Bellingham Alive | May/June | 2020

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Local Heroes +

Lakeside Living Build Your Own Greenhouse Cabin in the Woods MAY/JUNE 2020 DISPLAY UNTIL JUNE 30 $3.99 US • $4.99 CAN

Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery We are the operators, boilermakers, pipefitters, instrument & analyzer technicians, crane operators, engineers, planners, schedulers, safety leaders, and supervisors that work together every day to provide energy and improve lives. At Phillips 66, we live at the crossroads of business, community and the environment to provide energy and improve lives. Every day, over 275 employees at Ferndale work safely, responsibly and with environmental care to process, transport and market fuels and energy products. Our fuels and products are an essential part of connecting, feeding, clothing and caring for the world's growing population. As a global energy provider, our employees and facilities are fundamentally connected to the communities we share. We have been part of Whatcom County for more than 65 years and have lived our deeply held values of safety, honor and commitment. We aim to be trusted partners and assume responsibility for the strength and sustainability of the communities where we operate. Phillips 66 provides high-quality jobs, social impact investments and the compassion, knowledge and hard work of our employee volunteers. Advanced technology and rapidly changing energy needs are accelerating our efforts to deliver innovative energy solutions. Through operational efficiency and industry-leading research, we challenge ourselves to improve access to energy, sustain communities and honor the ongoing need to protect nature and our environment. We believe our economic strength and environmental stewardship serve as a road map for our company's future and provide long-term value for all our stakeholders. We work together every day to provide energy to help people go farther, dream bigger and lead safer, more productive lives.


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Lakeside Living, A Neighborhood Guide In the North Sound, we’re spoiled with natural beauty, from epic views of Mount Baker to colorful sunsets sparkling off the bay. We also enjoy easy access to numerous lakes. For those who dream of living only a short stroll from a dock or, even better, owning property right on the shore, this month’s feature takes a closer look at several lake communities in our area. Learn which neighborhoods offer the best access for boating, fishing, hiking, swimming, and more. We also offer information about property values, neighborhood amenities, and commute times, breaking down each area into pros and cons. If you’ve always wanted to live on the water, why not make your dream a reality?




Photos: Kasey Potzler and L&L Libations by Julia Furukawa, Ideal and Mi Rancho by Julia Berkman, Moss Bags by Jennifer Morrow Photography, Cabin in the Woods by Nick Graves




Community  Local Heroes


Community elSage Designs


Book Notes Reviews & Podcasts


Heard Around the Sound Bellingham Bike Lanes New Urban Village Monthly Giveaways Favorite Outside Activities

Review  Mi Rancho Meat Market

26 Community A Conservation Conversation 27


Apps We Love Work from Home Apps


Spotlight Kasey Potzler


Local Find  Moss Bags 37

Special Advertising Shop Local Guide


Nutrition Your Metabolic Health


Necessities  Fitness Tech


Recipe  Cajun Shrimp


Dining Guide


Lakeside Living




Five Faves CSAs

Mixing Tin  L&L Libations


Fashion Q & A Spring Hairstyles



Savvy Shopper  Ideal

Featured Home  Cabin in the Woods 58 Garden Build Your Own Greenhouse


8 Great Take-Out Spots


Favorite Cooking Shows


Publisher’s Letter




Letters to the Editor


Necessities You Grow, Girl!


Meet the Team Julia Furukawa


Special Advertising Premier Homes


Lasting Image Great Blue Herons

May/June 2020 5

Notes  What’s Online


Photo courtesy of The RE Store.

Online Exclusive


“As winter winds down and spring approaches, it’s time to seek out energizing food and drink options. That’s where this elixir comes in. Raw apple cider vinegar is a golden gift to the digestive system.” ... This month’s recipe is a Sunrise Sparkler — an easy-to-make beverage that’s easy on your gut, and your taste buds. Click the link in our bio to read the full article by Annika Sampson.

In this month’s online exclusive, Samantha Hale of Bellingham’s RE Store discusses her love-hate relationship with popular home renovation TV shows. Although she loves the idea of inspiring people to spearhead their own home renovation projects, she’s also frustrated by the lack of information on how to reuse and recycle materials in those projects featured on screen. To learn more about incorporating sustainable practices into your own home renovations, visit

EVENTS CALENDAR Be sure to check out our events calendar. If you have an event that you would like our readers to know about, offers an events calendar where viewers can search by day, venue, event type, or city. Go to and submit your event today. Once your event has been approved by our editorial staff, it is live.

BE IN THE KNOW Sign up for our free entertainment e-newsletter to get the latest on upcoming events and more!


“The aging process affects your skin differently as you get older. What worked for your skin in your 30s is probably not going to be as effective in your 50s.” ... As your skin changes, so should your skincare routine. Click the link in our bio for a guide on how it should change through the decades, written by Dr. Tianna Tsitsis.

Viking Food Viking Food partners with over 100 restaurants to deliver unique and local food to the communities in Bellingham, Blaine, Custer, Everson, Ferndale, and Lynden. Some places that users can order from include: AB Crepes

Cafe Akroteri

Skylarks Hidden Cafe

El Albanil

El Patron

Extreme Sports Grill


Pure Bliss Desserts

Thai House Restaurant

Cascade Pizza

JJ’s In & Out

Waterfront Seafood & Bar 360.922.0819 Sun–Thurs: 8am to 11pm Friday: 8am to 11:55pm Saturday 10am to 11:55pm

Notes  Publisher’s Letter

A Letter From the Publisher


VER THE PAST WEEKS, amid the outbreak of COVID-19, I have been watching and praying for all of our communities, residents, and local businesses. I feel the need to support them like they — as well as you, our readers — have supported us for the past 12 years. It concerns me that our retailers and restaurants will be hit the hardest, and that some businesses may feel a continued impact for months to come. As a result of these extraordinary times, Bellingham Alive will print bimonthly for two issues, May/June and July/ August, reverting to monthly publication in September. My hope is that this will offer some relief to all of our valued advertisers and supporters. I hope it makes a difference. To our readers. If you have a subscription, we will be adding issues on the backend to make up for the lost summer issues. Thank you for understanding and helping us ease the pressure on local businesses. Also, from now until our local events are up and running again, Bellingham Alive will help brick and mortar businesses get the word out about any sale, promotion, or editorial needs through our digital platforms — at no-cost. Every Thursday, rather than highlighting weekend events in our “Weekend Blast,” we will instead feature up to 12 local restaurants and retailers, rotating to ensure everyone has the opportunity for exposure. Please watch for these and support our local businesses — it is crucial to help get them up and running as soon as possible. If your business is having a sale or promotion, please email us at with 25–30 words about the promotion along with a photo (please include photo credit). While we can’t guarantee a response, we can guarantee we are doing our part to help our businesses stay front and center with local audiences at this crucial time. If you’re curious about our reach, here are some stats: Our digital opt-in list reaches 8,700 subscribers with a 34 percent open rate — that’s more than 3,000 viewers each week. Our website,, receives more than 42,000 visits each month. To fully engage with this readership, make

sure you use #Bellinghamalive to reach our social media followers whenever you post or share content. For you, our readers, you have a task as well. It’s your job to support local businesses as best you can, whether that’s by shopping online, ordering gift cards to use at a later date, or getting food delivered (if possible). Now, more than ever, we as a community must come together to protect our local businesses so that they’re healthy and thriving on the other side of this crisis. To all our readers, subscribers, and supporters: thank you for your patronage over the past 12 years. We truly appreciate all of you and wish nothing but success as we move through this difficult phase and toward ensuring a healthy future for both our community and our nation. Sincerely and with appreciation,

Lisa Karlberg President | Publisher


Notes  Contributors

Mary Kinser Growing up in Washington state, Mary learned early on that rainy days provided the perfect excuse to curl up with a good story. Mary is now a collection development librarian for Whatcom County Library System, where she gets to spend her days spreading the joy of reading. In her free time, she enjoys travel, board games, long walks, and baking delicious treats. She and her husband share their home with one son, one cat, and far too many books.  p. 23

Nick St. Mary

Spacious Suites Bus trips to appointments

Complimentary lunch & tour

With more than 15 years of experience in the hair industry, Nick St. Mary loves to create wearable, textured looks for his clients. Nick trained at some of the best Bay Area hair salons and has continued his education with classes from Bumble and Bumble, and Pony Education. He opened his first salon in 2010 in San Francisco. In 2016, he moved to Bellingham to be closer to family and enjoy a slower pace of life. Learn more at  p. 34

24 Hour staffing

Samantha Hale Samantha Hale was raised in the woods and waters of New England. At a young age she developed a passion for adventuring in and learning about the natural world. Her passions lead her to a career in environmental education and communications. Samantha is the Marketing & Outreach manager for The RE Store. The RE Store works to divert building materials from the landfill; assisting community members in their diversion needs by offering free donation pick-ups, building salvage services and their award-winning retail store.  p. 58

Great food

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844 W. Orchard Drive Bellingham, WA 360-647-3708


Cassie Elliott Cassie is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, nutrition blogger, and food photographer who believes that if you eat colorful food you are guaranteed it will be nutritious and definitely delicious. She is also the creator of Nutritious and Delicious Appetites by Design to help you feel your best so you can live your best. Her photos and writing can be found on Instagram @paleo_perspective and her website  p. 70, 71


SEMIAHMOO One of the Nicest Neighborhoods in the Northwest.



neighbors cherish the natural beauty and abundant wildlife as much as they do their close knit community. For over 30 years the dramatic shoreline of the Semiahmoo Sand Spit has served as a haven for birders, boaters and four legged beasts! We are a doglover’s paradise! Recreational amenities abound from the championship Arnold Palmer golf course, to one of the best managed and most affordable private marinas in the PNW, to miles of walking trails with waterfront access. A creative community of artists, entrepreneur’s and exercise enthusiasts — We have a Pickleball Pack that can’t be beat. Just 30 minutes to Costco and Freddies and less than that to the international beauty — Vancouver, BC. We admit we are off the beaten path...and in today’s world, we’re pretty sure that is a great place to be!

5432 Canvasback Rd. | $759,000 5 Bed | 4.25 Baths | 3,660 sqft. MLS: 1582965

5671 Sanderling Way | $529,000 3 Bed | 2.5 Baths | 2,152 sqft. MLS: 1575063

8697 Wood Duck Way | $889,000 3 Bed| 1.75 Baths | 2,400 sqft. MLS: 1572587

8605 Great Horned Owl Ln. | $785,000 3 Bed | 3.25 Baths | 2,724 sqft. MLS: 1568853

8759 Wood Duck Way | $869,900 3 Bed | 3.25 Baths | 2,950 sqft. MLS: 1568803

9121 Pintail Lp. | $749,500 4 Bed | 2.5 Baths | 3,250 sqft. MLS: 1579146


Whatcom County...Even when it rains, I shine! Managing Broker 360-815-4718 May/June 2020 11



Bellingham Alive NSL Guestbook Couture Weddings MENU Seattle

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER  Lisa Karlberg EDITOR IN CHIEF  Becky Mandelbaum ART DIRECTOR  Dean Davidson INTERIM EDITOR Amy Anderson Guerra


ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Devan Ballard | Kristy Gessner Mia Sperandeo



CONTRIBUTORS Cassie Elliott | Samantha Hale Ken Karlberg | Mary Kinser | Nick St. Mary Lou Nicksic

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Julia Berkman | Julia Furukawa Tyler Kendig | Mysti Willmon


CORPORATE OFFICE K & L Media, Inc. 432 W. Bakerview Road, Suite 101 Bellingham, WA 98226

As Whatcom County’s largest credit union, we’ve had your back since 1936. And that’s never going to change.




