to Tombstone Territorial Park, way up in the northern Yukon Territory, one of North America’s newest - and most spectacular - parks. Adventure abounds. We’ve also been busy building out a new Adventures NW website. The new site has loads of stories from the magazine, photo galleries, tons of outdoor resources, gear reviews and a new, better-than-ever, comprehensive events calendar. Check it out at Our goal is to be the source for information about outdoors fun in Cascadia - and beyond. But it’s not just about information. We strive to inspire you to have your own adventures, whatever they may be. Life is short, and like these ephemeral seasons, passes in the blink of an eye. Timing is everything.




A new film from Director Ron Fricke (Baraka), Samsara explores the wonders of our world from the mundane to the miraculous, looking into the unfathomable reaches of man’s spirituality and the human experience, illuminating the links between humanity and the rest of nature. Filmed entirely in 70MM, Samsara was filmed over a five-year period in 25 countries.

Check out Doctober at the Pickford: Great documentaries all month long! stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

“Visually breathtaking. Unlike anything you will ever see.” - Indiewire

Starts October 5th at the Pickford Film Center, Bellingham race | play | experience


Out& About September Running, Biking, Paddling, Spawning...and Jazz


ere in our corner of the Pacific Northwest we are blessed with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to outdoor fun in the sun (or fun in the rain, as the case may be). Events for runners, walkers, cyclists, paddlers, and more, provide countless opportunities to experience the fun of competition, savor the great outdoors and build community - one race at a time.

out all the stops. With divisions for solo (Chinook), tandem (Coho), and relay teams (Chum), the Traverse features a greenways run, mountain bike, road bike, trail run, paddle and “team trek”. At the finish line: what else but Traverse Red Ale, brewed especially for the event by Boundary Bay. And you will never hear so many bad puns about fish in one day in your entire life. Trust me on this.

Of course, the month of May brings us the big mama - Ski to Sea - but September has emerged as one non-stop extravaganza of outdoor action (and antics). We thought we’d highlight a few of the many September divertissements soon to be found on the streets, hiking Favinger and Rene Wendt at the Waterfront 15K. trails, bike trails, beaches, Polly Photo courtesy Fairhaven Runners & Walkers and yes, mud pits of our corThis year’s Traverse will happen on ner of the known universe. One curious September 15th, and will support the thing: all of these events involve beer. Kulshan Community Land Trust. The Coincidence? I think not. race starts at 12:30 at The Bellingham Bellingham Traverse: Spawning Fun and Good Farmer’s Market. For more info or to get in on the fun: Works for 11 Years bellingham-traverse/home. There’s really nothing else like the Bellingham Traverse. Really. Celebrating the lifecycle of the salmon, this multi-sport adventure race pulls


race | play | experience

On the Waterfront: 15K and Jazz at the Bellwether Saturday, September 8th will be a great day to be beside the water

in Bellingham. The eighth annual Fairhaven Runners Waterfront 15K offers up a chance to run along the edge of Bellingham Bay from Fairhaven to downtown Bellingham and back. With views out over the water and back to Mount Baker, the route is a scenic delight - and a local favorite. And in an inspired bit of scheduling, that same afternoon you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the second annual Bellwether Jazz Festival, at Tom Glenn Commons at the end of the Bellwether Peninsula. A free event, the jazz festival will be serving up a heady mix of live jazz, food booths and the obligatory beer garden. Music will be provided by Carlos Cascante’s Tumbao, Crossing Borders, Blues Union and the Thomas Marriott Quartet. The festivities are presented by The Jazz Project in association with the Port of Bellingham. “We are so privileged to run this waterfront course, wending our way around the marina and scenic coastal property as we race back toward Fairhaven,” says Steve Roguski, owner (with his wife Genevie) of Fairhaven Runners. “Wouldn’t it be nice to linger awhile and savor the watery scene? Well, for the second year, you have the opportunity to do just that! We hope you include the Bellwether Jazz Festival in your race day plans.” Jud Sherwood, director of the Jazz >>> Go to

to read ANW

The Chuckanut Century

Project agrees that the convergence of the race and the music is perfect. “After finishing a 15K, I can think of no better way to savor the experience and celebrate the Bellingham waterfront than to drink a Boundary Bay beer in a public park while listening to jazz. Truly pure Bellingham.” The race starts at 8:30 am and the jazz starts at 1 pm. Just another glorious day in the City of Subdued Excitement. For more info on the Waterfront 15K: races/fairhaven-15k.aspx For more info on the Bellwether Jazz Fest:

Whatcom Events introduces Muds to Suds Whatcom Events, those fun-loving folks who bring you the Ski to Sea Race each year, invite you to get down and dirty at Ferndale’s Hovander Park on September 23rd. The newly introduced Muds to Suds race is a wild 3-mile long obstacle course that includes no fewer than 18 muddy obstacles. Participants are encouraged to dress up for the event (prizes will be awarded for the most creative costumes). Divisions include kids, students, adults and fossils. “We will also be collecting peoples dirty muddy shoes after the race,” organizer Mel Monkelis stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

says. “Green Sneakers will be collecting, cleaning and donating the shoes to those people that need them. We encourage everyone to consider this.” At the finish line, you’ll find food vendors, live music and (of course) a Boundary Bay beer garden. Fire trucks will be on hand to hose off participants and a bonfire will blaze to warm you up. Muds to Suds will also be a plastic water bottle-free event, featuring Zip2Water (on-demand filtered water to fill racers water bottles). Whatcom Events has become a champion of Zip2Water - they can now provide it for any local races or events, according to Monkelis. Contact for details. The fun starts at 11:00 am. For more info:

rides of 25, 38, 50, 62, 100 or 124 miles ranging from a south loop beside the waters of Bellingham, Samish and Padilla Bays to a northern route with million dollar views of Mt. Baker, the Canadian Cascades and Vancouver Island. If there are more beautiful places to ride a bike, let me know. Proceeds benefit Whatcom Hospice. The event is presented by the Mount Baker Bike Club. For more info: http:// Visit for complete listings of Outdoor events through 2013


Chuckanut Century set for September 16th Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro is home base for the Chuckanut Century, one of Whatcom County’s premier bike rides on September 16th. The familyfriendly event offers scenic, supported

Custom transportation for your

San Juan Island


355 Harris Ave Suite 108, Bellingham, WA 98225


Call or text race | play | experience


Snorkeling with W Salmon Story and photos by Jessica Newley

hen the water first hits my face, it’s like being stung by little bees all over my cheeks. To top that off, I have an instant ice cream headache and if I don’t get my footing soon I’m likely to drown in four feet of water. As an avid scuba diver, the irony of that fact is not lost on me, and I take a second to gather myself. I’m standing in the middle of the Skagit River wearing a dry suit, 40 pounds of weight, and carrying my trusty underwater camera setup. All around me are some of the most important and spectacular wild animals in the Pacific Northwest: Salmon. Eight hours of snorkeling in 36 degree water in the middle of December may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but last winter, while living up at the North Cascades Institute, I ventured out to find new ways to feed my passion for the underwater world and natural history. Living in close proximity to the Skagit River, I knew I had a


race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

unique opportunity to get a close look at the amazing salmon runs and perhaps a few pictures too - if I was lucky.

Cycle of Life The Skagit River flows down from the heart of the North Cascades, west through Sedro-Woolley and Mount Vernon, down to the Skagit flats, where it drains into Skagit Bay, a branch of the Puget Sound. The Skagit is the only large river system in Washington that supports populations of all five native species of salmon. Throughout the year, and mainly in the fall, the Skagit and its tributaries contain runs of Chinook, Coho, Pink, Sockeye, and Chum Salmon. Last winter was a particularly good run for the Pink Salmon, also known as humpies. Along the lower tributaries, which feed into the Skagit River watershed, the smell of decaying fish cannot be missed. I have to admit; I have grown oddly attracted to it. Salmon carcasses litter the shore, picked apart by scavengers and other predators, in a giant process of regeneration. The pieces that are left decompose and reinvigorate the river shorelines and vegetative communities with a new supply of nutrients needed for a healthy habitat. Other members of the ecosystem also help with this process. Whether it’s a bear snagging salmon from the river and taking their bodies up into the woods, or a bald eagle flying high and dropping a salmon or two into the trees, salmon bodies play an important role in cycling nutrients through the ecosystem. Salmon have long been important - economically and culturally - in the Pacific Northwest. Native-Americans of the region would hold annual celebrations to mark the return of the Salmon and ask for a bountiful harvest. When Lewis and Clark arrived on the Columbia River, there were an estimated 16 million salmon returning each year, a staggering number that was in large part responsible for the flourstories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

Jessica Newley and her ‘Secret Window’

ishing indigenous communities of the northwest. Shortly thereafter though, the pioneers started to arrive, and with them new techniques for fishing and, in particular, canning. These technologies greatly skewed the balance of man and fish in ways that we are still experiencing today. In fact, less than 3 percent of the salmon that graced the Columbia in the days of Lewis and Clark now return.

Seeing her scars close up, looking her in the eye, and feeling her weak muscles pulsating against my glove brought tears to my eyes. Just up the road from the Cascade River, a tributary to the Skagit, is the Marblemount Fish Hatchery. One of the eighty-plus hatcheries in Washington State, this facility aids in maintaining salmon and trout populations. This is a controversial subject, but proponents assert that hatcheries fuel the state’s commercial and recreational fisheries and support the many jobs that depend on them. Hatcheries were first introduced in the late 1800s when fish stocks radically collapsed due to overfishing, cannery waste and habitat destruction. The “down side” to the proliferation of hatcheries is that as more hatchery

salmon reproduce with wild salmon, there is a risk of loss of genetic diversity. Hatchery-bred salmon produce offspring that are less hardy than wild salmon, making them more susceptible to disease and other threats. Salmon have specific habitat requirements for spawning and maturing successfully. Upon entering the cool, clean, waters of the Cascade River, it is clear that these habitat characteristics are present. This includes fine gravel for redd (nest) making, riparian vegetation and overhanging trees for shade, a good amount of large woody debris along the river banks to slow the flow down, and the right amount of velocity and stream temperatures. My first clue that this may be a good place to take a look under the surface was the hordes of local fishermen on the banks of this particular part of the Cascade River. Donned in full gear and ready for the frigid waters, weird looks from these fishermen didn’t stop me. A closer look around the riverbank revealed large numbers of dead salmon, decomposing along the shore. Upon seeing this I couldn’t wait to stick my head under. Here goes nothing!

Down under Immediately, I am struck by the strength of the water as it flows around race | play | experience


my legs and torso. Even water that seems to lazily drift by is challenging to stand in without getting swept over. Luckily a large tree with roots growing out from the bank has slowed down the flow of a large area, suitable for safe entry. Looking out to the middle of the river, it wouldn’t take more than a slight slip to take me down river on an adventure I was not ready for. So, close to the bank I stayed, and soon I had my first peek into a world that I will never forget. Instantly I was in the middle of hundreds of Pink Salmon. Males, females, fry (juveniles), eggs, mates, and enemies, they were all there, surrounding me in the icy water. There’s something extraordinary about being amongst these primordial beings and watching them in their natural habitat. It’s like peering in through a secret window into the lives of one of nature’s wildest creatures. While watching the fish swarm around me and make their redds, defend their territory, court a mate, or just plain get feisty with each other, I begin to understand a little more of the complexity of this species. I don’t know their whole story, but I try to imagine all they have been through.


race | play | experience

Seeing their battle scars and bacterialaden scales gives me a clue. By the time I encounter these fish, they have traveled 70 miles from the Puget Sound, up the Skagit, and into the Cascade River. Along their journey they have fought off disease, dodged fishhooks, and escaped from predators. When they finally reach their native spawning grounds, they barely have enough life left in them to reproduce before they die. After all of this, my presence in the water didn’t seem to concern them. They didn’t seem to care at all. From a photographer’s standpoint, this gave me a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the charismatic creatures. When trying to take pictures of salmon, it is necessary to wade for long periods of time in the water. This can get very cold, very fast, even through a dry suit and layers and layers of undergarments. But this also means there is much more time to witness their behavior and let them get to know you. To get a quality picture it is important to get very close to the fish, especially when using a wideangle lens. Luckily with the Pinks, this was not all that difficult to do. I found the most challenging part was staying in

one position relative to the school. I am used to ocean photography, and being in the rushing, shallow water of the Cascade River, things were different. In order to hold my position I ended up doubling the amount of weight that I normally might use to dive with. This allowed me to stay put and allow the fish to swim up to, and past me, while I photographed them. The obvious flip side to this method is that this weight is also very dangerous and I would not recommend that anyone try this at home. One slip into a deeper section with weights that cannot be quickly removed would spell the end. Patience is essential. It took me a while before I got the hang of things, and finally, you could say it all just “clicked”. Since then I’ve enjoyed many happy and satisfying moments among the salmon and have taken many quality photographs of this spectacular species. But, there is one special moment I had on a cold November day in the Cascade River that I will never forget. After waiting patiently for some time in the river; cold, tired and about to end the day, I noticed a female humpy becoming very comfortable with me. There were hundreds of fish

>>> Go to

to read ANW

around, but this female had very distinctive markings and was loaded with bacteria. It seemed as though every time I looked around, there she was. It wasn’t long before I could put out my hand and she would brush against it, positioning herself each time for a nice belly rub. Seeing her scars close up, looking her in the eye, and feeling her weak muscles pulsating against my glove brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t imagine all she had been through and wished I knew her story. I named her Sugar, the sweetest salmon I’ve ever known, and the time we shared together that day will never leave my mind. Getting to intimately know these beautiful beings has been a transcendent experience, well worth braving the cold and the weird looks from fishermen. I took away photographs, memories and great stories to share. This fall, when the salmon run starts on the Skagit, I’ll be there...



The B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Center of Bellingham

ent Stuudnt o c New is D !