Letters to the Editor Notes

APRIL 2020

Travel B.C.






Bellingham Alive welcomes comments and feedback for our Letters to the Editor section. We’d love to hear what you have to say and are open to story ideas about the people, places, and happenings in the North Sound (Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan counties). Let us know what you like, and what you’d like to see in the magazine! Contact our editor at

I love having your magazine in our reception area — people really like reading it and frequently we have clients ask if they can take it home. Thanks for providing a quality product that resonates with our clients!

We just received our April issue of Bellingham Alive and LOVE the Travel B.C. article. Although we can’t cross the border right now, there are many places I want to visit when we can. Thank you for the article and magazine.

— Brian S., Bellingham

— Jolene V., Lynden

Appreciate your thoughtfulness toward supporting local small businesses during the coronavirus news and agency policies. Hope you’re all doing OK and keep up the good work. Cheers.

My family moved to Blaine in late 2019. We haven’t had the opportunity to cross the border, but when we can we will be visiting many of the recommended areas you highlighted in your current issue of Bellingham Alive. This was given to us as a gift and we love this magazine. Being from the Seattle area, it has given us so many restaurants to try and local places to visit.

— Sandra L., in response to our weekly digital newsletter

— Darlene K., Blaine

Our goal is to enrich the lives of our employees, our clients, and our community. LOVE THE JOURNEY. LOVE YOUR SPACE. 1420 Meador Ave., Suite K105, Bellingham 360.746.5455 |

May/June 2020 13

Notes  Meet the Team


Julia Furukawa What is your role at the magazine and how long have you been with K & L Media? I’ve worked as an Editorial Intern at Bellingham Alive since January 2020. I get to do everything from writing profiles to food and cocktail reviews, to fact-checking and editing pieces before they reach publication. I’m a real stickler for details, so I appreciate getting to put the finishing touches on many of our articles and making them shine.

What is your background? I grew up in the heart of Seattle and was lucky enough to spend my entire childhood there. I moved up to Bellingham a few years ago and recently graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in journalism and a Spanish concentration.


What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine? Unlike past publications I’ve worked for, the stories I get to write for Bellingham Alive are focused on people and the wonderful things they’re doing in our community. They’re more lighthearted and give me creative license that I haven’t had before. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I get to sample drinks and food from local restaurants and bars!

I’m a singer and have been my whole life. In fact, my initial minor at Western was jazz studies (before I got wrapped up in this whole journalism thing). I love listening to jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, and Duke Ellington, and you’ll be able to catch me singing along with them. When I’m not singing jazz, I’m practicing with my cover band, The Rolling Retreads, in Seattle. 


Photo by Christa Yaranon.

What are some of your hobbies?



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elSage Designs 20 Kasey Potzler, Leather Artist 29

Photo courtesy of Vitality Bowls.

5 Faves: Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) 30

Local Heroes


18 May/June 2020 17

Life  Community

Local Heroes A Community Response to COVID-19 BY KEN KARLBERG


You can feel the pride our team of employee-owners takes in being able to create something tangible to help combat this pandemic and better protect our community’s first line of defense. —John Rauvola, CEO and president at Superfeet


Bellewood Farms

Amanda White and her team, however, Vitality Bowls stepped up to provide more than 600 smoothies to Whatcom Transit Authority employees, the overworked housekeeping staff at PeaceHealth, and countless others. Thanks to the generosity of Jeff Savage with Country Financial Insurance, Vitality Bowls served an additional 317 açai bowl meals to healthcare providers and first responders. No doubt, a much appreciated and unexpected “yum.” Meanwhile, Scotty Browns provided a sterling example of businesses helping businesses help others with its fundraising drive. Scotty Browns matched donations from VSH CPAs, Caliber Home Loans, and others, delivering more than 400 meals to the Bellingham Police Department and PeaceHealth Hospital. Many restaurants and bars stepped up on a smaller but equally important scale by supporting their local communities with take-out options and special accommodations for seniors. Magdalena’s Bistro and Creperie in Fairhaven is but one of many examples. In addition to offering a twiceweekly take-out service for her famous gastronomy creations, Magdalena and her family are also hand-delivering meals to their most vulnerable patrons. Others, like reluctant local hero Sandy Heinrich, organized community help with the Facebook group “Whatcom County Covid-19 Community Helpers.” The Facebook group was Heinrich’s solution to the hurdles many are facing due to the shelter-in-place order. The idea started small, but now there are thousands of members, a dedicated hotline at 360.778.2762, and translators in at least nine languages. Through Heinrich’s efforts and the efforts of those who quickly understood the need to create a neighbor-to-neighbor exchange, people are now taking care of one another as never before. Anyone with essential needs, such as groceries or prescriptions, can call or join their neighborhood’s Facebook

Photo courtesy of Bellewood Farms.

HE COVID-19 PANDEMIC is rocking our world. Restaurants and bars are shuttered, schools are closed, and our local service industries are suffering badly. The impact from the virus has spared no one. But the threat has not changed our community’s character. Rather, it has revealed us for who we are — an interconnected, diverse set of neighbors investing in neighbors, strangers investing in strangers, and a community investing in itself and its future. From the depths of despair come inspiring stories of sacrifice and selflessness. As a community, we should be proud. For those on the frontlines — our healthcare providers, police officers, firefighters, postal workers, government employees, and essential business owners who remain open for our benefit — we salute you. We celebrate you. Never in recent history have we asked you to do so much at such great risk. Your courage may never be fully repaid. PeaceHealth and Skagit Valley Hospital, your courage and sacrifice are newly personal with the sudden realization that any one of us could be in your hands at any time. Hopefully, our community’s appreciation is enough of a down payment for now. The call to action is being answered by countless others. Scores of selfless residents and businesses in Whatcom County are helping make proverbial stone soup, each contributing what they can to the greater good, particularly to protect the most vulnerable. Those who are able to help are going above and beyond. If you’re looking for inspiration, start with the generosity of local businesses. Countless restaurants, shops, and organizations have answered the call to help those putting their lives at risk to save others. Take Vitality Bowls, a local superfood cafe in the Barkley area. In a crisis, time is critical and food is often an afterthought for those busy on the frontlines. Thanks to


Photos courtesy of Superfeet, Scotty Browns, and Vitality Bowls..

Vitality Bowls

page to request help. Similarly, anyone who is looking to help (free of charge), can visit the website to volunteer their time. The service caters to those who are physically unable to leave their homes or who are at high risk if they do. Heinrich says “hotline messages and Facebook postings are reviewed by a central staff and then neighborhood captains are notified, who match the requests with volunteer helpers.” While the organization is not yet formed as a nonprofit, it has partnered with Fellowship of Messengers, 360.389.6132, a faith-based nonprofit in Lynden, to solicit donations to purchase Safeway gift cards for those most in need. Heinrich encourages people to “please donate if you can. The need is there.” Still others, like Superfeet Worldwide and two local distilleries, Bellewood Farms and Chuckanut Bay Distillery, responded to the shortage of personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer. Superfeet quickly transformed its 3D custom footwear operations at its Ferndale manufacturing facility to make thousands of masks for area hospitals and first responders. John Rauvola, CEO and president at Superfeet, said in a news release: “You can feel the pride our team of employee-owners takes in being able to create something tangible to help combat this pandemic and better protect our community’s first line of defense.” For those in need of hand sanitizer, Bellewood Farms and Chuckanut Bay Distillery are producing sanitizer instead of spirits. In addition to providing sanitizer to the local jail,

firefighters, and border patrol, Bellewood Farms also sells an affordable spray sanitizer to the public. Meanwhile, Chuckanut Bay suspended their operations to make sanitizer for first responders and anyone else in need. They also offered a free 50ML bottle along with any purchase of spirits. The acts of kindness are endless. Two anonymous Hampsters, who are frequent guests at Hotel Bellwether, pledged a combined $42,000 to help cover the wages of the hotel’s staff through two pay periods. The couple, along with general manager Jim Haupt, hope “this gesture of generosity will spread throughout the community. . .” The public sector deserves equal praise. We owe a debt of gratitude to Lighthouse Mission Ministries, the Bellingham School District, and our local government for forming a critical partnership in this crisis to address the needs of those experiencing homelessness. The Drop-in Center at the Lighthouse Mission’s facilities on Holly Street did not meet social distancing recommendations by the CDC or the Whatcom County Health Department. Bellingham High School now serves as the new temporary Drop-in Center, where people experiencing homelessness can receive meals and safely shelter-in-place. All of us have cause to be proud of our private and public sectors for their many actions of charity and commitment to civic duty. If Bellingham is the city of “subdued excitement,” Whatcom County is the county of unsubdued kindness. We are coming together when coming together matters.  May/June 2020 19

Life  Community she hasn’t looked back. She’s proud that she’s been able to transform her passion into a business. “We’re an example of paying your bills with your small business dreams,” Carpenter Eells says. “So the thing that started on the kitchen table turned into something that supported both my husband and I… It’s cool, it’s fun. It’s fun to grow. And it’s fun to encourage other people to follow their dreams.”

Community Over Competition



ESTLED IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN MOUNT VERNON, elSage Designs is your go-to shop for

locally made art, textiles, jewelry, beauty products, and various other gifts. You’ll also find an assortment of screen-printed clothing made and designed by the store’s owners, Phoebe Carpenter Eells and her husband Jonathan. The store also runs a beautiful website, making it easy to shop from home.

From Kitchen Table to Career Carpenter Eells was a full-time teacher before her first son came along in 2009. After his birth, she started crafting linocuts, sheets of linoleum that are carved with small knives to create stamps, at her kitchen table. She instantly fell in love with the craft. “[My work] actually started as artwork,” Carpenter Eells says, “and then I heard enough times, ‘You should put that on a T-shirt!’ and so I gave that a try.” In 2010, Carpenter Eells decided to turn her hobby into a career. The result was elSage Designs. Ten years later, 20

Spread Cheer with elSage Online With in-person retail shopping limited, it’s even more important to support local businesses if you can. The best way to do it? Shop online! You can browse for and purchase a wide selection of elSage’s items on their website. The online store has plenty of offerings, from clothing and handbags to smaller gift items like notebooks, greeting cards, and beautiful beaded jewelry. Speaking of gifts, if you want to surprise someone in your life who could use a bit of cheer, elSage is currently running a Surprise Box promotion. At a variety of price points ($10–$75), elSage will curate a box of goodies and then ship them to someone you love. All boxes receive at least 20% off, meaning a $25 surprise box will receive $32+ worth of items. “People are experiencing decision fatigue — and just regular fatigue fatigue — so this is meant to take the guesswork out of gift giving,” Carpenter Eells says. If you’d like something a little more personalized, you can also offer details about the box’s recipient, such as ‘doglover’ or ‘feminist’ or ‘loves the outdoors.’ With everything going on in the world, don’t forget to treat yourself — order your own box for a happy, gift-wrapped surprise on your doorstep. Order online or over the phone. 410 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon, 360.588.4723, 

Photo by Sara Welch.

elSage Designs: Art as Community

For Carpenter Eells, it’s not enough to talk about environmental issues — she wants to put her ideology into action. That’s why elSage participates in a program called “One Percent for the Planet,” an organization started by one of the founders of the outfitter Patagonia. Participating businesses donate 1% of earnings to nonprofits that work to preserve the natural world. “I think the environment is the ultimate thing that we should all be concerned about,” Carpenter Eells says. “If there’s no investment, our future looks pretty grim.” As Carpenter Eells became integrated into the community of Skagit County makers and artists, she wanted to find a way to connect creative people with others who shared similar passions. In 2017, elSage began hosting the Valley Made Market, a monthly market for Washington-based makers who want to sell their art and build community. You can learn more about Valley Made Market on Instagram @valleymademarket. “We’re more about the community piece — the community over competition,” Carpenter Eells says. “[We’re] kind of bringing everybody up together.”



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Book Notes Life

Book Reviews

Pods We Love




The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon

Disorganized Crime: Smuggler’s Daughter

he instead announces that Adunni will become the third wife of a much older man. Adunni’s new life is brutal and comforts are few, yet she manages to survive, at least until tragedy strikes. Unable to return to her father’s house, she has no option but to flee to Lagos, where she becomes a house servant to a wealthy, unstable woman. All the while, Adunni longs for an education, hoping to become a teacher and find her voice — a “louding voice” that will give her the freedom to determine her own future. Told in Adunni’s distinctive vernacular, this compelling novel remains hopeful throughout, revealing the strength of character it takes to hold fast to dreams even when everything else is working against you.

Host Rainbow Valentine had an idyllic childhood in California’s Marin County. It was only as an adult she realized her parents were part of a massive pot smuggling operation. With cannabis slowly becoming legal across the country, Rainbow Valentine is finally able to delve deep into the secret lives her parents were forced to keep hidden. This story offers a personal look at the era’s counter-culture and the dangers it faced from the War on Drugs.


Dead Eyes

her name. Nancy Wake, the heroine at the center of Ariel Lawhon’s immersive and deeply researched new novel, was an Australian expat and reporter in France. When war broke out and her husband left for the front, Wake channeled her emotions into service, launching herself into the fight as a Resistance operative and spy for the British. Brash, fierce, and often audacious, Wake was equally at home in a posh club or behind enemy lines. The novel artfully intertwines Wake’s romantic prewar life with her exploits in combat, using her contrasting identities as a touchstone. The result is a fast-paced page-turner that captures a truly remarkable woman who fought bravely for what she loved — always with red lipstick intact.

In 2001, actor and comedian Connor Ratliff was fired by Tom Hanks from a very small role in the HBO mini-series “Band of Brothers.” The reason? Tom Hanks said he had “dead eyes.” Join Connor in his quest to unravel this relatively inconsequential mystery that has haunted him for two decades in an exploration of self-worth, the mechanisms that move the film industry, and strange Hollywood coincidences.

Who Knew? Bodies of Water The Disappearing Sea You may know of the Dead Sea because it’s the lowest point on Earth. But did you know over the last 30 years the water level has dropped upwards of three feet per year? Neighboring countries have proposed a plan to pump water from the Red Sea, more than 100 miles away, to help keep the marvel alive.

The Crimson Lake Every so often, the waters of Lake Tuz in Turkey will turn bright red. This 600-square-mile lake is the largest hypersaline lake in the world. When an algae commonly found in sea salt fields blooms in the water, it turns the usual milky white into a crimson body of water.

Pond or Lake? Surprise! There is no scientific difference between lakes and ponds. Both are slow-moving or standing bodies of water surrounded by land. Although lakes are generally larger or deeper than ponds, there is no official way to determine the difference.

Lake Erie has Legal Rights In February 2019, in an attempt to reduce pollution, voters in Toledo, Ohio passed a bill that gave Lake Erie the same rights as a person. This allows citizens of Toledo to sue the government or businesses on behalf of Lake Erie.

May/June 2020 23

Life  Heard Around the Sound


N 2018, the City of Bellingham formally announced

a goal they’ve had since 2009: “Provide safe, wellconnected, and sustainable mobility options for all users.” That means ensuring bikes, buses, pedestrians, and cars can all commute in harmony. The target: the Samish Way corridor. The arterial, which turns into Maple and Ellis streets, sees about 13,000 to 15,000 cars pass through it each day. With two lanes in both directions, Samish connects commuters from I-5 into downtown Bellingham. But changes are coming to the well-traveled arterial. This summer, the city plans to create wide bike lanes on either side of Samish Way, paring the road down to one lane in either direction. The bike lanes will be similar to the larger bike lanes recently installed on Chestnut Street. According to transportation planner Chris Comeau, the greatest challenge is not the construction of the lanes, but rather the funding and planning of the project. Since 2009, the city has created several different plans to make changes along Samish Way, including the Samish Way Urban Village Plan in 2009, the Citywide Pedestrian Master Plan in 2012, and the Citywide Bicycle Master Plan in 2014. “The most challenging part [about the process] is the sheer amount of staff time, work, and effort that has gone into it over the past six years since we completed the Bicycle Master Plan,” Comeau writes.

What’s your favorite way to spend a day outside?


According to Comeau, the city had to conduct studies about transportation and safety in the area and apply to state grants to secure funding. Despite positive feedback about overall development along Samish Way, Comeau notes that there has been some consternation about losing two lanes. “Recently, an individual in the community started a petition against the [bike lane] project and the local newspaper wrote a brief article about this very complex project,” Comeau writes. “Since then, I’ve been getting a few telephone calls and emails complaining about traffic congestion and unworthy bicyclists.” Regardless, the city is moving forward with the bike lane plan and bicyclists should be able to safely ride along Samish Way, and Ellis and Maple Streets, by the summer. For Comeau, this is a massive step forward for the Bellingham community as it continues to grow. “This project is sort of a keystone piece of our bike network,” Comeau writes. “[It] connects to several other bikeways, and will provide bikeway connectivity across Interstate 5 from the Puget Neighborhood to the Sehome, York, Samish Urban Village, and downtown Urban Village.” For more information about the upcoming Samish-MapleEllis Multimodal Safety Improvements, visit the City of Bellingham’s website at JULIA FURUKAWA

Jill R. A walk along the water at Boulevard Park with my dog, just as the sun is setting.

Suzanna S. Hiking off Chuckanut!

Photo by Julia Berkman

Changes on the Horizon for Bellingham Bike Lanes

Say Aloha to a New Urban Village The Bellingham Housing Authority continues to develop the former site of the Aloha Motel

Illustration by Stephanie Bower, courtesy of RMC Architects


HE ALOHA MOTEL on Samish Way had a troubled

past, from high crime rates to swabs testing positive for meth contamination. Understandably, nearby community members were not big fans of the establishment. Now, the site on which the motel once stood is slated to become Samish Way Urban Village, a residential complex featuring restaurants, retail spaces, and affordable housing. In a housing market with an extremely low vacancy rate, this development is a much needed addition to Bellingham’s residential landscape. Darby Cowles, a senior planner with the City of Bellingham, has been on the project’s frontlines. In cooperation with the Bellingham Housing Authority, Cowles has worked to acquire funding, coordinate with neighborhood associations, and secure permits. “It’s awesome that the Housing Authority is kind of putting the stake in the ground and developing such a highquality, multifaceted project to get the ball rolling there...” Cowles says. “Starting to see it actually turned into a neighborhood is going to be really great.” The Bellingham Housing Authority has partnered with RMC Architects to build a complex with underground parking, 150 units, and ground floor retail spaces. One especially exciting aspect of the project is that a portion of the apartment units will serve low-income renters. After years of hard work, the former site of the Aloha Motel will soon become Bellingham’s newest urban village, welcoming newcomers and people of all income levels and transforming a previously deteriorating arterial into a vibrant community. JULIA FURUKAWA

Katy V. Plant shopping at the Bellingham Farmers Market, even though I really don’t need any more plants!

ENTER-TO-WIN Monthly Giveaway


ACH MONTH, we give you the opportunity to win a prize from local merchants. You can enter once per day on A winner will be chosen by random draw, and notified via email and/or phone. It’s our way of saying thank you for your support and for continuing to help encourage shopping and dining local. Below are the Enter-To-Win prizes for May and June.

Andy C. Hitting a couple rounds at Eaglemont Golf Course.

May Giveaway $50 gift card to

June Giveaway $50 gift card to

Monica V. Strolling through the orchards at Bellewood Farms and then getting a bite to eat.

May/June 2020 25

A Conservation Conversation BY TYLER KENDIG



or otherwise enjoyed Whatcom County’s scenic splendor, it’s likely the Whatcom Land Trust (WLT) had a hand in protecting it. Or, more likely, thousands of hands. In March 1983, some 50 Whatcom County residents gathered in the basement of the Dutch Mothers Family Restaurant in the agricultural community of Lynden to discuss a land trust and how it might preserve the county’s agricultural heritage. Amidst a national political landscape where the EPA’s regulatory impact had been systematically downsized in years prior and the director had resigned after being cited for contempt of Congress, this local group, destined to lead in community conservation, obtained nonprofit status and the WLT was born a year later. Since its first board meeting with less than 20 attendees, the trust has grown to include staff and volunteers who have helped protect 24,484 acres 26

of land — about 1.5% of Whatcom County. By comparison, all of the farmland in the county covers about 7%. More than 35 years later, some of the people gathered in that basement continue to donate or volunteer, alongside almost 1,000 others who’ve lent a hand in the past years. The bulk of the WLT’s work involves either land acquisition or conservation easements. Land acquisition means the trust buys (or is gifted) a property and acts as a land steward, restoring wildlife and ecological habitats, removing invasive species, and otherwise preserving it. Community volunteers are empowered to help with stewardship activities through WLT outreach and partner engagement organizations. But in places like Everson or Lynden, which are considered core agricultural areas in Whatcom County, the land trust might instead opt to buy a conservation easement. A conservation easement is an agreement between the landowner and the trust that either restricts or buys development rights on the property. A farmer, for example, would still own the land, and could even sell it to someone else, but a buyer wouldn’t be able to put a housing development on it. These easements usually cost around 50–70% of the property’s value, says WLT’s Gabe Epperson.

Inside the Land Trust’s Bellingham office, a huge map of Whatcom County marked with WLT-owned properties covers the wall next to Epperson’s desk, alongside scenic landscape photographs taken out in the field. One of these is a vintage black and white photo of Teddy Bear Cove, which locals will remember was once considered a nude beach (“Teddy Bare Cove,” as it were). As conservation director, Epperson oversaw new land opportunities and worked with tribal or county agencies to help with projects like farm protection and salmon recovery. Last February, he took on the role of the executive director. Some new, large-scale property management has happened in recent years. Galbraith Mountain, known for its 65 miles of nationally recognized bike trails, is also a lucrative source of timber. What was once a handshake agreement between mountain bikers, loggers, and Galbraith’s private owners turned into a signed-and-sealed conservation easement, meaning bikers and hikers will continue to have recreational access to the mountain forever. Epperson says he’s interested in pursuing more of these mixed-use agreements — partly because timber land is expensive — but also for the sake of building community. While some might balk at the idea of purposely sharing a recreational forest

Photo by Alan Fritzberg.

Life  Game Changer

APPS WE L VE Zoom One of the most difficult parts about working from home is that you can’t communicate with coworkers face-to-face. Email threads become lengthy and information can get confusing or lost along the way. That’s where Zoom Video Conferencing comes in. With Zoom, you can video conference with up to 100 people at the same time. Best of all, only one person needs to purchase a “host” license to make a call.