BesVtoted in Be Yoga lling !

f 0 Of

ham Welcome to our $2 F r e e Classes Sept 10-16


Core Strength

Vibrant Energy & Inner Bliss!


Fall Session: Sept 17 - Dec 9 Check our website for more info. 360.647.0712 1440 10th Street Fairhaven Bellingham

Awesome. We Frame Awesome. Downtown Bellingham & Lynden stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

race | play | experience


When Dreams Come True: Climbing in the Bugaboos Story by Lisa Toner


HOOSH! Calm skies become turbulent, jarring me out of my climbing-induced reverie. The wind rips loudly over the sharp ridge upon which I stand, with a sound like tearing canvas. Huddling closer to the wall of cold granite, I pay out rope to my climbing partner - who also happens to be my husband. The rope twitches. He is braving unpleasant territory far above, but is moving up quickly. As I respond automatically to the slight tugs on the rope, my mind begins to swirl with the wind.

Anticipation I gaze at my surroundings: granite, ice, sky. I realize, as if for the first time, that I am high on the Northeast Ridge of Bugaboo Spire, deep in British Columbia’s Purcell Wilderness. I find myself in this wild landscape thanks to a combination of premeditation and spontaneity. Only three days ago, we were surfing weather websites. When an 14

race | play | experience

unusual high-pressure system appeared, I was prepared. I pulled out the packing list and route descriptions that I had filed away years before. By the next morning, we were driving north across the border into Canada. At the Bugaboo trailhead, we wrapped our car in chicken wire to prevent the notorious Bugaboo rubber-eating porcupines from dining on its soft parts. We hefted our packs and hiked the steep trail that would take us to the base of the iconic spires and the Applebee Campground. Our first climb was a fun warm-up on the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire, where we enjoyed easy climbing, classic photos, and even an alpine composting toilet. Over hot chocolate that evening, we gazed at the next day’s objective: the Northeast Ridge of Bugaboo Spire. This is a striking line that climbs 12 pitches up a sharp ridge, traverses a convoluted, knife-edge summit, and descends the other side via the long, technical Kain Route. From camp, we could see the entire route. It looked big. The alarm rang early. Hurrying from >>> Go to

to read ANW

In the heart of the Bugaboos (L-R) Snowpatch Spire, Pigeon Spire, Bugaboo Spire (front), Howser Towers (behind). Photo by Steph Abegg

camp in the predawn, we initially felt the frantic “off to the races” feeling one gets when approaching the base of a popular climb. Glancing repeatedly over our shoulders, we preemptively dreaded the inevitable crowds and backups. However, as the sun turned the glaciers pink, we had an eerie realization: nobody else was coming. As we roped up for the first pitch of the climb, it was silent. We would be the only people on the mountain. As promised, it was amazing: the climbing consisted of enjoyable, aesthetic moves on solid granite. The setting was spectacular due to the exposure and surrounding scenery. It was all that I had imagined. Then, halfway up the route, where our guidebook told us to move right into a series of easy chimneys, a beautiful 5.9 crack variation beckoned us. We climbed it, but failed to reconnect with the chimneys. Instead, we hurried up into increasingly bare and breakable rock, entering the dreaded territory known to climbers as “off-route.” stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

Hesitation Now here I am - alone on a windy ledge, thousands of feet above solid ground. I’ve done dozens of long routes in the mountains and usually enjoy the solitude of alpine belays. But I can’t stop staring at our dubious anchor, a horn of rock slung with a thin cordelette, a simple

As the sun turned the glaciers pink, we had an eerie realization: nobody else was coming. As we roped up for the first pitch of the climb, it was silent. We would be the only people on the mountain. loop of 4-millimeter nylon cord. It breaks nearly every safety rule in the book, but it’s our only option. I look away from the anchor, hoping to find solace in the beautiful scenery, but I only notice the increasingly threatening clouds nearby. The

Bugaboos make their own weather and are notorious for sudden, severe thunderstorms. The wind gusts louder, and a cold wave of dread creeps through me as I peer upward, trying to spot Jon. I begin to wonder, Why are we here? In one sense, the answer is obvious: we are climbers, the weather is good, and this is one of the most coveted moderate routes in North America. I have had my sights set on it ever since I was a 19-yearold newbie climber. When I bought the Mountaineers’ climbing textbook, Freedom of the Hills, I was struck by its iconic cover photo: climbers on Bugaboo Spire. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if I climbed that someday?” Subconsciously, I set my mind on writing this climb into my life story. Climbing is a relatively new human experience. Before the 1800s, mountains were seen as ugly, a curse upon humanity. Today, our eyes are open to the beauty of the mountains and we readily yield to their call to adventure. But why do race | play | experience


Their speed, efficiency, and skill inspired climbers climb? The mountaineering litme, and after going on trips with them I erature is filled with various attempts to wondered what challenging route I would explain this. Some climbers wax poetic climb next. I read about the transcenRappelling off Bugaboo Spire countless climbing dence of living on Photo by Lisa Toner trip reports, whose the edge in remote nonchalant tones places. Others, such and factual descripas David Roberts, tions made the question climbers’ climbs sound easy. self-absorbed, comFew mentioned the petitive bent. James fear and emotions Tabor says that that come along climbers want to enwith climbing, and ter the realm of myth though I got scared and icon by completat least once per ing legendary routes. trip and witnessed My personal moa few serious activations for climbcidents, I brushed ing are probably a it off, not believcombination of all ing that anything these, but if I had to bad would happen summarize it I’d say to me. I continued to rack up ascents this: I climb because it takes me into a and my ‘to-climb’ list grew ever longer. story that is larger than ordinary life. I The Bugaboos in particular had attained was fortunate to have friends and family legendary status in my imagination. who were very accomplished climbers. However, when I find myself belaying my husband into unknown territory, my MADE IN BELLINGHAM. reasons for climbing no longer seem quite so clear.






Washington Divers

LFS Marine and Outdoor

Sportsman Chalet

Adventure Down Under


Gone Diving

Dave’s Sporting Goods

Hardware Sales

Backcountry Essentials •

Go Big Paintball


Photo by Lisa Toner

As I wait for Jon to finish the pitch, all these things whirl through my mind. It is only noon, and the weather is good so far. We’re living the dream, right? We are slightly off route, but nothing has actually gone wrong. Yet, the wind taunts me, pulling at my jacket and puffing up the clouds nearby. Instead of the usual peace and concentration I feel when I’m high on a belay ledge, I feel incredibly small and empty.

race | play | experience

AdventuresNW_McNettAD.indd 1

Snowpatch Spire

7/31/12 4:48 PM

Jon tugs on the rope, interrupting my bleak ruminations. He has reached the top of the pitch! Finally, I can climb up. Quickly, deftly, I organize the gear, don my heavy pack, and begin padding up the steep granite. It feels like 5.10, and the rock is lichen-covered - never a good sign on a popular climb like this, which is usually polished white from thousands of hands and feet. One by one, I remove the sparse pieces of protection Jon placed, clipping them back onto my harness. Tenuously, I balance right as the pitch traverses a lichen-laden blank section. A fall here would result in a serious swing. How did he do this, I wonder in amazement. I yank a lone nut out of a tiny crack, already knowing the answer: he had no other choice. At last, I see Jon. Through some bold climbing, he has brought us back to the chimneys. Relieved, I snap back into climbing mode, regaining my usual mixture of focus and detachment. Soon, we arrive at the north summit. From here, we rappel once, then embark on a long and wildly exposed traverse. At some points, I shimmy across knife-edged ridges with sheer drops on either side. I revel in the spectacular position, taking photos and peering gleefully downward. It is exhilarating to move confidently over terrain like this. We rappel some more, unrope, and begin climbing, solo, down the Kain Route. The shadows lengthen and we hurry. I grow callous to fear and cruise through downclimbing moves that would normally give me pause. I achieve a state of utter focus and concentration. Finally, we reach the last section and the mental crux for me: the steep, icy Bugaboo-Snowpatch Col, >>> Go to

to read ANW

complete with crevasses and ugly pockmarks in the snow from the near-constant barrage of falling rock. I am terrified of steep snow and become tense and overly cautious. More than one rock whizzes by our helmets as we slowly descend. As darkness envelops the Bugaboos, we stumble back into camp. I’m elated, fatigued, hungry, and...empty. After big climbs I normally feel fully alive, buzzing with possibility, speculating on future adventures. Now, I’m strangely hesitant to look ahead to the next climb. A big goal of mine - perhaps the goal of my climbing life so far - has become reality. Now, it’s a great memory. High on Bugaboo Spire, I confronted the complex mixture of dreams, fear, and elation that is a part of every climber’s experience. It’s an emotional shift that makes me re-think why I climb, even as I dream of returning to the mountains.

Atop the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire. South Howser in the distance. Photo by Lisa Toner

Dream it. Saw it. Build it.

Check out Steph Abegg’s Bugaboo photo gallery at

Gretchen Woody Spring Frog Farm Everson

Local, naturally



0,0 3ru,6 2012 t. c O 31

12 sawmill models available starting at $3,875*

Now th

e go onlin Call or tails! for de

Oregon: 503.661.1939 800.553.0182

Shawn & Clarissa Langley & family Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy Lynden

*Price in U.S. dollars and subject to change without notice. ©2012 Wood-Mizer Products, Inc. All rights reserved. ORA 24366 Adventures NW - Fall.indd 1

7/30/12 10:48 AM

Dusty Williams Broadleaf Farm Everson

FOOD CO OP Bellingham’s Natural Grocer Downtown Co-op 1220 N. Forest St. Open Daily 7 am–10 pm

Cordata Co-op 315 Westerly Rd. Open Daily 7 am–9 pm

stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

race | play | experience


No Time for Tea, I Have to Run: Making Tracks in Victoria, BC Story and photos by Craig Romano


rom the top of Mount Douglas, I find it difficult to keep running. No, the trails and roads leading to this small peak on the outskirts of Victoria didn’t wipe me out. They’re not that long, nor that steep. No, it’s just Mount Douglas - like almost all of the other places to run throughout and around British Columbia’s capital city - is just so darn beautiful; that no matter how absorbed I get into my run, I feel compelled to stop and take in the sights. That’s the biggest problem with running in Canada’s Fittest City—trying to concentrate on the run and not being stopped by the beauty of the city and its natural surroundings. But then again, the gorgeous scenery is why I enjoy running here. The trail system is excellent and extensive; there are hundreds of kilometers to keep me content for the long run!

Finlayson Arm from Jocelyn Peak


race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

When Sir James Douglas established the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at Fort Victoria back in 1843, he probably had no idea that his Vancouver Island outpost would evolve into one of North America’s most charming cities. Nor could he imagine that it would become Canada’s fittest city. According to Statistics Canada, 36% of Victoria’s adult population is active (nearly double the national average). How could they not be, living in such a mild climate surrounded by stunning coastline, golden hillsides, emerald ridges and snow-capped mountains? In Victoria, runners are as ubiquitous as the showy gardens the city is famous for. And this city caters to them, too. There are long distance-interconnecting paved paths throughout the Capital Regional District (think great bicycling, too); greenbelts and parks in every neighborhood; and superb provincial and regional parks ringing the city offering topnotch trail running opportunities. When I visit Victoria, I bring both my road and trail running shoes. And if I want an organized running event, this city teems with those too, including one of the finest (and my favorite) marathons in North America. Let me share with you some of my favorite running spots in Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula. You’ll soon discover that the only thing harder than resisting the urge to stop and smell the roses while running here, is trying to decide where to run in the first place. The choices of destinations are overwhelming! Okay, if you’re staying in the historic and charming downtown, you can begin your run right from there. I like the four kilometer Westsong Walkway, which weaves along the Inner and Middle Harbours, providing stunning views of the Empress Hotel, the BC Parliament building and scores of pier and wharves. Run along waters buzzing with the activity of sea planes, pleasure craft, passenger ferries and kayaks. When you get to the end of the trail at West Bay, and you don’t feel like running back, just hop on a passenger ferry to take you across stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

The seawall along Dalles Road in Victoria

the harbor back to downtown. A word of caution however about this route: time it for early in the morning when throngs of tourists, street performers and downtown workers aren’t clogging the pathway. The best running route from downtown follows paths along the Outer Harbour out to the Seawall along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This route, mostly paralleling coastal Dallas Road, is one of the supreme scenic urban running routes in all of North America. Meander along flower-lined paths, across manicured lawns atop bluffs hovering above the shimmering waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. On clear days, which are frequent here within the Olympic rainshadow, gaze out to the craggy and snow covered cloud-wringing Olympic Mountains. Watch for eagles, waterfowl, whales and seals. Where Dallas meets Douglas Street, run past Mile 0 of the Trans-Canada Highway and perhaps reflect upon the

memorial to runner Terry Fox, one of Canada’s most beloved native sons. Back in 1980 the Port Coquitlam, BC resident embarked on a “Marathon of Hope,” running across Canada bringing awareness to cancer, which the 22-year old Fox was battling. On a prosthetic leg, Terry left Newfoundland running the equivalent of a marathon a day, covering over 3,300 miles before having to stop because his bone cancer had metastasized to his lungs. He passed away the following year after inspiring an entire nation and people worldwide. He is one of my personal heroes. From this moving memorial, you can divert onto trails through lovely Beacon Hill Park, or continue along the coastal bluffs east to Clover Point, Ross Bay, or all the way to Gonzales Bay, eight kilometers from your start! You want a long distance route right from your downtown hotel? Head north along the Inner Harbour across the Johnston Street Bridge, veering right

Helping clients find

their place

in the Pacific Northwest

Danne Neill ABR, CRS, SRES, EcoBroker Realtor – Broker The Muljat Group Broadway

Bellingham, WA

(360) 303-4428

ABR     Accredited Buyers Representative CRS SRES    Seniors Real Estate Specialist

race | play | experience


Along the Seawall, Dalles Road in Victoria

to hop aboard one of the finest rail trails in the Pacific Northwest, the Galloping Goose Trail. Named after a 1920s gasoline-powered passenger car, this trail consists of both paved and gravel sections of the former rail line. From Victoria’s Upper Harbour, this popular trail spans the Gorge Waterway via the 300-meter wooded Selkirk Trestle before heading northward through the city. At four kilometers it intersects with the Lochside Trail. From here the Galloping Goose traverses western suburbs, beautiful Matheson Lake Regional Park, and the northern shores of Sooke Basin. It then follows the Sooke River into wilder country terminating 60 kilometers from its start at the site of an old mining town, Leechtown. The 29-kilometer Lochside Trail heads north through the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary before making its way up the Saanich Peninsula to Sidney and Schwartz Bay. Both the Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails will appeal more to cyclists than to runners—but

ultra runners will certainly delight in them. And while the Lochside Trail is more of a bike commuter route, I highly recommend the section through and just north of the Swan Lake sanctuary. Here you’ll cross several restored old railroad trestles including one that is nearly 1,000 feet long across Blenkinsop Lake, right next to Mount Douglas. Of course, you can head over to Mount Douglas’s trails from here—but only if you want to enjoy sweeping views out to Mount Baker, the Olympics, and the San Juan and Gulf Islands from this beloved peak’s 853-foot summit. There are kilometers of trails on Mount “Doug”, including along beautiful Cordova Bay. If you prefer flat and fast, just to the west of Mount Doug is the large Elk/ Beaver Lake Regional Park. Consisting of over 1,000 acres, this park contains the adjoining lakes of Elk and Beaver, old-growth forest, sprawling fields, sandy beaches and kilometers of excellent, almost level trails. The Thetis Lake Regional Park just north of Victoria is another local (and my) favorite spot for trail running. In this sprawling 2,000-acre park you can join hundreds of other runners for the 5 kilometer trip around the two Thetis Lakes—or venture off on side trails to groves of giant Douglas firs, grassy ridges punctuated with oaks or along inlets and peninsulas harboring gnarly madronas (arbutus here in BC). The nearby Mount Work Regional Park is a great place for a lung-busting trail run. Follow a 6 kilometer trail up and


race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

rock and roll up and over several summits including Jocelyn Peak and run along the fjord’s edge on your way to Holmes Peak. From here you could go farther up and over steep Mount Finlayson, but that’s pushing it! When I did the traverse to Holmes Peak and back earlier this summer, I was more than content (and a bit sore) completing 25 kilometers of the most scenic and challenging trail within the Capital Regional District. I’m not surprised at all that Victoria

is Canada’s fittest city. I know every time I visit, I can’t resist taking off for the region’s excellent parks and kilometers of beautiful trails. One of these days however, I’ll try to make tea time—but it has to be after my run is done!


over this 1,473-foot peak, the highest on the Saanich Peninsula and be prepared for visual paralysis. It will inflict you several times along this elongated peak as you break out of forest cover onto the rocky ledges granting jaw-dropping views of

coming up with

North Cascades Institute Creative Arts Retreat • Mountain School • Group Rentals Diablo Downtime • Citizen Science • Mount Baker Mushrooms Plein Air Painting • Fall Sourdough Speaker Series (360) 854-2599

Connecting People, Nature & Education since 1986

Running in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park

Victoria, the San Juan Islands, Salt Spring Island and the Olympics. While taking in the sights, be sure to watch your footing as the terrain on Mount Work is much like an Appalachian Mountain - rocky and ledgy. You definitely don’t want a “Work” related injury! The supreme Victoria area trail running experience awaits you at the sprawling Gowlland Tod Provincial Park. Named after the Gowlland Range of peaks rising over 1,300 feet above dramatic Finlayson Arm and beautiful Tod Inlet, this 3,000 acre park is the largest natural area on the Saanich Peninsula and offers more than 25 kilometers of trail. From the McKenzie Bight Trailhead, start off on a challenging and visually stimulating traverse of the range. Drop into a lush ravine to rocky, undeveloped coastline and then start a grueling climb, passing a nearly-hidden waterfall. On rough terrain (but generally good tread), stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

...all ages and abilities can enjoy fun and unique sailing adventures, customized sailing instruction, or carefree skippered sailing experiences!

Book your ADVENTURE today!

embarking from Bellingham’s Historic Fairhaven—the southern terminus of the Alaska Ferry—just 90 minutes North of Seattle and 60 minutes South of Vancouver, BC.

race | play | experience


Hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail Story and photos by Laural Ringler


on’t try this at home,” I felt compelled to tell my teenage son, as we both stuck out our thumbs to hitch a ride from the coast of Vancouver Island near Port Renfrew back to Jordan River. Thus commenced our family hitchhiking competition. My daughter and husband were one team, my son and I the other, having split the family up to optimize our chances of rides back to the trailhead. After 47 km of backpacking the Juan de Fuca Trail, we were five days on the other side of our last showers and hoped to get back to the car in time to catch a ferry and head home yet that night. With a teen and a preteen, the trip had begun with negotiations. No longer can the parents plan everything, hand them

a packing list, and have everyone interested and motivated. “Biking, backpacking, or kayaking?” was my first question. Dana was up for anything but had already done a kayaking trip with me that summer. Noah said, “not biking.” So I started researching backpacking options. Dana and I had planned to hike the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island the previous summer, but had cancelled when she got sick. That extremely popular trail has a reservation system and significant transportation logistics, including ferry reservations to cross the Nitinat Narrows and the Gordon River. The Juan de Fuca Trail, which traces the island’s coast just to the south of the West Coast Trail had none of those. Juan De Fuca it was. So we loaded our backpacks, caught a morning ferry from

Near Payzant Creek


race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

varied: soft sand beach, rock slabs, rocky Tsawwassen to Vancouver Island and beach, dirt trail, log trail or boardwalk drove to the trailhead at China Beach. weaving in and out of trees, and all of it We paid our backcountry camping fees up and over or around headlands. The and hit the trail, winding through the log trail sections were huge trees notched cool forest towards the water. At Mystic for sure footing, sometimes in connected Beach, campsites were tucked up above sections that had you walking one to anhigh tide line, behind drift logs, or even other to another - ten feet above the fora little farther into the bushes or trees. est floor - through and above a jumble of We found a site up the beach, and after a fallen trees. We felt small. And decided quick tent- pitch and kitchen set-up (one kid does each and they swap every night), the kids were free Exploring the slot canyon above Sombrio beach to play on the beach. With sun and sand and dramatic northwest rock, they built castles and drew in the sand, and we explored a wide, tumbling waterfall on the south end of the beach. We’d only hiked 2 km, but already felt a world away from the day’s car ride. The next morning was softened by fog, the beach felt lonely, and we were happy to pack up and move on. Post oatmeal, we headed into a 19 km day, which would include what was billed as the most difficult section of the trail. 7 km in, Bear Beach consisted of wave-smoothed boulders that we alternately hopped over and walked between. The rocks were varied, beautiful marbled greens, or grays mottled with black. This point marked the first beach cut-off, with a second route option “most difficult” meant most undulating. for when the low path would be imEvery thirty- to fifty-foot vertical passable at high tide. The tide was low climb was followed by a similar downfor us though, so we chose the beach climb minutes later, as we navigated scramble ankle workout, and snacked at dozens of drainages. The ascents and the far edge of the section. In between descents were on notched trees, laddered cracker and cheese bites, the kids threw steps, actual ladders, and sometimes rocks into the water from the mini-bluff deployed a splintery rope to hold onto where we’d dropped our packs. The sun while your feet sought purchase on dirt had come out, the waves crashed on the or smooth, wet rock. When we stopped rocky shore, and we felt lucky to be out. for lunch, I noticed Noah had already Fueled up for what our map labeled eaten half of the snacks I’d given him for the “most difficult” section, we conthe next three days. Teen guy was huntinued on. The terrain was incredibly stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

grier than I’d planned. We were glad to reach our day’s destination at Chin Beach and relax. The kids built sand and stone cities across expanses of beach, and later raced around defending them when the tide came in. Tom and I lounged in the sun and admired their architectural feats. With only 8 km to Sombrio Beach the next day, we had plenty of time when we got there to explore. Green water-worn rock walls three times our height twisted away from the beach. The occasional fern frond growing from a tiny rock ledge waved in the breeze created by a waterfall. The slot canyon narrowed to a couple of pools and then yet another waterfall - cold, clear, and misty-white. We had encountered one suspension bridge between Chin Beach and Sombrio, but the next day we crossed two more, high and wide metal structures above leafy forests. Sometimes the kids dropped their packs and went back across to experience the height and sway a second time. Teen guy was still eating a lot, and hiking strong in his jeans. Tom and I cut back on our food and handed it to Noah. Our final night at Payzant Creek was high above the ocean in the forest. After the exposed beach camps, it felt strange. We sought out open space near the water so we could eat dinner watching the crash of the surf. The rock consisted of vast slabs of water-sculpted jaggedness, and looked like volcanic Hawai’i. The next morning, we hiked the final 7 km to Botanical Beach and found crowds of people wandering among the rocks, studying the prodigious tide pools. There were families with small kids and floppy beach hats, seniors with walking sticks, and we heard “Look!” race | play | experience


and “Come see!” in a jumble of languages. We stashed our packs and joined in. I was looking at barnacles and limpets in a particularly large pool when a

and scare it, so I glanced sideways for my family and gestured them over. The tentacle withdrew. But then it reappeared and the entire animal glided towards me, reddish and huge. I felt the members of my family breathing next to me, silently watching the cephalopod. None of us called out. The octopus’ two or three foot body became a little oranger and plumper, then it continued its cruise around the pool, and disappeared behind the seaweed. We continued to explore the tide pools, but nothing was as magnificent as seeing a Giant Along the way: Dana and Pacific Octopus in the wild. Noah above the surf We had lunch and then debated which people looked approachtentacle waved at me from behind leafy able for a ride back to our car at the green seaweed. It took me a few seconds trailhead. Tom found a trio of women to register suction cups, and my brain to who were day hiking and had decided to think, “Octopus!” I didn’t want to yell

Lithtex 1/4 V


race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

Highway 14 was a blacktop version switch trailheads - they could take two of the Juan de Fuca trail, all ups and people halfway back. So after we outdowns and curves. I sat in back, thanklined the “whoever-gets-to-the-car-firstful for the ride and wondered how Tom wins” concept, he and Dana took that and Dana were doing. And then I saw ride and Noah and I walked to where the them standing on the side of the road. I parking lot meets the road, thumbs out. registered Dana’s smiling face and jaunty Immediately, a van pulled over. A hat and thumb, and my first thought was local native couple invited us in, their “how could no one van a jumble of The ascents and descents were pick them up, Dana possessions and a is so darn cute!” My big old dog. We balon notched trees, laddered steps, second thought was anced on the edge actual ladders, and sometimes that we had to pick of the bench seat a splintery rope to hold onto them up. I yelled to with the dog and while your feet sought purchase our new friend, and they took us into he pulled over. We Port Renfrew and on dirt or smooth, wet rock. crowded four in the dropped us at the backseat and continued on to our car. main intersection. I told Noah to look It was hard to determine who won friendly and adoptable and we stuck out the competition, though. A tie? Or did our thumbs again. Nothing for twenty Noah and I win because the other two minutes, then a father and his ten-yearcame into the ride after us? Or did the old son pulled over. We’d seen them footrace in the parking lot to touch the on the trail the last day, and they were car first determine it? If so, Noah and headed to Victoria so they could take us Dana won. the entire way. Yes!

There’s no place like HOME... Sally Farrell Realtor®

360-393-7339 farrellhomes@ 3610 Meridian St. Bellingham


360-738-8877 Personalized treatment for your body’s health Work-Accident-Sports Related Soft Tissue and Joint Therapy 3410 Woburn St. Suite 202

TEAM CHIROPRACTOR: USA Swimming’s High Performance Network WWU Track & Field and Cross Country

Advertise in Adventures NW and reach 60,000 of our region’s most active, engaged and hyped-up readers!


stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

Call Dennis

at 360-510-3278 or email Your marketing professional

race | play | experience


Chasing the Sun: Autumn Bike Rides without the Gore-Tex Story and photos by Mike McQuaide “But tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun” - Lennon & McCartney


epending on when you read this, that rude saucy lass named Autumn is here or on her way. And with her, she bears gifts of spit-in-your-face rain, mud by the bucket load and gloom-filled skies of perpetual gray. As an avid cyclist of both persuasions - road and mountain - this pisses me off. More than a little. I’m loathe to let go of the golden, seemingly endless days of summer riding. Rides that ooze of perpetual youth and playfulness, of spinning the legs sans shoe covers, leg warmers, rain caps and the like. It’s not so much that I don’t like fall as much as, … actually, no, I don’t like fall. Not at all. I wish Autumn would pack up her things and go back to where she came from. Oh well, no matter. Fall happens every year so I’m used to it. (Sorta.) Besides, there are places not too far away where summer’s grip hangs on for just a bit longer and where it’s possible to squeeze in a few more good-weather rides.

is a road-biking nirvana as well, with several paved roads that head for the gold in them thar hills. Here are a couple of suggestions: Falls Creek Road - From Winthrop, head north on Westside Chewuch Road for about 11 miles to Forest Road 5140, also called Falls Creek Road. Turn left and climb, climb, climb as the narrow, paved mountain road gains 2,800 feet over the next 11-plus miles before ending high up in Okanogan National Forest. Ogle (or is it oogle?) stunning views of larch-clad Big Craggy Peak and Isabella Ridge as you