We’re a really critical, valuable partner with the city in making sure that the land in our watershed is protected for our drinking water source. —Philanthropy Director Jill Clark

Photo courtesy Whatcom Land Trust.


with a timber company, public/private partnerships honor a variety of needs. “I tend to think the more people that are involved, the closer you’re getting to community,” Epperson says. It’s this openness to different viewpoints that has afforded the land trust the success it’s had. Still, Epperson says, some rural landowners have been wary of working with the Bellingham-based organization because of misconceptions about the work the trust does. “Politically, we’re not, like, liberal or conservative or anything...” Epperson says. “I think our success in those areas show that if you stick to loving the land, and [showing] what’s the value of farmland and water quality and habitat, generally, most people in the county agree with our core mission and our values.” In 2017, after conducting a countywide survey and sifting through the results, the land trust identified seven key areas to focus on in Whatcom County. According to Epperson, the most important of these was the Lake Whatcom Watershed, which provides drinking water for more than 100,000 people in the Bellingham area. “We’re a really critical, valuable partner with the city in making sure that the land in our watershed is protected for our drinking water source,” says Philanthropy Director Jill Clark. Another important recent project was a 1,400-acre purchase along Skookum

Creek, one of the largest projects in the organization’s history. The property, which cost $4 million, was heavily logged in the 15 years prior to its sale, leading to changes in wildlife ecosystems and water quality for farmers. “It’s a project that, if you zoom out and look at the whole county, actually takes on a regional significance...” Epperson says. “It doesn’t matter if you save a large number of properties if they’re not connected.” The parcel of land will reconnect various ecological habitats that, prior to being logged, ebbed and flowed into one another, encouraging biodiversity. This year, the land trust plans on purchasing another thousand acres on Skookum Creek that would connect even more of these habitats. Clark says that despite the funding the land trust receives in the form of grants, the majority of its money comes from individual contributions. From 2015 to 2018, WLT’s annual reports show that 67% of the land trust’s funding came from cash or property donations. “We do our day-to-day work because people like you and me give us $10, $100, $1,000 a year,” Clark says. “It helps us keep all these projects on track, manage volunteers to do all the stewardship work on thousands of acres every year, engage the community in our work, and get them to understand the value and the benefits that the land trust provides them every day.” 

The Holy Grail of office communication tools, Slack allows large teams to communicate in real time, for free, on both Apple and Android devices. Users can create various group threads, so you can chat with the entire team while also communicating with smaller groups or individuals. The intuitive interface also indicates when a particular user is “online,” so you know exactly who’s available.

Trello Whether it’s written in a notes app on your phone or on the back of a receipt, keeping track of what you need to do is important. With Trello, you can create and share to-do lists, color code tasks based on priority, and assign tasks to others. Each time someone completes a task, they can mark it as “done,” keeping everyone on the same page and moving projects forward with ease.

One Second Everyday Working from home and socially isolating can be, well, isolating. That’s why it’s important to be intentional about each day. One Second Everyday allows you to record a one-secondlong video from each day. Did you make a nice home-cooked meal? Or take your dog for a sunny walk in the park? Record those meaningful moments and play them back when you’re feeling down. JULIA FURUKAWA

May/June 2020 27

Historic Hospitality CALL US TODAY:


TOGETHER REMEMBER SHOP LOCAL In Person, On-Line... You Make The Difference

Spotlight Life

Kasey Potzler, Leather Artist BY JULIA FURUKAWA

Photo by Julia Furukawa.



near the shores of Lake Whatcom and you’ll find a collection of handmade leather-bound books, a refrigerator decorated with family photos, and two friendly cats. The deep brown hide of each book cover is smooth and rich, and the meticulous stitching that holds each spine together creates a unique, delicate pattern. Potzler, a leather artist who runs her own business, Northshore Hand Bound Books, brings years of experience to every journal she makes. A former teacher, Potzler found her passion for book-making and leather work after an artistin-residence visited her fifth grade classroom and taught her students how to make hand-bound books. Initially, Potzler’s intention was to inspire her student’s creativity, but she ended up falling in love with the craft too. “While I was teaching in public school there was less and less of an emphasis on arts and and more on science and reading — to pass tests and all that kind of stuff,” Potzler says. “So this was my way to sneak it in.” Years later, she’s made a career out of it. When Potzler puts together a book, the pages she inserts are empty. For her, that’s part of what makes them special. She gets to play a role in helping others express themselves. “I consider myself the first artist, and I always look forward with great excitement to find out who the second artist is,” Potzler says. “That’s my favorite part, finding out what other people are going to do with these [books], because they’re only half done when they leave my house.”

Potzler and her husband moved to Bellingham from Minnesota in 1991 with the intention of only staying for a few years. Almost 30 years later, they’ve established themselves in the community. In her spare time, Potzler volunteers with various charity organizations, even traveling to Honduras a few times a year to work with a clean water nonprofit. When she’s not volunteering, Potzler’s working on her craft, practicing and improving with every book she makes. Part of what she loves about leather work is that she can immerse herself and pay close attention to the details. Still, no matter how much time or effort she puts into a book, there will always be slight imperfections. “[My books] are like me. They’ve never been perfect…” Potzler says. “But I like to do quality work. I like when a couple of other artist friends of mine say, ‘All your stuff is beautiful, your stuff is really quality work,’ and to me that’s the highest compliment.” Potzler chose a unique trade to pursue — there aren’t many artists who create hand-bound leather books. But she does it because she loves the process and the satisfaction of being able to share her work when it’s finished. “Why do I do it?” Potzler says. “I do it because it just brings me such joy. There’s a creative spark in everybody.” Potzler’s work is available at the Chuckanut Bay Gallery during the Allied Arts Festival and the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour, and she can be contacted for purchases via her website,  May/June 2020 29

Life  5 Faves


Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) BY JULIA BERKMAN



to get your hands on some fresh produce and meat, why not try a CSA? Signing up for a CSA provides you a reliable supply of delicious, organic fruits, veggies, herbs, and meat — all while supporting local farmers. Some farms deliver their CSA boxes, but most offer pick-up options that limit person-to-person contact, ensuring you get delicious food without the hassle of crowds, lines, or empty shelves.


Waxwing Farm Located in fertile Skagit Valley, Waxwing Farm offers certified organic veggies and herbs available for pickup at their farm stand in Mount Vernon. Members may handpick their own items, market-style, or receive a curated box. Waxwing is known for their scrumptious garden salad mix, but they grow so much more than that. The CSA membership also includes access to the farm’s u-pick flower patch! To ensure the safety of their customers, Waxwing routinely sanitizes their farm stand. They also wash, pack, and harvest their produce to the highest standard. Pricing: Varies by season and share, but a full share once a week is $675 for 27 weeks Season: May 26 through December 20 Delivery or Pickup: Market-style CSA members may pick up from the farm on Tuesdays between 3:30– 6:30p.m. Farm stand hours are Wednesday, 9a.m.– 5p.m., and Saturday, 10a.m.–2p.m. 16665 Britt Rd., Mount Vernon, 360.961.0744,



City Sprouts Farm This urban, women-run vegetable farm in Bellingham’s Birchwood neighborhood offers an assortment of seven to ten delicious veggies, fruits, and herbs in each of their CSA boxes. Members can choose a weekly or biweekly subscription that will last up to 20 weeks. Looking for some extra cheer? City Sprouts also partners with their neighbor, Wild Rye Farm, to include an optional flower bundle in your box. Pricing: Sliding scale. $16/box–$35/box. They also accept EBT. Season: June through October Delivery or Pickup: Pickup on the farm on Wednesday evenings. 2918 Birchwood Ave., Bellingham,,


Long Hearing Farm Named after owner Elizabeth’s great-great grandmother, a member of the Blackfeet tribe, this farm in upper-Skagit prides itself on working with everyone to make sure you get the best price, quality, and affordability. The farm, located in the small town of Rockport, uses indigenous growing practices and crops. With options for everyone, like splitting your subscription with another family, trading time working on the farm, or paying monthto-month, Long Hearing Farm accommodates anyone looking for fresh, delicious produce.

Pricing: Sliding scale, $500–$600 for full season; work-trade discounts available Season: Spring through fall Delivery or Pickup: Pickup locations in Sedro-Woolley, Concrete, Darrington, Rockport, and Marblemount. 360.436.6068


Cedarville Farm Cedarville Farm’s CSA boxes are entirely customizable and include recipes and preparation tips. In addition to fresh produce, the boxes also contain meat from Alluvial Farms. You fill out a survey of the types of organic, homegrown products you would like to receive and then they’re delivered to your doorstep. Pricing: Three sizes: Small ($18 a week), Regular ($28 a week), Large ($40 a week) Season: Mid–May through December Delivery or Pickup: Delivery or pickup depending on the program. 3081 Goshen Rd., Bellingham, 360.592.5594,


Addies Angus Ranch Although not technically a CSA, Addies Angus Ranch offers free delivery to designated locations along the I-5 corridor, as far north as the Bellis Fair exit in Bellingham and as far south as exit 200 in Tulalip. All of their meat is grass-fed, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and from happy cows who enjoy an ocean view. Addies offers every kind of cut imaginable, from prime rib roast to burger patties to tongue, so the options are endless. Pricing: Varies

e u q i t u o B a

n e m o w r Fo

804 Commercial Ave, Anacortes | 360-873-8785 |

WE BELIEVE IN LOCAL More than ever, local businesses need the community’s support to keep their livelihoods intact. When you shop our stores, we ask that seek out the many locally-produced items in our stores. On behalf of our local partners, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support. We are partnering with our local food hub to showcase many small family creameries. You can help by visiting our cheese table to explore our fantastic selection.

Family owned for 30 years, the Appel’s farmstead creamery makes Goudas, feta and seasonal favorites.

Season: Year-round Delivery or Pickup: Delivery every Wednesday; customers can also arrange to pick up orders at the ranch’s gate. 13449 Rector Rd., Mount Vernon, 360.399.9213, 

Haggen Food & Pharmacy • Visit to view our weekly flyers, store hours and more. Barkley Village • Sehome Village • Meridian & Illinois • Fairhaven • Ferndale ©2020 Haggen 200323-04

May/June 2020 31



fresh flowers

Show Mom you care with flowers this Mother’s Day


Shop local and call Belle Flora 360-734-8454 or online at

Jack & Michelle Johnson

When it comes to servicing and repairing your garage doors and openers, no one does it better than Overhead Door. No matter what brand or model... from simple tune-ups and repairs to full replacement and the experts at Overhead Door to get the job done right – right away.

202 Ohio St., Bellingham, WA | (360) 734-5960 |

Spring Hairstyles 34 Ideal 35

Photo by Jennifer Morrow Photography.

Necessities: Fitness Tech 38

Moss Bags


36 May/June 2020 33

Style  Fashion Q & A

Spring Hairstyles Q & A with Nick St. Mary, owner and stylist at Guerrero Hair Studio Is there a spring ritual we should know about for hair, similar to changing skincare routines for warmer temperatures? I think the new ritual should be washing your hair more. I believe it’s important to wash your hair at least three times a week and with the right cleanser — it’s essential to stimulate the scalp by getting in there and cleaning off the gunk and impurities. Scalp stimulation promotes healthy hair growth and strengthens hair roots, helping to prevent non-genetic hair loss. Use the tips of your fingers to scrub, or pick up a scalp scrub brush from Hairstory. Also, check out New Wash for your new cleanser — it’s a game changer.

What are some hairstyles and colors emerging this spring? Long romantic center part fringe with long layers, natural waves, and low-maintenance looks are always preferred, so put away your hot tools. As always, blonde tones are in for spring/summer, as are natural hair and painted/balayage looks. Strawberry plus copper is also hot right now.