Winthrop (Methow Valley) With its Old West vibe - vintage 1890s storefronts, wooden sidewalks, hitching posts and the like - Winthrop has a knack for nurturing one’s inner cowboy. (And cowgirl and cowchild too.) A knack, too, for being sunnier and drier than the west side of the Cascades, with countless miles of trails meandering up and down the nearby hills, dales and valleys, it’s a great big slice of nirvana for us fall-phobic mountain-bike types. Plus, it’s got the alpine larch trees, those amazing conifers whose needles turn from green to yellow - usually sometime in October - and thus transform the forests into blazing displays of mountain gold. But that’s a little higher, generally on the eastern slopes of the Cascades above 5,000 feet. Luckily, the Methow


race | play | experience

Bellingham’s Scott Young rides the interurban

>>> Go to

to read ANW

reach the turnaround point. Washington Pass from the East— Lots of Westside folks make an annual west-east Highway 20 pedaling pilgrimage over Washington Pass and down into Mazama and beyond. If you’re already in Winthrop, however, consider an eastside approach climbing to that great big hairpin turn in the sky just below the aweinspiring Liberty Bell massif. (Even more inspiring when the larch have turned.) Turn around at the pass and Wheee!, it’s all downhill for almost 20 miles back to the Methow. From Winthrop, it’s a 60-mile out-and-back with 4,800 feet of climbing; from Mazama it’s 35 miles with just a little less climbing. (Note: After Labor Day, Highway 20 traffic is far less busy than in summer.) The Wenatchee Foothills Trails overlook Wenatchee and the Columbia River

Wenatchee Staying with the east-of-the mountains theme, Wenatchee is one of my favorite spots to follow the sun and hang on to summer. That’s because of

stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

its claimed 300-day annual allotment of sun and its stunning setting on the mighty Columbia River at the foot of

numerous huge dry hills and ridges: Badger Mountain, Jumpoff and Mission Ridges, Sage Hills, et al.

race | play | experience


Under cerulean skies in the Methow Valley, riders pedal away the morning’s autumn chill

As in the Methow, myriad roads and/or trails head up into them thar hills inviting two-wheeled aficionados to have a climb and get rewarded with a big-time view of the entire Wenatchee Valley. But it’s not just climbers who are rewarded. The Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail (that’s a mouthful) is a paved,

mostly flat, 10-miler that explores both sides of the Columbia River and is perfect for families and/or the hill-phobic. Pick it up at several riverside spots in Wenatchee including Wenatchee Confluence State Park and Walla Walla Point Park or, on the East Wenatchee side, at the 27th Street and 19th Street trailheads.

For some mellow, cross-country type mountain bike trails, make for the Wenatchee Foothills Trails, accessible by following 5th Street east to Number 1 Canyon Road in Wenatchee. Here you’ll find a fun network of singletrack trails contouring up and down across the mostly treeless shrub-steppe foothills. Tree-less means a couple things: fantastic panoramic vistas of the Columbia River and its environs pretty much the entire way, but also the potential for wind and, depending on when you visit, heat. In the mood to tilt at a big-league, Mount Baker-esque road climb? Head for Badger Mountain Road on the East Wenatchee side of the Columbia. The shoulder is wide, the pavement smooth as glass, but there’s no getting around that it’s a spot-of-bother maker as it climbs some 2,800 feet in 8 miles. But the rewards are as huge as the effort it takes to get there. See previous mention re: panoramic vista of the Columbia River valley (albeit from the other side of the river) but now add views to Ronsen Ridge, the Wenatchee Mountains and seemingly the entire Central Cascades, no doubt now frosted with the season’s first snowfalls.

Orcas Island

RUN In WALK Out Run in for smart and friendly service and walk out with everything you need to keep that pep in your step

Exceptional Service + Shoes + Apparel and Really Cool Stuff! 1209 11th Street | Bellingham | 360.676.4955 | Mon - Sat: 10 - 7 | Sun: 11 - 5


race | play | experience

Closer to Whatcom County, the horseshoe-shaped San Juan Island that is Orcas is blessed to be in the Olympic rain shadow and as such, receives about 25 percent less rainfall than Bellingham. Road cyclists eager to spin some fall road miles into their legs can park their cars at the Anacortes ferry terminal and save about a bazillion dollars by taking the ferry to Orcas as a bicycle passenger. There, with summer crowds gone, you’ll have the island seemingly to yourself and be able to crisscross its numerous rolling country roads past llama farms, artists’ studios, open fields and forests without worrying too much about car traffic. (‘Cept maybe when the ferry’s just landed.) Off-season, the pace in not-at-all-bustling Eastsound, the island’s charming main town, seems even less hurried. >>> Go to

to read ANW

Get your climb on by heading to the top of Mount Constitution - the 2,409-foot high point (literally) of spectacular Moran State Park - for perhaps the most scenic best-of viewpoint in all the Northwest: Jewel-like islands by the dozens, jagged peaks and snow-capped mountains, deep darks forests and lots and lots of water. Moran State Park brings us to mountain biking as well. Already a fun place to put fat tires to trail, Moran opens up about a dozen more miles to mountain bikes come September 15. Included are some of the park’s most scenically spectacular (and challenging) trails including Twin Lakes, Cold Springs and Little Summit, which follows the spine of Mount Constitution’s ridgeline. They’re heavenly ribbons of dirt that slalom through lodgepole-pine forest and alongside peaceful mountain lakes, marshes and stunning waterfalls. Seriously, it’s bomb-worthy stuff.

Pedaling to the top of 2,409-foot Mount Constitution on Orcas Island rewards with epic views

Whatcom County Of course, another option is not to go anywhere. To quit whining about fall’s crummy weather, break out the foul-weather gear and just make the best of it. Which, as happens every year, I’ll no doubt do. I’ll mountain bike Galby and the Chuckanuts, relying on the trees to sorta somewhat protect me from the elements. I’ll throw down at a cyclocross race or three, and have great fun immers-

ing myself in that type of riding that embraces the worst weather. I’ll make the best of it. And at some point, usually around Thanksgiving or so, I’ll even begin to accept that summer is over. Acceptance begets strength, I’ve found, and soon enough I’ll find I have the strength … … to begin counting down the days ‘til next summer.

Now Providing Gluten-Free Options Right in Your Own Backyard...

The west coast’s largest bareboat charter sailing fleet and sailing school. Local ownership, personalized service!

Squalicum Harbor Bellingham, WA (800) 677-7245

Specializing in fresh, handmade, pasta and ravioli, homemade bread, and many other favorites prepared daily. Beer, Wine & Cocktails

1317 North State Street, Bellingham

(360) 714-0188 stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

race | play | experience


Brett Baunton:

The Colors of Autumn

Clockwise from above: Aspens on Sun Mountain, Methow Valley; False Hellebore, Mt. Baker; Larch at Blue Lake; Aspen leaf, Methow Valley; Flaming Mountain Ash and Mt. Shucksan, Yellow Aster Butte; Maple leaf.

Fall is the fabulous season of color. The Northwest is blessed with amazing fall scenery; flaming vine maples and mountain ash, meadows loaded with blueberries and crimson red foliage. Light, shadow and the contrasting colors add texture and interest. I love to watch the light, the colors, and the seasons change - to be 30

race | play | experience

immersed in these dramatic events is my goal as a nature photographer. My photo adventures follow the seasons and fall is unquestionably the peak experience of my year. The days can be crisp and clear with a blissful breeze (and no bugs). I can feel the seasons change and take delight in seeing the first snows soften the high places. >>> Go to

to read ANW

All year I anticipate my annual larch tour high on the Cascade Crest. Alpine larch are remarkable trees that turn gold before shedding their needles. Besides the fact that these are the highest elevation trees, each one has a unique character. At times like this the indoors is overrated. Rain or shine, it’s ‘f-8 and be there’ for the best results. I really enjoy studying maps and route finding to ideal vantage points. I fell in love with backcountry travel in Alaska and found that beyond the beaten tracks lies the mystery of discovery. My favorite perch is high upon an alpine ridge with mountains above and beauty at my feet. Admission is often high in sweat equity but nature’s colorful gifts are unsurpassed and being there makes my life all the richer. Check out Brett’s new website at www. stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

Check out Brett Baunton’s Autumn Colors photo gallery at

race | play | experience


Into the Tombstones: A Journey to the Arctic

Story and photos by John D’Onofrio


first heard about Tombstone Territorial Park in northern Canada a few years ago. What I heard intrigued me.

The park is brand new; it was created in 1998, and its management plan - which enabled it to begin operations - only won approval in 2009. The signs saying “Welcome to Tombstone” went up last August. Located in the northern Yukon Territory, the Tombstone Range has been described as “the Patagonia of Canada” for its collection of soaring monoliths rising above the treeless tundra - an otherworldly landscape of harsh beauty. The park consists of wilderness on a truly epic scale and is home to a virtually untouched ecosystem that includes grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines and caribou. Its 2200 square kilometers boasts a single hiking trail – the trail to Grizzly Lake – and even this is more a rough and tumble route over rocks and ridges than a trail in the usual sense of the word. Wild with a capital W. And amongst a select cadre of autumn color cognoscenti, the Tombstones are quietly emerging as a world-class destination for brilliant fall colors. But presently, this park remains little-known and little-visited. Facilities are minimal. The chance to explore this epic landscape before it was “discovered” was irresistible. And so, with my old travelling pal Godfrey Winfield, I hit the road north for the 2,000 mile drive from Bellingham to the Grizzly Lake trailhead.


race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

Tombstone Mountain and Mount Monolith on the trail into the heart of the Tombstone Range

stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

race | play | experience


Into the Tombstones Three and a half days later, suffering from serious road fatigue, we found ourselves heading north on the Dempster ‘Highway’, Canada’s northern-most road (see page 36). It was early evening when the Tombstones came into view, like the Hallelujah Chorus, off to the west. An amazing - and sobering - sight. From a distance, it was easy to see how the mountains got their Anglo name - the sheer rock towers surely resemble massive tombstones, a giant’s graveyard. The Gwich’in people, ancestral inhabitants of these isolated mountains, called them Ddhal Ch’el, which translates roughly as “among the sharp, ragged, rocky mountains”. No kidding. The next morning we visited the

Tombstone Interpretive Center to secure hiking permits. The facility,like the park, is brand new - an off-the-grid wonder of timber and stone. To get a permit, it was necessary to sign a waiver

Our route would take us up onto Grizzly Ridge before dropping beside Grizzly Creek into the Grizzly Valley and finally reaching Grizzly Lake. I was glad that I’d brought the bear spray. acknowledging that if we didn’t return, no one would come looking for us. A nice touch, we thought. Our route would take us up onto Grizzly Ridge before dropping beside Grizzly Creek into the Grizzly Valley

and finally reaching Grizzly Lake. I was glad that I’d brought the bear spray. At the trailhead, we hoisted our backpacks under clear blue skies and started up through a forest of brilliant yellow birch trees. Before long we found ourselves at the upper edge of the tree line, ascending a rocky alpine ridge, views widening with each step upward. All around us the sub-arctic wilderness was a blaze of color – the yellow forests yielding to deep red tundra where the ridges climbed out of the valley of the North Klondike River. We traversed the top of the serpentine ridge, climbing through notches and side-hilling on loose rocks. In the distance to the west we began to get glimpses of the dark towers that encircled Grizzly Lake. Rising like

Sunrise illuminates Grizzly Lake


race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

the mountains of Mordor, Tombstone Mountain and Mount Monolith crowded the sky. After more than nine hours on the ridge, the route descended to golden meadows, bustling with marmots. Another exhausting hour and a half over slippery lichencovered boulders brought us to the austere shores of the lake in its cold and treeless cirque beneath vertical walls of stone. We had it all to ourselves.

Beneath the Towers

Rainbows over Grizzly Valley.

The immensity and primordial emptiness of the place was overwhelming: wilderness on a scale that we don’t often get to experience. It was a place where conversations were held in hushed tones. We spent the next few days exploring the wild vertical topography around

Grizzly Lake - climbing scree slopes to high and lonely ledges, watching rainbows shimmer over shattered grey rocks, silently observing as the sunrises and sunsets bathed the epic landscapes with luminescent light. Wandering through knee-high ‘for-

ests’ of dwarf birch, across mossy-green bogs and through fields of played-out fireweed, we were reminded of summer’s brief seductive blossoming here just below the arctic circle. From the high places, the great towers loomed, continued on page 37

Stand tall & take a step!

Lake 22 Trail

The market is turning. Selling in Whatcom County for 20+ years


Dawn Durand 360-739-3380 stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

race | play | experience


Road to Adventure: The Dempster Highway on this lonely road. The route will take us up the valleys of storied rivers - the North Klondike, Blackstone, Ogilvie, and Peel; rivers that, for all intents and purposes, are unchanged from ancient times, save the wearing of water on stone and the almost unimaginable weight of winters that settle over these northern lands for most of the year. The road, at least as far as the border with the Northwest Territories, is devoid of towns, and largely empty of people. It’s surface is gravel and dirt. Walk in any direction and you’re on your own. North of Tombstone Park, the road traverses the treeless Blackstone Uplands, a vast area of tundra and rolling hills. Kettle ponds are scattered about the landscape and the area is popular with alces alcesgigas, the tundra moose. As we travel north along the Blackstone River, the Ogilvie Mountains rise in the distance. Chalk-white, these bare, rounded peaks hang spectrally against the northern horizon. The play of light and shadow on their slopes is a visual spectacle. Camping along the Dempster is as easy as pulling off the road on any number of gravel tracks that inevitably lead to the banks of one of the rivers. Solitude is a given. So is the relentless wind.

North of the Artic Circle, the Richardson Mountains rise above vast taiga forest


wenty years ago, I had the pleasure of travelling to the arctic coast of Alaska via the Dalton “Highway”, the 400-mile long gravel haul road built to construct the Alaska pipeline that stretches to the Beaufort Sea. Hiking in the Brooks Range and experiencing the vast limitless wilderness of the Arctic coastal plain have been treasured memories ever since.

So when contemplating a journey to the Tombstone Range in the northern Yukon Territory, the Dempster Highway caught my eye. Besides the Haul Road, the Dempster - Canada’s northern-most road - is the only other road in North America that crosses the Arctic Circle. Beginning in the northern Yukon Territory near Dawson, the road continues past the Tombstones, winding its way north for 450 miles, crossing the Arctic Circle and entering the Northwest Territories before ending at Inuvik, an Inuvialuit village on the fabled MacKenzie River Delta. The first gas station is 230 miles up the road (a surreal motel/café/highway maintenance facility called Eagle Plains). These miles are blessedly devoid of civilization. Other than the Tombstone Territorial Park interpretive center and the odd outfitters cabin, there are virtually no other structures of any kind along the way. So after a spectacular hike in the Tombstone Range, near the southern terminus of the Dempster, it seemed only proper to explore farther north


race | play | experience

Darkness finally comes and the Aurora Borealis dances in the sky, shimmering red, blue, green, yellow among the stars. Under such conditions, sleep is not easily contemplated. North of the Ogilvies, the road climbs to the top of Eagle Plains, a high plateau with panoramic views back at the white mountains and ahead to the Richardson Range. We stop here for showers and gas. Everyone stops for gas at Eagle Plains. It’s the only gas station along a 570 mile stretch of highway. Continuing north, we cross the Eagle River, it’s banks a yellow blaze of aspens, and drive through vast landscapes of spindly black spruce - the taiga forest, land of little sticks. The scale is hard to internalize. A roadside sign marks the crossing of the Arctic Circle. Beyond Rock Creek (an actual campground here, out of the wind), the road climbs into the Richardsons and roiling The Aurora Borealis clouds. We enter the Northwest Territories in a serious blow, visibility down to a hundred feet. We turn around at Wright Pass, wheels spinning in the mud. Time to head home, which from these lonely mountains, seems very far away indeed.

>>> Go to

to read ANW

black as midnight. And the colors: cadmium yellow, cardinal red, deep magenta, burnt umber; a landscape that could’ve been painted by Van Gogh. The weather changed every couple of hours: sunshine, clouds, rain, hail, snow, sunshine again. When the rains blew in, the veiled peaks took on the sublime appearance of a Chinese brush painting, hard edges gone, a setting for dreams. On the third day, a party of hearty Germans arrived at the lake, their oompah bravado and gung-ho enthusiasm quickly muted by the scale of the landscape. They ate quietly from foil pouches. “We are eating moose flesh”, one of them told me, and sure enough, they’d brought packaged moose, procured in Sweden. As dusk fell, a gentle rain began to fall and the wind blew like Lester Young’s horn through the rocks; a lonely and forlorn song, a lament and an anthem.

In the pre-dawn morning everything was iced up and I tried to keep warm waiting with my camera and tripod for the sunrise to reach the lake, its

Grizzly Lake

surface a mirror broken by protruding rocks the color of ghosts. The arrival of the sun bathed the cirque in radiant,

golden light and the chill was instantly forgotten. I lingered on the shore of the lake, reluctant to leave, savoring the play of light and dancing cloud shadows on the soaring walls of stone. We loaded our packs and climbed back up onto the ridge for the journey back to the trailhead, turning often for long, luscious looks back at the towering monoliths. In my life I’ve had the exceedingly good fortune to experience some of North America’s premier mountain landscapes - the Canadian Rockies, Denali and the Alaska Range, the Brooks Range, the Sierras, and of course our own beloved North Cascades. But between you and me, the Tombstones really peg the meter. Just don’t tell anyone. Check out an expanded photo gallery of images from the Tombstone Range and the northern Yukon at

Portions of this story previously appeared in Cascadia Weekly.

eARTh The art of nature

Anita K. Boyle’s Northwest-inspired Assemblages My art often uses a sense of place as though it were a language. The earthy, muted colors of the Northwest’s tangled underbrush can be found in my palette. Last year, I created a series of assemblages made for, and from, the Pacific Northwest—inspired by being rooted here for over fifty years. These artworks contain wasp nests, bullet casings, snail and robin shells, rusted metal, baling twine, discarded electrical components, pollen, as well as handmade paper containing cattail and cottonwood fluff, pond scum and an entire bird’s nest. Each detail becomes a representative of our rain-shadowed environment.

stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

race | play | experience


George Dyson: From Tree House to Turing’s Cathedral “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.” - Paulo Coelho


here’s something curious about George Dyson. You won’t see it when you meet him. He’s a fairly non-descript, private fellow with a slight build and a rumpled appearance. He doesn’t exude charisma and gravitas. But behind his green eyes is a man of deep intellect and determination. It isn’t apparent. You’ve got to dig a little...

Story by Ted Rosen George’s father, Freeman Dyson, is a world-famous physicist who revolutionized quantum electrodynamics. Freeman’s speculations about alien life have spawned entire genres of science fiction. But it’s unfair to say that George grew up in the shadow of his famous father. That’s because George doesn’t see any shadow. George is George and Freeman is Freeman. There is no competition. That’s why George has no qualms about having ditched academia and gone on to startle the world in his own way: perhaps more subtly, but no less effectively.

Photo by Ted Rosen


race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

Out to Sea Way back in 1970, 17-year-old George attended his sister’s wedding in Vancouver, BC. While there, he answered a classified ad for a deckhand - even though he had never been to sea in his life. “The boat wasn’t even finished; I helped build it. And then one day - August 11th, 1970 - we put the boat in the water and suddenly we were out to sea! One day the boat was in the water and the next day we went up to Johnstone Strait. I still remember the first day, going out in all these strong northwest swells. I just loved it! Half the people were seasick but I just took to it very naturally.” Thus began a series of seafaring odysseys that George undertook among the forested islands, rainy inlets and rocky shores of British Columbia and southeast Alaska. Leaving behind the noise and tumult of human society, George built a tree house 90 feet high in an ancient cedar amidst the quiet calm of Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. Below his lofty abode, he built a work shop from which he would produce increasingly complex and seaworthy kayaks. Not just any kayaks, though. George researched and studied the Aleut-style skin-on-frame kayaks known as baidarkas that First Nations people created (and Russians adopted) to ply the coastal waters of southern Alaska. These sturdy, lightweight, efficient machines fascinated

Perhaps George’s greatest baidarka, The Mount Fairweather at Belcarra Park, BC in 1975. Photo by George Dyson

George. Building them and piloting them became his obsession. From the geometric beauty of their ribbed design to the mathematical efficiency of their skin surfaces against salt water, the baidarka was more than a kayak. It was a harmonious exaltation of human ingenuity in design. George’s adventures were famously documented in Kenneth Brower’s wonderful book The Starship and the Canoe. The son of George’s personal hero, Sierra Club founder David Brower, Ken spent months in George’s company and paddled with him on several journeys. His book remains a favorite among kayakers all over the world and should be read by anyone who cares to reflect on nature. Kayaking has plenty of rewards. Skimming quietly over the waves, paddling rhythmically and getting a surf’seye-view of the glory of Earth’s coastlines, paddling has an unmatched charm all its own. This joy is all the more visceral

when you experience it like George did. “I like long trips. I don’t want to go kayaking for an hour or two hours or even three days. To me it only makes sense to be kayaking for months. If you’re hiking or bicycling, you can predict a path. Unless something goes drastically wrong, you can stay on schedule. With kayaking, it is absolutely unpredictable. Some days, I’d make five miles. Other days, I’d make eighty or ninety miles. You just can’t tell. It’s very hard to plan a one week kayak trip. You may have a good day, then need more than a week to get back, so where can you go?” You see, for George, kayaking was not a hobby. It was everything. It was the culmination of his beautiful baidarka designs. It was his way of communing with nature and it was his primary form of transportation. The Starship and the Canoe contains many moving and haunting tales of George’s experiences among

The Baidarka: A harmonious exaltation of human ingenuity in design. Photo courtesy of George Dyson

stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

race | play | experience


the waves in his baidarkas, including a chilling description of hearing whales and wolves giving a call-andresponse to each other as George slipped silently through the Aleut hunters near Unalaska, 1827, lithograph by Friedrich H. von Kittlitz. Photo courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University inky black night of the coastal tive research, George published Darwin waters. Among the Machines: The Evolution of In the light of day, George had his Global Intelligence, a startling revelation usual pragmatic assessment of kayaking of what it means to be sentient. at night: “I traveled a lot at night. I think The book follows the concept of the recreational kayakers don’t and I don’t unmachine mind from the Enlightenment, derstand why. You can make really good through the inchoate computing maprogress at night. It can be windy all day chines of the 1950’s to the explosive and then it calms down at night. It can be evolution of the internet and concludes a good and interesting way to travel.” Indeed.

Among the Machines After many years among the trees and waves, George emerged from the forest. If he was going to return to the World of Man, he would do it on his own terms. He knew there was something compelling about the elegance and symmetry of the baidarka, so George started designing and building them for a living. Unique and elegant, George’s baidarkas quickly became known around the world as a pinnacle of kayak design. Along with a select group of friends and boat builders, George had spurred a renaissance of the centuries-old design. In 1986, George published Baidarka: the Kayak, a concise and exhaustively researched photo book on the subject. The book was a modest success. More importantly, the work in researching and composing the book sparked the nascent writer in George. Having educated himself in the academia of Nature, George had amassed knowledge that he could share with, and contrast among, the other thinkers of the natural sciences. After years of exhaus40

race | play | experience

George at Cape Caution, Queen Charlotte Sound, BC., 1973. Photo by Ron Keller

that intelligence will indeed emerge from our machines – because that is the natural order of things. From much farther than left field, George had produced a work that earned praise from scientists and science fiction writers alike. He had successfully distilled his world and ours into an almost inescapable logic: that the natural order

doesn’t dissolve just because we think we’ve somehow overcome it. Darwin Among the Machines put George on the map of modern scientific thinkers. It also put him on the map of book publishers. Over the next several years, George went back to work researching and writing his next book, Project Orion: the True Story of the Atomic Spaceship. This time, George went back to his childhood at Princeton and re-entered his father’s world to describe a plan America had in the 1950’s to build a spaceship powered by thermonuclear explosions. As abhorrent as the idea may sound, it had plenty of backers - including George’s father Freeman, who remained a central figure in the secret program until it eventually fell out of favor for more reasonable approaches. As ever, George’s book was exhaustive in both historical detail and scientific context. George had become a celebrated thinker in American academic circles. He has given several “Ted Talks” on the popular lecture website. His latest book, Turing’s Cathedral: the Origins of the Digital Universe, is an enormously successful history of the birth of computing. Alternately whimsical and reverent, it details the eccentric nature of computing’s forefathers and how these very clever fellows changed our world. Despite his success, George continues to hew to the call of his coastal wilderness. Those formative experiences in a forest tree house and skimming over the waves in his baidarka remain the touchstones of his experience on this Earth. Rejoining the modern world and finding success as an author are all well and good, but it’s not the continuation of his adventure; it’s >>> Go to

to read ANW

a way station. “I used to have great contempt for writers and it’s almost a revenge of fate that I’ve become a writer myself,” says George. “I believe in balance, but I got completely off balance. This last book I published I spent 10 years researching ... but I do feel lucky. Everybody knows how rare it is to support yourself as a writer. So many writers write books but can’t get published, and to have Inside a Baidarka. Photo courtesy of George Dyson publishers wanting your book? You can’t turn that down. sit on a beach and write it with a fountain “But now I’m done. Now I’m firmly pen...” trying to get back to doing some real We can only hope he builds a great things. I’m looking at getting another baidarka, loads up some notepads and boat again. I’ve agreed to write another fountain pens, paddles off to a remote book but it’s not a research project. It’s tree house and shares with us his vision of more my own stories. I should be able to what constitutes

truth, beauty and the natural order of things. George Dyson continues to own and operate Dyson, Baidarka & Co. on the waterfront of Bellingham, Washington.

Bring your auto loan to WECU® and ask about our great refinance special!

Federally insured by NCUA

Real Estate & Adventures around Bellingham, WA, U.S.A. ...

stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

race | play | experience


When Clouds Become Mountains A Season in Antarctica Story by Abigail Sussman


hen I walk a trail, wander the silty perimeter of a river, or weave through a snow bound forest, I spend much of the time looking down. I’m not particularly clumsy, nearsighted, or interested in my boots. I am looking for animal tracks. The physical acts of observation: tenderly tip-toeing over the imprint of an elk’s passage, kneeling to compare bear prints to my own, or tracing the Braille left by a marmot are as reflexive as dodging a low hanging branch. So when I took my first walk outside of Byrd Surface Camp, a remote field site on the Western Antarctic Icesheet, I was repeatedly deceived by wind generated patterns, obscured ski-


race | play | experience

doo marks and the faded shape of boot soles. This mistake was more jarring than the other constant evidence: perpetual daylight, incessant wind, cutting cold. In the language of landscape, each paw-shaped depression is an expression in the discourse between habitat and inhabitant. But on the icesheet there is no habitat and there are no inhabitants, no background and no foreground. If nothing exists without its other, who are we when we are alone? Where are we when we are not just out of place but in no place? When I accepted the General Assistant (GA) position with the U.S. Antarctic Program, I was in the midst of my usual seasonal park ranger gig in North Cascades National Park. Dense undergrowth, wide rivers, diverse

>>> Go to

to read ANW

wildlife—I understand how to move through this world. Why would I, as one forthright friend asked, want to live in a tent with a bunch of strangers in the coldest place on earth? I wasn’t going to make a lot of money, I wasn’t working towards a PhD, and I wasn’t embarking on a mountaineering expedition. I was going to shovel snow. Despite my friend’s skepticism, I filled out lengthy applications, endured extensive physical exams and sat through mind-numbing training sessions. In October, I strayed from the usual seasonal progression and went from boreal fall to austral spring and found myself in a surprisingly substantial emptiness. Passengers boarding an LC-130 Hercules Photo by Abigail Sussman

The emptiness is imagination. Like the mind, the flat white contains nothing and everything. Before going to a new place, one might ask for a suggestion list from a friend, read a Lonely Planet guide, or research itinerary ideas on the internet. There is a general understanding of what to do at a destination: trekking in Nepal, visiting Machu Picchu in Peru, slickrock in Moab. Though I was able to collect advice from friends who had been to Antarctica, there was really no way to prepare myself. I just had to go and know that I would enter another world.