Can you suggest some hassle-free styles that transition well from wet to dry at the lake, or from lunchtime outdoor exercise back into the office? The top bun is done. I’m a fan of braids — they are fast and easy to do. You can pin them up to make them more fun. A sleek pony is also cool. Or towel-dry your hair really well and apply a pump of hair balm by Hairstory. Work the balm throughout your hair, squish (not scrunch), and shape your waves and let air-dry.


Does hair need sun protection? If so, what do you suggest? I think we should treat our hair like our skin. I would strongly suggest using a UV protection hair product, especially if your hair is color-treated or just out in the sun a lot. I would recommend Davines Su Hair Milk. It protects color fading, hydrates, and has UV protective filters. Playa Ritual Hair Oil is great for repairing sun damage and managing frizz.

What products do you recommend for maintaining hair color in the sun and/or exposure to chlorine? I recommend New Wash by Hairstory. It is a conditioning cleanser that will protect your color, moisturize, and bring your hair back to life especially after a day at the pool or out in the sun. It’s the perfect daily cleanser, plus there is one for each hair type. Visit their website to see which new wash is right for you.

Are there any new services or products you’re excited about? Everyone needs to get Hair Balm by Hairstory! I absolutely love this product. It is essential in everyone’s daily regimen. This is for people who love a great texture product that is lightweight, moisturizing, and defines wave/curls in all the right ways. 

Savvy Shopper  Style

Where Function Meets Design Ideal BY JULIA BERKMAN

The Shop Ideal is where you go to find functional, simple items from local and international sources. The cheerful shop stocks kitchenware, home goods, clothes, accessories, and toys for children, all with a slant towards Japanese and Scandanavian design. Everything in the store is handpicked by the owners, and everything has a function.

The Atmosphere Tucked between shops and restaurants lining Cornwall Avenue in downtown Bellingham, Ideal’s red double doors have been a distinctive and cheery sight since 2008. A quick glance inside will have you coming face-to-face with beautiful, functional designs in a well-lit showroom. The whole shop has the airy feeling of an art gallery, from the clean lines and white walls to the small plaques that offer information about products.

Key People Co-owners Lisa Van Doren and Kathleen Iwersen curate the pieces sold in Ideal much like they did when they worked at museums. Van Doren and Iwersen’s brand philosophy is to highlight interesting materials and solutions. “We love approachable products you can pick up and try out. Everything is in here for a reason,” Van Doren says.

What You’ll Find Most of the products in Ideal marry clean design with a twist on the normal way of doing things. For instance, an ice cube tray where the lid is the tray, and you only have to flip it over to get your ice out. If you visit their website, you’ll find products categorized by function: to live, to wear, to dine, to read, and to play. Everything serves a function at once aesthetic and practical. “It’s not just stuff, it’s gifts with story and meaning,” Van Doren says.

Photos by Julia Berkman.

Favorites Van Doren loves the Grating Bucket from Eva Solo, a bucket with ridges to grate turned upside down so whatever you grate falls into the bucket and is easy to store, pour, or sprinkle. Such simple, ingenious designs really fascinate Van Doren. This piece from Denmark is available in store and online for $55. Van Doren also works closely with Finnish designer Marimekko and loves their bright new spring patterns available for home goods and dining ware. 1227 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, 360.752.5522,  May/June 2020 35

Style  Local Find

Leather Bags Built to Last Moss Bags BY BECKY MANDELBAUM

Simon is familiar with the lush landscape and neutral tones of the Pacific Northwest — the same colors and soft textures you’ll find in her handmade bags. Simon started Moss Bags in 2013, after working as a graphic designer for more than a decade. Inspired by the show “Project Runway,” she decided it was time for a change. “I was having a hard time finding a bag I liked,” Simon admits. “Silly as that sounds, it’s the truth.” At the time, she was looking for a simple hobo bag without all the extra hardware. Unable to find it, she began playing with fabrics, buying leather. The result was an attractive, durable bag that would last longer than your typical tote. Today, Simon creates all of her products by hand, in her home, where she’s carved out her own studio space. She strives to make one bag a day, setting aside time for commissions from her three-year-old son, who recently asked for a wallet.

Simple, Stylish, and Durable What makes Moss Bags so special is that Simon stitches each one from a single hide of thick, full-grain leather. There’s no seam on the bottom, allowing the bags to survive years of wear. Simon’s personal favorite is the Classic Tote with zipper ($165), in color honey. “The distressed leather creates its own patina — the imperfections are part of its beauty,” she says. 36

In addition to looking chic, Moss Bags are also built for function. The 3-in-1 convertible Crossback ($225) turns from a crossbody into a shoulder bag or backpack, while the Hip Bag - Fanny Pack ($99) transforms into a clutch when you remove the strap. New designs in 2020 include a convertible Wristlet Wallet Clutch ($80) and a small, simple crossbody bag not yet released. For those seeking a smaller price point, Moss Bags offers a selection of leather jewelry ($20), Minimalist Wallets ($35), and Card Holders ($20).

Where To Shop To order your own Moss Bag, visit and browse the full collection. You can also find a small selection of jewelry and wallets at Fringe Boutique in Bellingham and elSage Designs in Mount Vernon. In an effort to reduce waste while spreading the DIY spirit, Simon now hosts leather earring-making parties. Armed with leftover leather scraps, tools, and examples, she teaches everyone how to make their own earrings. Through everything, Simon cherishes the connections she’s made in the community, particularly with other female business owners. “I’m blown away and so appreciative of how people rally together and are supportive… the local support is pretty awesome.” 

Photos: Left by Sara Welch, Right by Jennifer Morrow Photography.




SHOP LOCAL 1. West Side Sunset by Debbie Daniels, Oil on Canvas, 48 × 60 × 2 | $11,500 WaterWorks Gallery 315 Argyle Ave., Friday Harbor, WA 360.378.3060,

2. Lafont “Coi” color 8022 | $288 Binyon Vision


411 E Magnolia St, Bellingham 360.647.2020,


3. Local Dungeness Crab Call for market price Skagit’s Own Fish Market 18042 WA-20, Burlington 360.707.2722,

4. The Alphabet Collection by Uno de 50: silver plated 36” chain | $80, silver plated alphabet charms | $80 Tides of Anacortes



804 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.873.8785,

5. Gift Cards | $100 for $80, $250 for $200, $500 for $400 Statement Apparel Call DeeDee at 360.739.1006 or email Reopening May 1st! Offer good through 4/20

6. 2018 Rosé: Malbec & Riesling cofermented | $18

BUY ONE. GET ONE. Holiday Special | Buy One Subscription, Get One Free.


Dynasty Cellars


2169 E. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.758.2958,

7. Subscription to Bellingham Alive magazine | 1 year $24, 2 year $48 Bellingham Alive, 360.483.4576

8. Ruffwear Front Range Harness | $40 Bow Wow & Woofs 8115 Birch Bay Square St., Blaine 360.332.3647


8 May/June 2020 37

Style Necessities

1 2

3 4



Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger BY DEVAN BALLARD



no matter how you like to move, there are gadgets to record your journey, track your progress, and make your workout more comfortable. These days, fitness technology can monitor your heart rate, record your speed, track your miles, load trail maps, and even measure your running form to help improve your technique. Some smart watches will even let you stream music to wireless headphones so you can groove and move while out on the trail. Whether you’re a triathlete in training or new to the world of outdoor fitness, these products will help you go the extra mile. 

1 2

• • • •

Aftershokz Air Wireless Headphones $120, Fairhaven Runners and Walkers, Bellingham

Beautifully transform sunlight and save with Hunter Douglas sheers and shadings.

Garmin ForeRunner 245 Music GPS Watch $350, BBay Running, Bellingham






Ask for details.

3 4 5

Beats by Dre BeatsX Bluetooth Earphones $149, CityMac, Bellingham


Garmin HRM-Run Heart Rate Monitor $99.99, Fairhaven Runners and Walkers, Bellingham

SmartHalo $109, Best Buy or



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May/June 2020 39


Photo by Nick Graves. Courtesy of Highline Construction.



n addition to sparkling light on the water and endless recreation activities, lakeside living also offers a community within a community. Coming home means entering a different ecosystem — both above and below water. Neighbors share docks, walks, and beach chores. Happy hour might mean a nightly boat ride at sunset instead of a cocktail at a bar. The lake itself shapes the community: The moods of the water in different seasons and weather, the availability of access and activities, the shape of the shore. Dive into the following pages to learn more about the numerous lake communities our area has to offer.

May/June 2020 41

Lake Whatcom


Photos courtesy of Brandon Nelson Partners.

ake Whatcom residents speak fondly of visiting neighbors by kayak and watching Santa arrive by waterski — clearly, these are people who like to be on the water. Ten miles of lake means room for powered crafts to join sailboats, rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and more. Thirty miles of coastline means there are different communities in different areas, and total watershed management is always a top priority for this lake that supplies drinking water for about 100,000 residents of Whatcom County. To give a thorough view of what life is like along the shores of Lake Whatcom, we’ve highlighted three distinct communities that all share access: Silver Beach, Geneva, and Sudden Valley.


Lake Whatcom

Silver Beach

Photos by Dean Davidson.


aving grown up here as a ‘North Shore kid,’ I still feel a sense of being family with our generation that grew up on or near the lake,” says resident Mikyn S. “A lot of us moved back to Bellingham to raise our own families, and it has always felt like a community of extended cousins.” According to data, words to describe this neighborhood include upscale and familyfriendly. Silver Beach has a high proportion of home ownership in single-family homes, as well as a relatively high proportion of families with young children, making it an excellent place to raise kids. Residents have relatively high levels of education, and close to 50% work in executive, management, and professional occupations. The lake is the main attraction, and Silver Beach hosts fun for residents and non-residents alike. The 20-acre Bloedel Donovan Park is extremely popular for everything from boat access to beach volleyball.

By the Numbers Population: 3,000+ Median property value: $565,930 Commute time: 11–20 minutes

Recreation • Boating • Swimming • Fishing • Running and walking trails • Volleyball courts • Basketball courts • Playground • Rowing

Dues or HOA: $250 annually

Pros • Easy access to Lake Whatcom • Distant from I-5 (low noise) • Big, open, windswept views • Bloedel Donovan Park and facilities • Close to shopping • Close to schools

• Close to emergency services

Cons • Expensive housing market Lake access: Private and public docks, Bloedel Donovan boat launch

May/June 2020 43

Lake Whatcom

Sudden Valley

By the Numbers


• • • •

Recreation • Boating • Golfing • Trails • Kayaking • SUPs

Dues: $144.31/month for developed lots

Amenities • Clubhouse with restaurant and pro golf shop • Community Center with fitness area, children’s rooms, meeting and game rooms • Marina with wet and dry slips • Playgrounds and tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts

Off-leash dog park Miles of mapped trails Outdoor pools Golf course designed by Ted Robinson

Pros • Quiet, away from city life • Family friendly • Wilderness feel • Easy lake access • On-site recreational activities Cons • Icy in winter time • Hilly • Shaded, less sunlight • Expensive HOA monthly dues • Slow commute into town Lake Access: Via marina

Photos by Dean Davidson.


udden Valley has taken a unique approach to wilderness living, pairing pristine forest with all the amenities of civilization. One of the largest homeowner associations in the state, Sudden Valley residents enjoy a densely wooded, private setting along with amazing community resources. While few houses sit directly on the lake, the community enjoys access at the marina, and the overall vibe is one of adults living with the resources of a summer camp. Most residents can’t launch a kayak from their backyard, but they can meet for golf and then hit the sauna, wander miles of trails, join in a pickleball game, or have a doggy playdate at the dog park.