I was not alone in the middle of the icesheet - in fact, I had never before been in a wilderness with so much and such varied company. Byrd supported a rotating cast of soft-handed pilots, ice-coring geologists, a World Beard and Mustache Championshipwinning GPS technician, hard-working carpenters and graduate student lackeys. Camp staff was a hodge-podge: a Public Enemy-loving French trained chef, a sixty-something rancher from Saskatchewan, a sprout-pushing midwife, a black, gay man who preferred smoothies for breakfast and was secretive about his former job at the

Pentagon. These people become my confidants, my adversaries, my providers. Without natural habitat, community transformed into ecosystem. In the same way, clouds became mountains, shadows became color, absence became a powerful presence. When I am climbing a ridge, walking a canyon, or resting on the banks of a wild river, I am surrounded by other lives and histories that give my own an unmistakable context. I feel at home when I can anticipate which blueberry patch will bear first fruit, when the salmon might find their way upstream or how the snow will melt as the sum-

Photo by Nathan Rott

stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

race | play | experience


Working in Antarctica —a Primer Most everyone who works for the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) is stationed at one of three permanent stations: McMurdo, South Pole and Palmer. Aside from folks heading to Palmer, located on Anvers Island near the Antarctic Peninsula, all staff and scientists arrive at McMurdo from Christchurch, New Zealand. With the largest population on the continent (summer high of 1100, and a winter community of 150), McMurdo is a close knit community, an international airport and an industrial hub of emerging science. A cluster of buildings and fuel storage facilities, internet and high-tech science labs, bars and movie nights, one can read the New York Times online, check email or make phone calls with no more difficulty than figuring out time zones. There is yoga every Tuesday and Thursday, music at the coffeehouse, a library, a climbing wall, even a network of hiking trails. If it were not for the combination of creativity, intellectualism, and adventurousness inherent in a citizenry made up of dishwashers with MFAs, eminent scientists and stalwart mountaineers, Mactown would Photo by Abigail Sussman seem like just another ocean-side town where the ocean just happens to be frozen and the ubiquitous “Big Red” jacket replaces swimwear. The amount and variety of research being conducted on the continent is staggering. The National Science Foundation and USAP work with an outside contractor to maintain, support and fund all U.S. based science on “the ice”. From McMurdo, some science and support teams are flown to various field sites, from small camps in the Dry Valleys to larger camps on the icesheet which serve as way-stations and bases for research further afield. For more official information and to check out the live webcams at McMurdo, South Pole and Palmer, go to 44

race | play | experience

McMurdo Station

Photo by Abigail Sussman

mer progresses. It would be disingenuous to say that I, or anyone, can feel at home on the icesheet because intimacy with this land is impossible. In the absence of animals, plants and topography, we turn to each other to remind us of who we are. For much of human history, place defined culture. Climate, terrain, vegetation, and wildlife determined diet, type of shelter, clothing, and social interaction. Phenomenologist David Abram asserts that “we are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human.” He is referring to both the animate world - salmon and bear, cedar and huckleberry, chanterelle and kelp and also the inanimate - rock and wind, rivers and rain, clouds and sunlight. At first, my new home seemed like a simple unwavering void, a perception that was rapidly displaced by the understanding that ice and absence are in themselves strong and complex personalities. The emptiness is imagination. Like the mind, the flat white

contains nothing and everything. To take in the icesheet, one must give up the fullness of the rest of the world - to let everything go and yield to nothingness. It is not easy to let go. Indeed, what is the difference between letting go and giving up? Both are acts of release, both imply loss, both necessitate a shift from this to that. Perhaps, giving up suggests a sense of control over a situation, a choice, a decision, a preference. I did not give anything up because I had no say in the matter. I was forced to let go because the ice commanded it. I went to a placeless place where cardinal directions are meaningless, where my usual tools - compass, map, surrounding terrain - are useless, where perceptions are senseless. Antarctica is a continent of contradiction, an antipode, a shadow. Though it is impossible for the ice to support a habitat, the flat white does indeed define her temporary inhabitants. Just as the culture of the Salish Coast is determined by abundance, human presence in Antarctica both reflects and is reflected in the paradox of human nature. Byrd Camp was supplied not only with -60°F sleeping bags, personal cold weather gear, and specialized heating stoves, but also grass-fed New Zealand >>> Go to

to read ANW

in Bellingham’s Historic Fairhaven

p Ta

A shovel is a girl’s best friend. It took 2-1/2 hours to dig out this storm-buried tent. Photo by Abigail Sussman

Pr aw Deck on ns

Prose cc oo n

beef, a snow melting system and a stationary bike. Our camp supported a variety of scientific inquires with foundations in climate change - and everything was delivered by an aircraft that averaged three miles per gallon. We slept in unheated tents at -20°F and drank fair-trade organic coffee. A rare appearance of a snow petrel was both a joyous event an animal! - and a funeral, as this bird blown off course by a storm would likely perish. We weren’t just surviving, we were comfortable. This made it easy to mistake life on the icesheet as a somewhat plausible endeavor. On calm mornings I would kick and glide to the end

1307 11th St


Certified Public Accountants

The Northwest has a new address!


Hiking, climbing, running, cycling, paddling, sailing, surfing, skiing, boarding, ‘shoeing: it’s all here. Compelling stories, photo galleries, outdoor gear reviews, outdoor resource guide, and a new, better-than-ever events calendar.

1314 N. State Street • Bellingham, WA • 360.671.1023 • stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

World-class stories and images. Local knowledge. It’s a winning combination. race | play | experience


of the ski-way, a three mile long swath of groomed snow that serves as landing strip. This is the furthest I could go from our pop-up tent city and it is here that I feel the pull towards the unending horizon and understand an obvious truth: this place is not for us. To be in an indifferent landscape demands one’s full attentiveness - unable to turn my back on what is at hand, required to relinquish the past and future, incapable even of conjuring the world beyond the horizon. It was a liberation, a relief, a respite from the existential tight-rope of what-then-whatwill-what-now. For me, being nowhere

was an exercise in the often mentioned but rarely achieved state of being nowhere. This is the terrain of our honest selves. I did not belong here in the most fundamental of ways and yet I was at

I did not give anything up because I had no say in the matter. I was forced to let go because the ice commanded it. home in my own self for the first time in a long while. I am drawn to places that overwhelm the human compulsion to

modify, terrain that does not bend, landscapes that will not abide reshaping because this is the real world - the world that lives whether humans reside within it or not. Knowing that these parts of the planet exist is reassuring because it signals the genuine nature of place, which is never anything but the way the land is framed against the sky. It is what it is and there is no interpretation needed. So it should not come as a surprise that in this emptiness I was able to stop questioning my place in the world and just live within it.

Photo by Nathan Rott


race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

Cascadia Gear: Essentials for your next Adventure

Sierra Designs Jubilee 65 Woman’s Backpack The Sierra Designs Jubilee 65 is engineered to meet the needs of female hikers in a number of ways. First, it features the company’s Fulcrum SuspensionTM - a system of composite frame sheets that mimic the shoulder blades and pelvis. This suspension system offers superior weight distribution and comfort but where the Jubilee 65 really excels is in providing access to the contents of the pack and organizational excellence. Numerous side pockets allow for on-the-trail access to your essentials, ice axe, trekking poles, water bottle, etc. And the main compartment affords access to the gear buried deep inside. No more emptying the pack to get at the piece of gear that you need (always at the bottom!). The pack is acceptably light (3 lbs 9 oz) and will hold 55 pounds of gear, although in reality, that much weight might be pushing it with a pack this size. The “integrated” bottle opener is a bit silly, but on the whole, the Jubilee 65 is a great choice for female backpackers. For more info:

Kupilika Backcountry Dishware And now for something completely different...Kupilika backpack & camping cups and cutlery from Finland are like no camping eating utensils that you’ve ever seen. Made of a composite of 50% wood and 50% plastic, they hearken back to the distant past in design, while offering an environmentally innovative construction. The cups, plates, bowls and cutlery are all recyclable, packaged in recycled materials and utilize reindeer leather as straps. Looking like something left over from the last ice age, these products offer excellent heat endurance, low maintenance and don’t absorb smells. Kupilika products are manufactured in Ylamylly, Finland and have just begun to find their way into the U.S. For more info:

stories & the race|play|experience calendar online.

Sierra Designs Zissou 15 Sleeping Bag It’s been a subject of debate among backpackers in the Pacific Northwet for decades: Down vs. synthetic sleeping bags. Down offers unsurpassed warmth and packability for its weight but frankly, ain’t worth a damn if it gets wet. And sometimes, let’s face it, it rains in these parts. Sierra Designs’ answer to this ageold conundrum is DriDownTM, a process by which the down feathers are treated with a molecular-level polymer. The result is down that stays dry longer, lofts better and dries faster when damp. DriDownTM is brand new. It was introduced just this summer, so it’s impossible to say how it will hold up over time, but in theory, it promises to offer the best of both worlds - the superior performance of down without the Uh-oh’s caused by a damp bag. Now understand: This doesn’t mean ‘waterproof’. But according to Sierra Designs, it will stay dry seven times as long as untreated down in the presence of moisture. And unlike down bags that utilize a membrane for water repellency, Dri DownTM promises to ‘breathe’ better, allowing internal moisture to escape. One of the bags incorporating this new technology is the Zissou 15. Stuffed with 600-fill DriDownTM, the Zissou 15 offers three-season comfort, relatively light weight (2 lbs 11 oz) and reasonably small pack size (8” by 16”). Here’s another thing it offers: room to roll over. Unlike many of the lightweight mummy bags on the market, the Zissou is positively spacious inside to accommodate tossers and turners (you know who you are). Sierra Designs is also an early U.S. adopter of the European EN-13537 standards. These standards, which at long last promise consistency in the temperature ratings of various manufacturers, list four temperature ratings: Upper Limit, Comfort, Lower Limit and Extreme (read: freezing!) and take into account the fact that generally speaking, men sleep warmer than women. In theory, the ‘Upper Limit’ describes the temperature that the average male can sleep without “excessive perspiration”. The ‘Comfort’ designation indicates the temperature that the average woman can sleep comfortably (without being cold). The ‘Lower Limit’ represents the temperature at which the average male can sleep comfortably and the ‘Extreme’ rating is the temperature at which the average woman can sleep (?) without risk of hypothermia. Testing is done with a thermal mannequin. Starting this year, Sierra Designs assigns both a ’Comfort’ and ‘Lower’ limit to its bags. Thus the Zissou 15, while marketed as a 15 degree bag, has a comfort rating of 23 degrees and a lower limit pegged at 11 degrees. For more info:

race | play | experience


Race I Play I Experience SEPTEMBER > > > Monday-Wednesday, 3-5 Sep BOAT Deer Harbor Wooden Boat Rendezvous—Orcas Island. Tue: row race (4pm), barbecue, music. Wed: breakfast, sail race, potluck.

Saturday, 8 Sep RUN/WALK Fairhaven Runners Waterfront 15K—8:30am – 10:30am. Whether running or walking along this 9.3 mile course, you get a great opportunity to traverse Bellingham Bay’s beautiful waterfront. Tour the Taylor Street Dock, Boulevard Park, downtown and the marina. All participants will receive a commemorative tech shirt. We have a beautiful, well-staffed course starting in Fairhaven and running out through downtown Bellingham and back on waterside paths. From elite racing to fitness walking this course is awesome. Capped at 1000 participants. Advance registration only. cob. org/services/recreation/races/fairhaven-15k. aspx

BIKE/RUN Festival 542––9:00am – 4:00pm. It’s the 10th Anniversary Festival 542 (RIDE 542, RUN 542 and CROSS 542), and its legendary Mount Baker Hill Climb. Named after Washington State

Route SR542, FESTIVAL 542 is an uphill ride and run with dozens of categories and rewards for every rider and runner…from themed tandems with kid trailers all the way up to current pros on feather-light bikes and day-glo spandex. SPEC The Mountaineers OutdoorsFEST–– The Mountaineers Program Center, 10:00am – 5:00pm. In the pursuit of getting people outdoors, The Mountaineers will again be bringing the outdoors to the people with its 3rd Annual OutdoorsFEST presented by Hilleberg The Tentmaker. If you are just getting acquainted with what the Pacific Northwest has to offer the outdoor adventurer, if you want to find out how to enhance your outdoor experience, or you simply want to start from square one then The Mountaineers OutdoorsFEST is the place to be. BIKE Sustainable Connections Farm Tour by Bike––Market Depot, 11:00am – 5:00pm. 20 mile guided ride from Bellingham Farmers’ Market to visit two local farms. Departs 11 am. maps are available for Self-guided bike tours of 30 and 40 mile loops to more farms. Free * Self-guided * Family-friendly * Bicycle routes * Educational activities & more! foodfarming/whatcom -county-farm-tour

2012 Festival 542

10th 10thAnniversary Anniversary

SPEC Second Annual Bellwether Jazz Festival––Tom Glenn Commons, 1:00pm – 7:00pm. Enjoy free live music on the waterfront, vendors and a Boundary Bay beer garden! Band Line-Up: 1pm Thomas Marriott Quartet 2:30pm Blues Union 4pm Crossing Borders 5:30pm Carlos Cascante’s Tumbao. For more information on the bands, visit BIKE 2012 RBC GranFondo Whistler— Vancouver, BC, 7am. 604-990-2510,

Sunday, 9 Sep

Ride•Run•Play•Eat September 2012 48

race | play | experience



BIKE Autumn Rides: Wheels n’ Wisdom––1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Guided social bike ride to surprising places to learn fun skills like cooking, wine making, and more. events-rides.html

>>> VIew or download even MORE Race|Play|Experience

Ride 25, 38, 50, 62, 100 or 124 beautiful miles where the Cascade Mountains meet the Salish Sea!