Population: 7,000+ Median property value: $368,209 Commute time: 15–30 minutes

Lake Whatcom


Photos courtesy of Brandon Nelson Partners.


lthough just up the road from the businesses on Lakeway Drive, Geneva has a quiet and secluded feel. Many homes along the lake boast private docks or share them with neighbors, while the houses inland feature views or enjoy larger lots. Great for families, Geneva has also attracted college-educated retirees. Add that to an unusually high percentage of people that work from home, and it means the neighborhood may feel quiet but never deserted. According to resident Elizabeth R., Geneva is an “amazing, quaint neighborhood with tremendous trail access and delightful lake fun!”

By the Numbers Population: 2,300+ Median property value: $440,600 Average commute time: 10–18 minutes

Recreation • Boating • Swimming • Trails • Biking

HOA: $125/year

Pros • Quiet • Near many parks, trails, and mountain biking areas • Close to city amenities Cons • No public boat launch • Most areas along waterfront are private access

May/June 2020 45

Big Lake


very day is spectacular on Big Lake. The lake is constantly changing and is beautiful in a different way,” says Kym L., resident. Living in Big Lake is like taking a step back in time. Lush trees surround the lake, nestled in the heart of Skagit County, and residents can easily spend the day boating and fishing on its clear blue waters. With amenities like Big Lake Lodge, a private venue for quaint weddings, and the Big Lake Bar and Grill, an “unpretentious” neighborhood watering hole with pub food and local beer, it’s easy to feel right at home. Best of all, residents get a mix of rural and urban. With Mount Vernon just a short drive away, there are restaurants, bars, small businesses, and a natural grocer within arm’s reach —  but at the end of the day you can return home to a cozy lakeside cabin away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


By the Numbers Population: 1,784 Median property value: $422,600 Commute time: 12 minutes to Mount Vernon

Recreation • Boating and kayaking • Golfing • Walker Valley ORV • Pilchuck Falls • Fishing for seven species of fish Amenities • Hotels • Golf course • Churches

• Nursery and elementary school

Pros • Quaint, rural vibes • Lake-centric society • Beautiful homes a short walk from the water • Close to a larger city Cons • Relatively remote • Most amenities require a drive Lake access: Public boat ramp provided by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Photo by Kym Larvie.

Wiser Lake

Photos: Top Left and Right by Lyle Jansma, Bottom Left courtesy of Loren VanCorbach, Windermere Realty


ituated on both sides of Guide Meridian Road near Lynden, Wiser Lake is small but scenic. Set in a rural population with stunning mountain views, this lake feels like a bit of recess amidst the daily chores of farming life. While there is a local boat launch, most lake activity is non-motorized and done by residents. “We moved to the lake so that we could have more recreation opportunities… Fishing, paddleboarding, sailing, and wakeboarding are all in our backyard, and when we aren’t on the water, the view is pretty spectacular too,” says Andy H., a resident of Wiser Lake. The community of the lake spills into Lynden’s Greenwood neighborhood, and is known for being family-friendly. Other interesting stats: 18% of residents have Dutch ancestry, and 30% of households own four or more cars.

By the Numbers Median property value: $405,023 Commute time: 20–30 minutes to Bellingham, 10 minutes to Lynden

Recreation • Fishing • Boating • Swimming Pros • Rural but accessible off major road

• Incredible views • Quiet • Calm waters, you’re never far from shore

Cons • Size, restrictions for power boats • Some weeds & algae reported Lake access: Boat ramp on east side

May/June 2020 47

Baker Lake/Lake Shannon


aker Lake and Lake Shannon blossom into neighboring lakes along the path of the Baker River, partially thanks to upper and lower dams. Completely within Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, these forested gems are celebrated for camping, fishing, and various forms of boating. The nearby community of Concrete provides city resources, and is a scenic 35 miles east of Mount Vernon. Going north from Concrete, Lake Shannon stretches for about seven miles, and then Baker Lake continues for another nine miles.


By the Numbers Population: 4,311 Median property value: $254,024

Recreation • Boating and fishing • Baker River Hydroelectric Plant • Concrete History Museum • Baker Lake • Lake Shannon • Hunting

• Skiing • Hiking

Pros • Beautiful natural features • Access to Mt. BakerSnoqualmie National Forest • Near North Cascades National Park • Large properties • Affordable

Cons • Very small community • Remote from some emergency services • Limited wireless/phone providers Lake access: Boat ramps and trailer parking at four points on Baker Lake, PSE has a boat launch on Shannon Lake

Lake Campbell

Photo by Steve Berentson.


un fact: This gorgeous little lake boasts an island, and the lake itself also sits on an island. The coastline has mostly private homes with their own dock access, but visitors and residents can use a public boat ramp off Lake Campbell Road. If you like water, Fidalgo Island is a natural fit. Aside from being surrounded by various bays and straits, Anacortes boasts four lakes. All of this floating fun is tied to land with 50 miles of forested trails and tons of cultural activities. While lakeside living on Campbell might feel private, it is smack in the heart of a really fun community.

By the Numbers Population (Anacortes, total): 17,283 Median property value: $501,371

Recreation: • Boating • Sea and lake water sports • Hiking • Biking Amenities: • Bowling alley • Dog park

• Pool and fitness center • Public parks • Public library • Hotels • Restaurants and bars • Art galleries

Pros: • Places to wine and dine • Easy access to the outdoors • Ocean views • Small town vibe

• Access to larger amenities via car

Cons: • Long commute to larger towns • Remote from some emergency services Lake access: Fishing and public boat launch at Lake Campbell

May/June 2020 49

Photo by Lyle Jansma.

Lake Samish


By the Numbers Population: 1,300+ Median property value: $478,168 Commute time: 15–19 minutes Recreation: • Fishing • Boating • Swimming Amenities: • Dockside houses • Homeowners association • HOA community enrichment events

Dues or HOA: $20 annually

Pros: • Secluded, yet close to Bellingham • Access to shopping and local businesses • Beautiful natural scenery Cons: • Close to I-5 Lake access: Samish Park, Public Boat Launch

Photos courtesy of Brandon Nelson Partners.


ocated 6.5 miles southeast of Bellingham, Lake Samish is nearly four miles long and boasts more than eight miles of coastline. Although much of the coastline is developed with private houses, there are 26 lakeside acres that make up Samish Park with boat rentals, trails, a rustic lodge, and a fishing dock. There is also one public boat ramp, but the majority of on-lake activities happen by residents. This stunning setting includes Lookout Mountain to the east, Blanchard Mountain to the south, and Chuckanut Mountain to the west for amazing crosswater views.

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akeside living comes with a lot of perks, including prime access to outdoor recreation like swimming, fishing, and — most importantly — boating. Before you head out onto the water, it’s important to know the laws of the lakes, so you can stay afloat, hassle free.

Lake Whatcom Boat Launches Bloedel Donovan Park Boat Launch Open 6–10 p.m., daily, 2114 Electric Ave., Bellingham South Bay Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Launch Discover Pass Required Sudden Valley Marina For property owners and residents only Open dawn to dusk, daily, 20 Marina Ave., Bellingham Western Washington University’s Lakewood Facility Hours vary, 2410 Lake Whatcom Blvd., Bellingham Lake Whatcom Southerly Boat Launch


Rules • No Carbureted two-stroke engines • No transporting of plants or animals to or from lake • Clean, drain, and dry boat when entering and leaving the lake • Speed Limit: 6 mph within 300 ft. of shore/dock, or 100 ft. of a person or non-motorized boat • Yield to swimmers, divers, and non-motorized watercrafts • Children under seven must wear life jackets at all times • Age Restrictions: Must be at least 10 years old to operate a motorized watercraft without an adult, must be at least 16 years old to operate a motorized watercraft with a motor greater than 10 HP.

Lake Samish Boat Launches Lake Samish Boat Launch E. Lake Samish Dr., Bellingham

By Anelyse Morris and Julia Furukawa

Rules • No two-stroke engine-powered watercraft

Wiser Lake Boat Launches Public boat launch on the north end of the lake Rules • Please comply with all statewide boating regulations

Baker Lake Boat Launches There are launches from several campgrounds around the lake: Kulshan Campground, Horseshoe Cove Campground, Shannon Creek Campground, Swift Creek Campground, and Panorama Point Campground. Rules • Small boats only • Boats must be cleaned before and after use to avoid the transportation of invasive species

Photo by Erin Thompson (erinthompson88) on Flickr.

Local Boating Guide

• Respect quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. • No boat trailer parking at the Shannon Creek Campground except for campers with permits • Day use fee is $5, an overnight pass is $8–9 • Obey “No Wake Zone” rules

Lake Campbell Boat Launches Public boat launch on the north end of the lake Rules • The speed limit is set at 40 mph • All state boating regulations apply

Big Lake Boat Launches Public boat launch on the west end of the lake


Rules • All state boating regulations apply

May/June 2020 53

10 Homes


First Day



Contemporary designs

Nothing like this offered in Bellingham •

4 different floor plans ranging from 1053 sq. ft. to 1926 sq. ft. •

Solar included with all homes • •

High-end finishes

2, 3, and 4 bedroom plans

Prices starting from the $360’s to $480’s 360.296.7220 | Follow to the very north end of Cordata Parkway then left on west Kline. Follow signs to Green Vista. Nate Kenoyer. Jeff Baker. Rob Weston.

Build Your Own Greenhouse 58 Necessities: Garden Tools 60

Photo by Nick Graves.

Premier Homes 63


Cabin in the Woods


May/June 2020 55

Home  Featured Home

Cabin in the Woods BY JULIA FURUKAWA


estled in the heart of the forest is a wood cabin made by Highline Construction, although “cabin” doesn’t begin to explain the splendor of this home. With fir cabinets and trim, cedar siding, and a timber frame, this dwelling immerses you in nature while keeping you warm and cozy. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room place you amongst the trees, perfect for bird watching or sitting back with a glass of wine to watch the sunset. A concrete floor keeps this place modern, but not cold — a tall fireplace will make sure you’re kept at the perfect temperature. A kitchen island is lit up by blown glass ceiling lamps that float in the air like glowing teardrops. The bedroom has wide windows that let the daylight in with a loft above the bed which could be used for storage, lounging, or both. This cabin is the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature without leaving modern conveniences behind.  Builder  Highline Construction Architect  Johnston Architects Photography  Nick Graves


May/June 2020 57

Home  Garden

Build Your Own Greenhouse from Recycled Solar Glass

A greenhouse doesn’t have to be a distant dream. With the right materials, you can make one on your own.




Kew Royal Botanic Gardens — with large windows and rows of carefully cultivated plants and starts. Here in the Pacific Northwest, a greenhouse is a wonderful way to extend your growing season or cultivate hard-to-grow plants. A greenhouse doesn’t have to be a distant dream. With the right materials, you can make one on your own. At The RE Store, we have a very specific material that makes building greenhouses that much easier — solar glass. Solar glass is a very special sort of glass that is used in the production of solar panels by local manufacturers. With anti-glare properties and a prismatic sub-surface texture, this

ultra-clear, low-iron tempered glass is engineered for high performance in both diffuse and low light conditions. Solar glass is the reason that light and heat is trapped in solar panels. The rough sub-surface texture (referred to as “prismatic”) on one side of the glass is designed to trap light, repeatedly forcing the light energy into the solar cells, instead of allowing it to reflect back out. Sometimes the manufacturing process results in imperfect glass. Glass that does not pass strict quality standards is sent to us thanks to the Manufacturing Waste Diversion program at The RE Store. The Manufacturing Waste Diversion program works with local manufacturers to identify materials that can be saved from the landfill. In

Photos courtesy of The RE Store.



Thanking our community for 30 years! Cheers to 30 more! - - 360.7347374

The Beauty of Efficiency 360.354.0333 104 Front Street, Lynden WA

ARTISAN DESIGNED · FAMILY FOCUSED · BUILDER FRIENDLY the past two years, we’ve worked with partners to keep 90 pallets of glass, totaling over 215,050 pounds to The RE Store. For perspective, 90 pallets of solar glass weigh as much as 19 Asian elephants and take up slightly more square footage than a doubles tennis court. Glass greenhouses and cold frames are a perfect way to repurpose solar panel glass. The light and heat-trapping properties of the glass mean that your plants are sure to thrive. Before you head to Google to seek out plans to build your own greenhouse, stop by The RE Store. We’ve got all the materials you need to bring your greenhouse to life, from the solar glass to the lumber, hardware, and plastic plant pots. We’ve even got a construction guide for sale, designed by our staff to help take the guesswork out of building your own greenhouse. Our easy-to-read guide will walk you stepby-step through the building process, from preparing the ground, to cutting each piece of wood and assembling the final structure. The RE Store, 2309 Meridian St., Bellingham, 360.647.5921  May/June 2020 59

Home  Necessities



PRINGTIME — the season of rebirth and

renewal. The days are getting longer and the flowers are starting to bloom, so it’s the perfect time to start playing in the dirt and prepping that garden. Whether you’re doing some landscaping and yard maintenance, planting a colorful flower bed, or growing your own herbs and veggies, you can get it all done easier with the right tools. Digging in the dirt is already fun, but these awesome essentials will make you feel like a pro. 



4 Photo by Dean Davidson.

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COMMERCIAL  RESIDENTIAL  SERVICE At Spectrum Plumbing and Heating you will find expert craftsmanship, affordable prices, friendly technicians and the best customer service in Bellingham.

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We look forward to continuing to serve our community for many years to come. May/June 2020 61




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Beautiful ocean & Mt view home in Birch Bay. Large kitchen with stainless appliances, granite counter-tops & lots of windows for water views. 9 ft ceilings throughout. Home includes formal living, dining & great rooms. Master bedroom with large ensuite and 2 bedrooms. Over sized two car garage and solar panels (very energy efficient). Huge deck with pergola and sweeping views of the bay and Mt Baker. MLS# 1559972 | $379,900

Lodge Style living in this gorgeous custom home with vaulted great room & open floor plan on shy 10 acres. Douglas Fir exposed beamwork frames the chef’s kitchen, featuring granite countertops, solid wood cabinetry, commercial fridge/freezer & range. Metal roof, solar panels, expansive deck, natural stone fireplace. Large shop with 2 bedroom ADU upstairs. MLS# 1505672 | $1,250,000

Lisa Sprague

Allison Trimble Blake Westhoff



Coastal Realty 360.961.5537, 360.319.5751


NEW Rambler in The Meadows in Ferndale with 3 bedrooms + office, 2 bathrooms and 2,195 square feet. Living room has lots of windows, vaulted ceilings and gas fireplace. Beautiful kitchen with soft-close cabinets, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Master bedroom has large bathroom with walk-in tiled shower and double vanity. Spacious backyard with covered patio. 3-car garage.

Modern new construction home in The Meadows in Ferndale with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms including master bedroom upstairs and downstairs. Elegant kitchen with waterfall quart countertops, walk-in pantry, lots of cabinets, and side-by-side stainless steel refrigerator/freezer. Bright living room with 12foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling stone gas fireplace. Upper master has beautiful deck. 3-car garage and spacious backyard with covered back deck.

MLS# 1507411 | $599,000

MLS# 1563581 | $589,000

Christine Cicchitti

Christine Cicchitti

Windermere Real Estate 360.296.3814

Windermere Real Estate 360.296.3814

May/June 2020 63

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Upscale new construction in a wonderful new community. This quality built home features one level living plus an upper spacious family room. Private master suite with tiled large shower plus large walk in closet. All closets are finished with wood shelving. Kitchen will be complete with a beautiful appliance package & a great pantry. The 4th bedroom would make a great office. Privacy fencing on back yard & backs up to a 55 and over community. MLS# 1523246 | $626,000

This custom home was built in 2000. An expansive addition in 2006 brought the home to nearly 5000 sq/ft of living space. A large driveway weaves through gardens to a 3-car garage with custom wooden doors. The open concept main level features a living room, great room, a chef’s kitchen with granite countertops and high-end appliances. Rear yard with its expansive decking & gardens graces the unobstructed views of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. MLS# 1557293 | $2,300,000

Karen Timmer

Ken and Zach Harrison

Office: 360.354.4455 Mobile: 360.410.0848

360.961.2615 | 206.948.3103 COMPASS BELLINGHAM

SEMIAHMOO Spectacular PNW indoor/outdoor living is an entertainers dream come true. This 3175 open concept living features 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, main floor master and a chef kitchen with plenty of room to move. Upstairs features second master or bonus room. Large windows brings the outdoors in, while double french doors invite you onto a 1000+ sq. ft. lighted, 3 tiered patio with built in hot tub and 9’ bbq island featuring Lynx grill with searing station and side burner. This home is a must see!. $849,000 | MLS# 1563577

Kathy Stauffer Windermere Real Estate 360.815.4718

May/June 2020 65

Your Metabolic Health  70 8 Great Take-Out Spots 75 Favorite Cooking Shows 77


Photo by Julia Berkman.


Mi Rancho Meat Market

68 May/June 2020 67

Taste Review

Bellingham’s Tesoro Escondido Mi Rancho Meat Market


OR A LONG TIME, Mi Rancho Meat Market was just

that: a Mexican butcher and deli offering high-quality cuts and select grocery items. Considered a community staple, Mi Rancho offered fresh, affordable meat to loyal customers in the Birchwood neighborhood and beyond. Then came the restaurant. A couple booths, a couple picnic tables, no official menu. Just a sign proclaiming, “$1 Tacos!” to anyone driving by on Northwest Avenue. Over time, word spread about the delicious one-dollar tacos, until Mi Rancho had no choice but to expand from a market with a few tables to a full restaurant. Fate intervened and the restaurant space next to the deli became available. In 2019, Mi Rancho opened the restaurant side of their business with gusto. From the paintings on the wall to the authentic meat market next door, Mi Rancho is a celebration of Mexican food and culture. When you arrive, you’re seated at a brightly colored table in the high-ceilinged room. In the 68

warmer months, customers can eat outside on the festive patio. Ingredients at Mi Rancho are made in-house or sourced from the community. The adjacent market still offers fresh vegetables, spices, and other Mexican treats and treasures. From piñatas affixed to the ceiling to a wide variety of vaquero boots and hats, you know when you walk in that this place is full to the brim with Mexican pride and culture. The menu has everything you want, from familiar staples like burritos and tacos to weekend specials like menudo and birria. The best part? Everything comes with your choice of meat, and oh, are there choices. Asada, grilled beef, is the classic — if you’re new to this type of cuisine or just enjoy a healthy char, you can’t beat Mi Rancho’s beef. If you’re more of a pork lover, the adobada, marinated pork with pieces of pineapple, is sweet and spicy. The carnitas, shredded marinated pork, are insanely juicy and flavorful.

Photos by Julia Berkman.


The chicken, though, is truly exceptional — never dry, never flavorless, always charred but juicy on the inside. It’s perfect in a burrito or quesadilla, but when it comes to tacos, I recommend a heartier meat, like beef or pork. If you’d like to try a meat that’s harder to find in Bellingham, the beef tongue is a toothsome, delicious choice for only a few cents extra. The asada burrito is a local favorite; the rich, charred flavor of the beef pairs perfectly with the creamy beans, fluffy rice, and crunchy lettuce all stuffed into a soft flour tortilla. For only $6, it’s impossible to beat. If you’re a cheese lover, the quesadilla is a great choice. I recommend going with chicken for this dish. The combination of juicy chicken and salty melted cheese with a side of rice and beans for only $6 feels like a steal. Of course, we can’t leave you hanging when it comes to the tacos. For less than $2 per taco, you can enjoy any type of meat filling. I recommend owner Angel Montanez’s favorite: carnitas. Unbelievably tender, the shredded pork combined with the bright tang of lime, salsa, and onions is like a symphony for your palate. After your meal, head to the market side of the establishment to pay, and don’t forget to pick up a sweet or two from their mini bakery for dessert. At less than a dollar each, there’s always room for churros or homemade ding-dongs. When you walk into Mi Rancho, it feels like you’re stepping into a community marketplace where everyone knows each other. In a way, that’s exactly where you are. Make no mistake, the community that shops and eats here is close-knit, and if you go often enough, they’ll remember you, too. 3092 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, 360.972.5866,  May/June 2020 69

Taste Nutrition Before COVID-19, this nation, most of the civilized world, and several underdeveloped nations were already sick. The cause was not due to an infectious communicable disease, but rather a global epidemic of non-communicable diseases related to poor diet and lack of physical activity. Is the food we are eating trying to kill us? The short answer appears to be yes. Metabolic syndrome and almost every chronic and degenerative disease in our society can be related to what we eat and how much we eat. As bleak as this situation may seem, there are changes that you can start making right now to turn your health around.

How to Increase Your Metabolic Health: LOSE WEIGHT. Obesity and its related conditions suppress

the immune system and worsen the effects of viruses like COVID-19. Removing processed carbohydrates (refined sugars, bread, pasta, muffins, cookies, cakes, sugary soft drinks, etc.) is an excellent place to start. It’s also important to eat more animal protein, good sources of fat (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil), vegetables, and fruit, nuts, and seeds. A Paleo diet template can help get you on track.

Your Metabolic Health in the Time of COVID-19

EAT LESS; FAST INTERMITTENTLY IF POSSIBLE. If you are eating three meals plus two snacks a day, you better be an elite athlete in training. Based on the amount of exercise the average person engages in per day, there is no need for three large meals with the addition of snacks. Make sure you include animal protein and fat in your meals, both of which will keep you feeling full until the next time you are really hungry.



T LEAST ONE BILLION PEOPLE in the world suffer

from metabolic syndrome, a medical term used to describe a cluster of chronic and usually degenerative diseases including obesity, insulin resistance (which is related to Alzheimer’s, dementia, arthritis, and cardiac disease), hypertension, and diabetes. Sixty percent of Americans have at least two of these chronic diseases, and studies show that only 12% of Americans have what researchers call ‘optical metabolic health.’ In other words, more than 80% of the population has poor metabolic health. In normal times, this statistic would be alarming. Considering the current state of the world, it is downright frightening. If there was ever a time to be in good health, it is now. Our healthcare system already spends an inordinate amount of time and resources treating chronic disease, and has now been sent into a complete tailspin because of COVID-19. Although initially considered a disease of older populations, new C.D.C. data has shown that nearly 40% of people hospitalized because of the virus were between the ages of 20 and 54. However, the risk of dying is still significantly higher for older people and those with heart disease. So why are so many young people falling victim to this disease, and why are chronic health conditions like obesity and diabetes increasingly accepted as the norm? One word: food. 70

MOVE MORE. We have become a world where we spend more time sitting in one spot than we do standing, squatting, or moving around. Even though most of us are practicing social distancing, we are still able to get outside and go for a walk. Spending time outdoors is also a great opportunity to recharge our Vitamin D stores, which help boost our immune system. GET MORE SLEEP. If you sleep less than seven hours a night, you are not doing yourself any favors. Sleeping is when our body restores energy and repairs cells and muscles. It is also important for our overall emotional wellbeing. LEARN TO COOK. If not now, when? With many restau-

rants temporarily closed, make this your opportunity to go back to basics. Start with my recipe for Cajun Shrimp with Cauliflower Rice, a flavorful dish that combines healthy animal protein with a veggie-forward spin on a daily staple. I am ever the optimist, and believe that most of the time things happen for a reason. Through this all, I keep asking myself “Why is this happening and what can I learn from it?” I can’t say for sure, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe this is a nudge from Mother Nature telling us it’s time to take back responsibility for our health and pay attention to what we are eating, what we are doing, and how we are living. Maybe it’s time to go back to eating whole, natural foods, slowing down, and simply living. 