9 September (cont.) - 23 September

TRI Seattle Escape from the Rock. RUN/WALK Iron Girl 10k, 5k— Seattle, 8am. RUN Skagit Flats Marathon/Half— Burlington, 8am.

Saturday, 15 Sep BIKE Bellingham Traverse––Market Depot/Boundary Bay, Bellingham, 12:00pm – 6:00pm. This event includes a 5.5mi run from downtown to Lake Padden, a challenging 6mi mt bike above the lake, an 18mi rd bike out and around Lake Samish, a 3mi trail run, a 4mi open water paddle, and a .5mi team trek. Race solo, tandem or on a team, symbolically following the life cycle of the salmon with “bait” to raise funds for environmental groups. Finish festivities at Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro. BIKE Ride the Roc––Omak Eastside Park. 8:00am – 3:30pm. The 50-milers will enjoy the beautiful countryside and lake views of Conconully. The 100-milers add the memorable sights of Omak Lake and breath taking views. Entry Fee includes: All pit stop food and beverages; entrance to the Baked Potato Feed right after the ride. Proceeds benefit Youth Programs. Ride includes SAG wagon support, pit stops, baked potato feed & no-host celebration event with live music. 8:00am start ; second loop starts at 11:00am BIKE Reflectorize Your Ride––Depot Market Square, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Reflectorize Your Ride and Ramble at Farmers’ Market: Get free reflective stickers and tape to decorate your shoes, hats, bags, bikes, and baskets. Prepare and be visible for autumn and winter evening walking and cycling.

Sunday, 16 Sep BIKE Chuckanut Century— Boundary Bay, 10:00am – 5:00pm. Come join us and ride one of the most scenic rides in Washington. With many routes offered you can pick your distance ranging from 25, 38, 50, 62, 100, or the double metric century of 124 miles. Ride support if needed and food stops with a wide variety of highenergy food and drinks event listings at

along all of the routes. No matter which route you choose, you’ll be treated to Whatcom County’s finest roads and sights. All routes start and finish at the legendary Boundary Bay Brewery.

Tuesday, 18 Sep BOATING America’s Boating Class––Bellingham Technical College, 6:30pm – 8:00pm.America’s Boating Class (ABC) – presented by Bellingham Sail and Power Squadron. Learn from the best! Eight weeks of practical, relevant instruction on boating including safety, basic mariner skills, and navigation of local waters. Opportunities for on the water training. Course completion fulfills requirements for mandatory Washington State Boaters Card.Tuesdays, 9/18-11/06/12 6:30pm-8:30pm, Bellingham Technical College. Register: (360) 752-8350 Reference: MARIN 110 Item #4560

Wednesday, 19 Sep RUN/WALK Edgewood Park 10K Guided Walk––Edgewood Park, 9:30am – 12:30pm. edgewood-park-10k-guided-walk

Saturday, 22 Sep BIKE Reflectorize Your Ride–– Depot Market Square, Bellingham, 10:00am – 3:00pm. Reflectorize Your Ride and Ramble at Farmers’ Market: Get free reflective stickers and tape to decorate your shoes, hats, bags, bikes, and baskets. Prepare and be visible for autumn and winter evening walking and cycling.

Sunday, 23 Sep SPEC Muds to Suds Race–– Hovander Park, Ferndale,11:00am – 11:15am. 16+ dirty obstacles that combine athletic stamina and your childhood fantasy of playing in the mud. You will need endurance to complete the 3 mile course, humility to wallow in the mud and a smile to show off at the finish line! Dressing up is encouraged and prizes will be given for the most creative ideas. Families are encouraged to participate. We will offer several different divisions to allow parents to cheer on their children and spouses to cheer on their better half. Visit for complete listings of Outdoor events through 2013

2008 Chuckanut Century; photo © CJ Berg Photographics

BIKE High Pass Challenge— Packwood. Cycle through the Gifford Pinchot Wilderness Area.


ChuCkanut Century Ride


Sunday September 16

Ride on Whatcom & Skagit counties’ finest cycling roads, including the famous Chuckanut Drive. Enjoy views of Mount Baker & surrounding ranges while cycling along the shores of Padilla Bay, Bellingham Bay, Birch Bay & Drayton Harbor.

Additional discount at with code: ANFALL12 Mail-in registration at Fully supported Hearty food stops Free t-shirt if registered by 9/1 Start & Finish festivities at Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in downtown Bellingham — FREE burger or beverage at finish!


Raise additional funds for Whatcom Hospice Foundation INFORMATION: ADVENTURES NW

—a proud supporter

race | play | experience


race I play I experience

23 September (cont.) – 30 September


September 8th


BIKE Autumn Rides: Whatcom Creek Salmon––1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Guided social bike ride to see and celebrate the returning salmon. Enjoy stream-side trails. events-rides.html NAV Oktoberfest Street Scramble—Fremont, 10am. 503-515-9419, DU Methow Valley Off-Road Duathlon— Winthrop, 9am. 206-940- 4507, methowduathlon. CYCLING RUN/WALK Athleta Iron Girl Bloomington Women’s Duathlon–– Normandale Lake Park, 7:30am – 11:00am. www. TRIATHLON City of Portland Triathlon–– Cathedral Park, 7:30am – 11:00am. http://www. CYCLING Olympic Bike Adventure––Port Angeles City Pier, 8:00am – 2:00pm.

tractor train ride • grassfed cows, pigs & chickens • u-pick veggies • local cheese • rare fruits & pie • wine tasting • ice cream & MORE!

Pick up your Eat Local Month & Farm Tour Guide at the Community Food Co-op, Village Books, local farmers markets, participating farms, or online at

Choose local businesses taking action for a healthy community.

RUN/WALK Race for a Soldier––YMCA, 8:00am – 2:00pm. RUN/WALK Champoeg Half Marathon–– Champoeg State Park, 9:00am – 12:00pm. www.

Monday, 24 Sep RUN Girls on the Run Fall Season Varied—3:00 pm – 4:15 pm. The Girls on the Run curriculum uses running to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. At each season’s conclusion, the girls complete a 5k running

event. Sites meet twice per week for ten weeks at Elementary Schools around Whatcom County.

Tuesday, 25 Sep BIKE WWU Red Square Info Fair––11:45 am – 12:45 pm. Guided bicycle tours from campus to popular downtown destinations and insider tips on bicycling routes, skills, and fun.

Saturday, 29 Sep BIKE Cascade CX #1: Killer Cross–– Squalicum Creek Park, Bellingham, 10:00am – 2:00pm. Don’t miss season opener of best local race series to blow out the cobwebs! At the moment, it is the raddest hard cyclocross course in the center of town! Lots of mounds and hills, some of which may be demolished in the future, so get up them while you still have the power! www.cascadecross. com BIKE Reflectorize Your Ride @ Depot Market Square––10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Reflectorize Your Ride and Ramble at Farmers’ Market: Get free reflective stickers and tape to decorate your shoes, hats, bags, bikes, and baskets. Prepare and be visible for autumn and winter evening walking and cycling.

Sunday, 30 Sep RUN Bellingham Bay Marathon, Half Marathon & 5k—Bellingham, 7:30 am. The marathon (Boston qualifier) and half marathon courses are relatively flat, well-supported and along

Life is simple.

Sidewalk Sale & Salmon BBQ

Sept. 22nd

Simply... live the life you choose.

counseling our community Sunset Professional Building 3031 Orleans St., Bellingham



race | play | experience


Take I-5 to exit 250/Old Fairhaven Parkway, or exit 231/Chuckanut Drive to Fairhaven.

>>> VIew or download even MORE Race|Play|Experience

race I play I experience

30 September (cont.) – 13 October picturesque and expansive Bellingham Bay waterfront with country and urban landscapes, mountain vistas and exceptional seascapes. The point-topoint marathon is from Lummi Peninsula to downtown Bellingham (free shuttle to start). The half marathon loop course starts at Bellingham’s Depot Market Square. The fast, friendly 5k is along downtown streets and trails.

TR RUN Baker Lake 50k—Baker Lake, 8am.

Saturday-Sunday, 6-7 Oct PADDLE Hobuck Hoedown Surf Paddling Festival—Neah Bay. 206-940-6269, PADDLE WKC Nooksack Slalom & Downriver + NF Nooksack River Slalom Class III—Glacier.

Sunday, 7 Oct

OCTOBER > > > 1-31 Oct

BIKE Autumn Rides:Trees n’ Trails––1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Guided social bike ride to see and learn about significant heritage trees around Bellingham.

Monday, 8 Oct

Saturday, 6 Oct

Saturday, 13 Oct

SPECIAL Artstock – A Fall Festival of Art. Gallery events & island studios tour @ Friday Harbor—Weekend unique self-guided artists’ studio tour & Gallery demonstations & receptions, FREE! Please check: www.visitsanjuans. com for a complete listing of events and specials. RUN/WALK Race for Education—Bellingham, 9am/kids race 8:30am. A fundraising 5k starting and ending at Civic Field. RUN/WALK Run Like a Girl 1/2 Marathon— Bellingham, 9am.

event listings at

Enjoy in our inviting atmosphere, or take your meal home!

BIKE Skagit Valley Farm Pedal—La Conner, 9am. 360-421-4729,

SPECIAL Savor the San Juans: A Medley of Food, Art & Culture, October 1 – 31—Culinary, Accommodation & Moorage Specials; Cultural Events, Oktoberfest, Farm Parades, Tours, Cooking Classes, Artstock! Please check: www.visitsanjuans. com for a complete listing of events and specials.

RUN Granville Island Turkey Trot 10k Walk, Run, Stroll—Vancouver, BC, 8:30am. RUN/WALK Autumn Leaf Walk/Run— Okanogan, 10am. To challenge runners from all over the state, the Autumn Leaf offers a 1mi, 5mi, or 10k, and a wonderful scenic and community setting, beginning at the Okanogan Swimming Pool. Fee is just one (but why not give more?) can of food, which will be given to the local food bank; otherwise it’s free. Lots of prizes, including for best costume. 509-8267558,

fresh ingredients ~ daily specials ~ no msg added ~ gluten-free choices ~ serving lunch & dinner daily ~ next to ~

Bellingham’s REI


race | play | experience


13 October (cont.) - 20 October SPEC WMBC 2nd Annual Shoot the Trails Awards Video and Photo Contest––Depot Market Square, Bellingham, 7:00pm – 10:00pm. Our 1st Annual Shoot the Trails event on Oct 15, 2011 was a huge success! Around 450 people showed up to show support for Galbraith Mountain. All funds generated at this event are being set aside specifically for Galbraith Mountain. It was so much fun we will for sure do it again in Oct, 2012. All proceeds go towards trail access and trail building in Whatcom County. www. BIKE Cascade CX #2:Thriller Cross @ Civic Field—10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Costume themed race. Food vendors. Mud baths, stunt sections, silliness included at no extra charge.

Sunday, 14 Oct BIKE Black Market Annual Tweed Ride––Maritime Heritage Park, Bellingham, 12:00pm – 3:00pm. Guided group social fashion ride. Dress up in vintage attire, decorate your vintage cruiser and re-live the classic age of elegant cycling. Hosted by Black Market Vintage Clothing Store. everybodybike. com/events-rides.html MTB DU


Mountain Bike Duathlon— Bellingham, 11am. 360-778-7000, cob. org/races YOUTH DU YMCA Youth Duathlon—Bellingham, 1pm.,

Saturday, 20 Oct RUN Lake Padden Trail Half–– Bellingham, 9:00am – 12:00pm. Run the Lake Padden Trail Half 13.1 presented by Flora Health. One of the most beautiful trail half marathons in the northwest featuring plenty of beautiful single track trails situated in the Lake Padden recreation area. All runners eligible for great random prizes & age group awards. Special awards for top masters and grand masters.The race will be followed up by a fun post race awards dinner with music by the Joe Capoccia String Band in the garden at Boundary Bay. Proceeds to benefit Rebound of Whatcom County. Register to run or volunteer at: BIKE Cascade CX #3: Woolley Cross––Northern State Rec Area, 10:00am – 2:00pm. Sponsored by Skagit Bicycle Club. Can’t beat a former mental hospital for a race venue! www.


Blackberry Trails Bed and Breakfast - located on the Canadian border in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. This 36-acre wooded property provides privacy, and peaceful relaxation. Whether looking for a romantic getaway or a cozy overnight with your family, this is the perfect place to accommodate your adventure.


race | play | experience

(360) 393-6677

2580 H Street Rd., Blaine, WA 98230

>>> VIew or download even MORE Race|Play|Experience

20 October (cont.) - 11 November WATER Greenland Week Kayak Festival at Lake Sammamish–– Lake Sammamish State Park, Bellingham, 9:00am – 10:00am. Join the Kayak Academy for a week of traditional Greenland-style kayaking lessons, demonstrations, race and social activities. See website for events and times: SPEC Warren Miller’s Flow State––Throughout Washington, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm. The 63rd feature film from Warren Miller Entertainment brings audiences to a place only recently identified by scientists; a place they now understand skiers and snowboarders achieve where, the faster they go physically, the slower things appear to them mentally. This a place of such singular focus and connection with their environment, they can achieve things previously thought impossible. So come with us as we enter … the Flow State. Check theaters for show times!

Sunday, 21 Oct

Sunday, 21 Oct RUN The Other Half—Moab, UT, 8:30am. 435259-4525,

Saturday, 27 Oct RUN/WALK Pumpkin Push 5k for Seattle’s Homeless— 10am. 206-548-3266, pumpkinpush. com RUN Freaky 5k—Federal Way, 9am. 253-835-6932.

RUN Halloween Runs—Seattle, 10am. Multiple events. 206-335-9305,

Sunday, 28 Oct RUN/WALK Run Scared 5k—Seattle, 9am. Benefits Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. 206-3305967,

NOVEMBER >>> Saturday, 3 Nov BIKE Cascade CX #4: Cross Border Clash–– DeltaTech Industrial Park,10:00am – 2:00pm. Day 1 of international cyclocross showdown between BC and WA. Beer garden! Flyover! Pump track! www.

Sunday 4 Nov BIKE Cascade CX #5: Cross Border Clash–– DeltaTech Industrial Park,10:00am – 2:00pm. Day 2 of international cyclocross showdown. Clash Cup will be awarded to BC or WA. RUN Padden Mudfest 7mi—Bellingham, 10am.

Monday 5 Nov WATER Cascade Canoe & Kayak Distance Race––Lake Washington, 10:00am – 12:30pm.

Sunday, 11 Nov RUN/WALK Bellingham Trail Marathon @ Lake Padden—9:00am – 1:00pm. Bellingham Trail Marathon: 26.2 and 2.6 mile races is a trail marathon connecting two popular trail systems: Lake Padden


BEER GEAR Ski Boot Fitting Specialist Locally Owned Local Knowledge Local Expertise Beginners Welcome

214 W Holly Downtown Bham 360 543 5678 www.backcountry 10-7 Mon-Sat 12-5 Sundays event listings at

360 671.2420

Servicing Most European & Japanese Models

Huge Selection of Kayaks and Accessories including Stohlquist, Emotion, Bending Branches Mustang and STORE More! HOURS 851 Coho Way Bellingham, WA 360.734.3336

WEEKDAYS 8am - 5pm SATURDAY 9am - 4pm race | play | experience


“Save 10% on Kids Summer Programs by 11 November (cont.) - 8 December 6/15/12”

Wilderness Skills, Sail ‘n’ Science, Marine Explorer, Digital Photo, Jr. Explorer (age 6-8) & more!

Adult & Family Adventures Kids Day Camps School Programs Kids Kayak Academy SAVE 10% on Kids Summer Programs by 6/15/12

marine & forest-focused programs at Deception Pass & across the PNW

race I play I experience & Chuckanut Mountain! http://www.


TR RUN Carkeek 5k/10k—Seattle, 9:30am. 503-515-9419,

Saturday, 1 Dec

Thursday, 15 Nov BIKE Bike Travel Show––The HUB, 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Bicycle Hub and Spoke Presentation and Bicycle Travel Slide Show: Experience the beauty of bicycle tourism in southern Japan. Enjoy cycling stories from visiting experts from Bicycle Alliance of Washington.

Saturday, 17 Nov RUN Turkey Trot 5k—Bellingham/ Barkley Village, 9am.

Thursday, 22 Nov

RUN La Conner Turkey Trot—La Conner, 7:30am. 360-466-4778, RUN Thanksgiving Day Runs— Seattle, 9am. Multiple events. 206-3359305,

Saturday, 24 Nov RUN Seattle Marathon 5K & Seattle Kids Marathon—8:30am/ 10am. 206-729-3660,

Visit for complete listings of Outdoor events through 2013

The Destination for Seafood Lovers

The Markets use Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch

RUN/WALK Girls on the Run 5K––Downtown, 10:00am – 11:00am.

Sunday, 2 Dec RUN Girls on the Run 5k— Bellingham, 9:30am. A downtown Bellingham fun run for girls and boys, men and women.,

Friday, 7 Dec SPEC Superhero Lighted Bike Parade––Depot Market Square, Bellingham, 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Decorate your bike with lights and reflectors, don your superhero cape, and ride through downtown to light up the holiday Art Walk. Treats and refreshments. Departs from Public Market 6 pm.

Saturday, 8 Dec RUN Fairhaven Frosty 5k & 10k— Bellingham, 10am. Run on road and trail, 1 or 2 loops from Fairhaven Park. Free kids 1/4 mile. RUN Toys for Tots Airport 5k/10k—Arlington, 11am. 360-359-

More Faster Backwards Rebuilding David B 15% Off

to select the finest ocean-friendly seafood. • 100% sustainable • wild, responsibly farmed • best selection, variety, quality. B EST ES T



Seafood in this category is abundant, well-managed and caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways.

Aquaculture practices can be sustainable within their ecosystem by respecting wild fish populations and their habitats, preventing contamination of wild populations, avoiding use of polluting holding pens and antibiotics, and taking action on water quality issues.

great food is for everyone! 54

race | play | experience


ALTERNATIVE These items are an option, but there are concerns with how they are caught or farmed or with the health of their habitat due to other human impacts.

R ESPONSIBLY FARME D SEAFOOD Aquaculture practices can be sustainable within their ecosystem by respecting wild fish populations and their habitats, preventing contamination of wild populations, avoiding use of polluting holding pens and antibiotics, and taking action on water quality issues.

Lakeway • Birch Bay Anacortes

Coupon Code Paperback WFLL7LMT eBook ZG75Q

A memoir of one couple’s uncertain struggle to bring their dreams to life

- by Christine Smith

>>> VIew or download even MORE Race|Play|Experience

race I play I experience

8 December (cont.) - 2 February


Saturday, 15 Dec

RUN Deception Pass 50k, 25k — Oak Harbor.

RUN Holiday Fun Run—Seattle, 10am. Multiple events. 206-335-9305,

RUN/WALK Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis 5k—Bellingham, 8am.

Sunday, 9 Dec RUN/WALK Holualoa Tucson Marathon––Cody Loop Rd 7:30am – 2:00pm Enjoy beautiful Tucson winter weather with temperatures at the start averaging in the high 30s and reaching 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit by 11 a.m. This is primarily a downhill marathon. with some hills around mile 2 and mile 10. Come run your FIRST MARATHON or your FASTEST MARATHON.You’ll drop almost 2,200 feet in elevation as you run on the mostly downhill, point-to-point course along the beautiful Santa Catalina mountain range. (There are some rolling hills and inclines between miles 2-5 and miles 10-13, as well as between miles 24-25)

Sat-Sun, 8-9 Dec PADDLE 7th Annual Deception Pass Dash—Deception Pass State Park. 206-940-6269,

JANUARY >>> Saturday, 19 Jan SNOW Tubbs Romp to Stomp––Mt. Bachelor, 9:00am – 1:00pm. Join us in 2013 at Mt. Bachelor. The gorgeous snowshoe course, fun atmosphere, and FREE demo snowshoes* from Tubbs make the Washington Romp great for participants of all levels. Since its inception in 2003, the Tubbs Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer Snowshoe Series® has engaged nearly 23,000 people in the sport of snowshoeing and raised more than 1.8 MILLION DOLLARS for Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation!

FEBRUARY >>> Saturday, 2 Feb

SNOW Tubbs Romp to Stomp–– Stevens Pass Nordic Center, 9:00am – 1:00pm. Join us in 2013 at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center. The gorgeous

San Juan Islands... Inside Passage... SE Alaska

Pick up your copy of


—enjoy Pacific Northwest waters aboard the m/v David B

in the

Weekend Getaways Kayak Mothership Tours Private Charters

The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2’S Deadliest Day



Author Event!

Sept. 26 at VB

1200 11th St • Bellingham • 800.392.BOOK • event listings at

Northwest Navigation Co. Small Ship Cruises 877-670-7863 / 360-201-8184 race | play | experience


race I play I experience

19 January (cont.) - 31 May

Experience Yoga in a New Way

Yoga for Paddlers Runners Hikers Cyclists…and YOU!

snowshoe course, fun atmosphere, and FREE demo snowshoes* from Tubbs make the Washington Romp great for participants of all levels. Since its inception in 2003, the Tubbs Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer Snowshoe Series® has engaged nearly 23,000 people in the sport of snowshoeing and raised more than 1.8 MILLION DOLLARS for Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation!

MAY >>>

unique competitive team challenge in the high desert of central Oregon for athletes from every walk of life. It’s broken down into 4 phases: an Olympic length triathlon; Geocaching; Challenge Events; and a 7-person Creak to Peak relay race. Each team is comprised of 7 members and the team that earns the most points by the end of the weekend will be crowned the 2013 WCG Champions!! Team Price: $2100 (7 Person Teams) $300 per Individual includes: $150 Entry Fee and $150 Food and Lodging DON’T MISS OUT! The 2012 Games sold out by March 1, 2012! So REGISTER NOW!

Friday, 31 May Wild Canyon Games––6:00pm – 4:00pm. Wild Canyon Games is a

Visit for complete listings of Outdoor events through 2013

Susan D’Onofrio 8 Petals Yoga Studio

1317 Commercial St. #203 • Bellingham, WA for class info


For boys & girls ages 3-5 or 6-12. Register now for fall sessions. BELLINGHAM ACTIVITY CENTER WHATCOM FAMILY YMCA 360 733 8630 56

race | play | experience

Academic Adventures................................54 Adventures NW Magazine..................25, 45 American Alpine Institute...........................56 Backcountry Essentials..............................53 Bellingham Athletic Club..............................4 Bellingham Bay Marathon.........................52 Blackberry Trails B & B..............................52 Bellingham Frameworks.............................13 Bellwether Jazz Festival...............................9 Boundary Bay B&B...................................27 Brandon Nelson-RE/MAX..........................41 Busara Thai Cuisine...................................51 Colophon Café & Deli...............................13 Community Food Coop.............................. 17 D’Anna’s Cafe Italiano..............................29 Danne Neill-The Muljat Group...................19 Dawn Durand--Windermere Real Estate......35 Fairhaven Bike & Ski.................................20 Fairhaven Pizza........................................45 Fairhaven Runners & Walkers....................28 Fanatik Bike Co.........................................21 Flyers Restaurant & Brewery......................35 Gato Verde Adventure Sailing...................21 Gone Diving.............................................24 Harmony Motorworks...............................53 Leap Frog Water Taxi..................................9 LFS Marine & Outdoor..............................53 Lithtex NW...............................................24 McNett....................................................16 MBBC/Chuckanut Century.........................49 Mount Baker Foothills Chamber.................41 Mount Bakery.............................................6

Mount Baker Ski Area...............................48 Nooksack River Casino.............................60 North Cascades Institute............................21 Northwest Behaivoral................................50 Northwest Navigation.........................54, 55 NW Traverse, Olympia/Bellingham...........51 Old Fairhaven Association.........................50 Peoples Bank............................................59 Performance Chiropractic Bellingham.........25 Pickford Film Center....................................7 Pickup Dogs.............................................52 Placid Pet.................................................55 Quicksilver Photo Lab................................ 17 ReStore....................................................55 Ride, Run 542 Mt. Baker Hill Climb............48 Romp To Stomp........................................57 Sally Farrell-Coldwell Banker.....................25 San Juan Sailing.......................................29 The Sportsman Chalet.................................3 Sustainable Connections............................50 The Chrysalis Inn & Spa............................55 The Markets.............................................54 Village Books...........................................55 Warren Miller.............................................3 Wells Fargo Advisors-Josh Barrett..............20 Whatcom Educational Credit Union............41 Whatcom Events - Muds to Suds...................2 Whatcom Family YMCA ...........................56 Whidbey Island Bank..................................5 Wood Mizer.............................................17 Yoga Northwest........................................13 Yoga with Susan D’Onofrio.......................56 Zaremba Paxton P.S. . ..............................45


Fall Rock Climbing All levels – from learning the basics to learning to lead. Erie • Leavenworth • Squamish Red Rock • Joshua Tree • Moab

American Alpine Institute



Rookies & Youth Climbing Classes

Advertiser Index


Yoga with

1515 12th Street • Bellingham • 360-671-1505 •

>>> VIew or download even MORE Race|Play|Experience





event listings at




race | play | experience





Nothing Above my Boots but the Evening photo by Buff Black

Deep in the wilderness of North Cascades National Park near Whatcom Pass, 22 miles from road’s end, I left camp after dinner and summited a ridge directly north of Mt Challenger. Reclining back, my boots naturally extended over a cliff edge into the yawning expanse of Little Beaver Valley. Exhilarated yet relaxed, the drop-away panorama cast it’s spell on me through the golden hour of that transcendent September evening.


race | play | experience

>>> Go to

to read ANW

Is there a New Home in Your Future? Our Home Loan Specialists have just one thing to say,

“Let’s make it work.”

Shelly Beld

Carmen Denson

Sidney Stonecypher

Gena Stremler

Steve Gray

AVP | Senior Real Estate Loan Officer

AVP | Senior Real Estate Loan Officer

AVP | Senior Real Estate Loan Officer

AVP | Senior Real Estate Loan Officer

Senior Real Estate Loan Officer

NMLS# 487562

NMLS# 504887

NMLS# 412392

NMLS# 494799

NMLS# 107828

Judy Haugness

Amy Baker

Tiffany Bergsma-Evans

Kelly Gustafson

Jo Dallas

Senior Real Estate Loan Officer

Real Estate Loan Officer

Real Estate Loan Officer

Real Estate Loan Officer

VP | Real Estate Loan Manager

NMLS# 460719

NMLS# 539977

NMLS# 487561

NMLS# 486658

NMLS# 422509

Visit one of our 10 Whatcom County offices or call (360) 676-5880 today. Our experienced, local loan officers are ready to help. Apply online at

PEO NW Adventures_fullpage.indd 1

8/9/12 4:01 PM

$4.99 Value Buffet Our delicious and ever-changing value buffet, now on Thursdays 11am - 9pm. Only $4.99 for Winners Club Members!

Signature Seafood Buffet Served from 4pm to 9pm Friday nights. $17.95 with Winners Club Card, $22.95 without.

Saturday BBQ Buffet 4pm - 9pm $11.95 A Feast prepared each Saturday. All-you-can-eat perfectly seasoned BBQ favorites at one low price!

Sunday Brunch Buffet Served from 10am to 2pm $16.95 With Champagne


Create Your Own Fresh Dining Experience Every Monday & Tuesday 11am – 2pm & 5pm – 9pm! Just $11.95 per person!

Adventures NW Fall 2012  
Adventures NW Fall 2012  

Adventures NW is the region’s favorite outdoor recreation, sports and lifestyle magazine, published since 2006 and focusing on all the area...