Recipe  Taste

Cajun Shrimp with Cauliflower Rice BY CASSIE ELLIOTT


HIS IS MY SECOND RECIPE using cauliflower “rice,” and I’m sure it won’t be my last. I didn’t add a lot of seasoning to the cauliflower because the Cajun prawns pack more than enough flavor on their own. Once you have removed the prawns from the pan, I recommend adding a little more oil and a couple pinches of the spice blend and then spooning a little onto your rice. You will have enough of the Cajun spice blend to easily double this recipe.

Serves: 2 Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes

Photo by Cassie Elliott.

Ingredients: 1 teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ¼ teaspoon oregano ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper ½ teaspoon black pepper ½ lb. large prawns 2 tablespoons avocado oil + 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon butter 3 cups cauliflower rice ½ small onion finally chopped ½ red bell pepper chopped 2 stalks green onions cut on the bias Juice of ½ a lime

Instructions: • Remove shell from prawns. You can leave the tails on if you want. • Place in bowl. Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil and 2 teaspoons of the spice blend to prawns. Set aside. • Chop onions and bell pepper. • Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil and 1 teaspoon butter to skillet over medium heat. • Add onion and bell peppers and cook for 4–5 minutes. • Add cauliflower. Cook for 5–7 minutes or until tender. • In a separate skillet, heat remaining avocado oil and butter over medium heat. • Add prawns and marinade to skillet. • Cook until prawns are pink, approximately 1 ½–2 minutes. Do not overcook. • Remove from pan immediately. • To serve, spoon cauliflower rice into dish. Add prawns and spoon any oil left in the pan from prawns over top. Garnish with green onion and a squeeze of fresh lime. 

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DINING KEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . $30 or greater . . . . . . . . . . . . . Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinner . . . . . . . . . .Family-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Takeout . . . . . . . . Outdoor Seating   . . . . . . . . . . Reservations   . . . . . . . . . . . Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . . . New Review Menu items and prices are subject to change, so check before you go. See all our restaurant reviews on our Eat and Drink tab at  * Local restaurants need you now more than ever! However, due to COVID-19, some restaurants may be temporarily closed. Remember to call ahead or check online for delivery and pick-up options.

BLACK PEARL ASIAN FUSION Asian Fusion 1317 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.746.2030, Bellingham has an abundance of Asian-inspired restaurants; the trick is to find one that stands out — like the Black Pearl. With all the available extras, it is almost impossible to get the same flavor twice. The pho is clean and refreshing with a variety of different meats to try and sauces to add as extra seasoning.   CHAIR 9 WOODSTONE PIZZA & BAR American

10459 Mount Baker Hwy., Glacier 360.599.2511, After a long day skiing or snowboarding from Mount Baker Ski Area’s eight chairlifts, Chair 9 is tailor-made for those seeking a place to grab a bite before heading back down the highway. The building is spacious, with two stories of seating and a colorful variety of snowboards decorating the wall. Their pizza is crafted on house-made artisan dough and cooked classically in a wood stone oven. The restaurant’s relaxed atmosphere and delicious menu make it a destination to try on your next trip to the slopes.

AVENUE BREAD & DELI Deli 1313 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 1135 11th St., Bellingham 2301 James St., Bellingham 444 Front St., Lynden 360.715.3354, With several convenient locations in Bellingham and a location in Lynden, Avenue Bread is a favorite lunch spot for many. Fresh ingredients make these sandwiches unusually good — the bread is made by their bakers, and the vegetables and meat are all of the highest quality. Avenue Bread also offers some of the freshest, tastiest breakfast sandwiches around.   BIG LOVE JUICE American 1149 N. State St. & 1144 10th St., Bellingham 360.383.5336, Cold press juices make up the bulk of the menu at Big Love Juice. However, these aren’t your average juices. Big Love Juice uses a hydraulic press, rather than the traditional high-heat methods that eliminate much of the vitamins and nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. Customers looking for something a little heartier can also pick from a multitude of smoothies, soups, salads, bowls, and loaded toasts.


THE FORK AT AGATE BAY American, Seafood 2530 Northshore Rd., Bellingham 360.733.1126, Nestled at the fork between Y and Northshore roads near Lake Whatcom sits The Fork at Agate Bay. This relaxed and boat-house-chic restaurant offers a seasonal menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all featuring fresh, local ingredients. The bar boasts an impressive drink menu, with a drink selection based on fresh and local ingredients and tastes.   THE GRILL Greek, American 1155 E. Sunset Dr., Ste. 105, Bellingham 360.306.8510, A peek into The Grill’s kitchen will reveal a lamb rotisserie awaiting carving for your Traditional Gyro. The menu has plenty of variety; order anything from a hot dog to an Italian sandwich.

COSMOS BISTRO American Bistro, Comfort



unique blend of sauces, along with a variety of other topping options are piled onto a bed of homemade sushi rice or salad. Customers then garnish their bowls with additional condiments such as furikake, a Japanese nori seasoning.

1151 N. State St., Bellingham 360.255.0244, The comfort food at Cosmos is always made in-house from scratch at their historic Herald Building location. With award-winning service, plates brimming with creativity for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and many vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, Cosmos Bistro offers something for everyone.

JACK NEIMANN’S BLACK FOREST STEAKHOUSE German, Steak 638 Peace Portal Dr., Blaine 360.306.8342 Black Forest Steakhouse offers a versatile dining experience. It’s fancy enough for special occasions, anniversaries, and graduation celebrations, but it’s also a place you’ll want to go to any day. Black Forest cooks their steaks different than most other steakhouses: They broil them in a 1,600-degree oven, leaving the meat tender and flavorful.

CULTURE CAFÉ Eclectic 210 E. Chestnut St., Bellingham 360.746.6558, This inviting, comfortable place gained a reputation for its all-natural, craft kombucha but it also offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience. All the items are prepared in-house with the exception of bread, which is made by Mount Bakery. The menu reflects a great deal of care and integrity, served by authentic and accommodating employees in a communal space that offers karaoke, board games, and live music.   FAIRHAVEN POKE Hawaiian 1102 Harris Ave., Bellingham 360.922.7494, You’ll be taking a personal trip to the islands when you bite into Fairhaven Poke’s poke bowl concoction. The iconic raw fish, doused in a

JALAPEÑOS MEXICAN GRILL Mexican 1007 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.656.6600 501 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.671.3099 2945 Newmarket Pl., Bellingham 360.778.2041, Jalapeños Mexican Grill lures you in with promises of a cheap lunch special, but after looking at the menu, you won’t stop there. There’s a variety of flavored mojitos and margaritas, and the “Big Mama” alone is proof that Jalapeños doesn’t play around with their drinks. The glasses are huge, and the drinks are good to the last drop.

Penny Pinchers

LITTLE CHEERFUL American 133 E. Holly St., Bellingham 360.738.8824


Little Cheerful is a bustling breakfast spot, ideal for customers looking to enjoy a mouthwatering meal over conversation or a newspaper. The cafe has maintained its popularity through the growth of breakfast cafes in the area. Their menu includes something for everyone, whether you are gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or an omnivore — and if you are craving eggs benedict, Little Cheerful is definitely for you. Side note: Cash only.

8500 sq ft shopping destination. Antiques, collectibles, jewelry, tools and home furnishings. FB: pennypinchers4894 360.927.7570


LORENZO’S Mexican 190 E. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.527.3181 2121 E. College Way, Mount Vernon 360.848.7793 902 Highway 20, Sedro-Woolley 360.856.6810, Lorenzo and Laura Velasco’s restaurant was established in 2006 and brought an authentic Mexican restaurant to the communities of Bellingham, Mount Vernon, and SedroWoolley. The staff is friendly and welcoming, and even owner Lorenzo will occasionally stop by tables to check in with the customers.   MAGDALENA’S CREPERIE European 1200 10th St., Ste. 103, Bellingham 360.483.8569, Paris, London, New York, Vancouver, and Bellingham all have them: little shops where the aromas of sweet and savory crêpes, custom sandwiches, and hot soup du jour fill the air. With an astounding selection of crêpes, it’ll take more than one trip to decide which is better, sweet or savory. But at this eatery, it is criminal to pass up the sweet little numbers filled with velvety smooth vanilla-flavored cream cheese, white chocolate, and your choice of fresh fruit. A crêpe option for every crêpe craving.   MILANO’S PASTA FRESCA & BAR VENETO Italian

9990 Mount Baker Hwy., Glacier 360.599.2863,





of the



of the


Nickis Bar and Grill on the waterfront in Bellingham serving award winning, hand dipped, tempura style fish & chips. Build your own burger featuring our handcrafted USDA chuck patties and fresh baked buns. 2016

Milano’s is known for its accommodating staff, extensive beer and wine selection, and its delicious, authentic Italian food. People will travel great lengths just to get a taste, as it’s located in Glacier, the last town before the big climb up to the Mount Baker Ski Area. After a long cold day of snowshoeing, what’s better than warming up with a steaming plate of homemade pasta?



2615 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham 360.332.2505 |


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L&L Libations Aviation Ingredients: Gin based limoncello, Creme de violette, Cava (sparkling wine), $8

241 Telegraph Rd., Bellingham 360.647.0073, Mi Mexico’s reputation as one of the local favorites among Mexican food lovers is well deserved. The experience starts with a warm, friendly, professional waitstaff in an enjoyable, upbeat atmosphere. From there, Mi Mexico separates itself from the competition with a choice of traditional and non-traditional Mexican dishes, all made with the freshest of ingredients available. From your first bite of Mi Mexico’s homemade salsa to the last bite of your main entree or dessert, you will already be planning your next visit.   MUTO RAMEN & SUSHI Japanese, Sushi 105 E. Chestnut St., Bellingham, 360.647.3530 Muto Ramen does not disappoint for those looking for both atmosphere and flavor at a reasonable price. From udon noodles and yakitori to long lists of different ramen, sushi rolls, sashimi, and nigiri, guests can look forward to many visits of exploring the wide selection of Japanese dishes.   NICKI’S BAR AND GRILL/ NICKI’S BELLA MARINA American, Seafood 2615 S. Harbor Loop Dr., Bellingham 360.332.2505, Harborside visitors can grab a bite at Nicki’s Bar and Grill or rent out the floor above, Nicki’s Bella Marina, for private events with spectacular views of Bellingham Bay. Once you’ve had a chance to check out the water, take your first glance at the large menu. The burgers are big, juicy (there are even Wet-Naps on the table), and flavorful.   NORTHWATER Regional NW 4260 Mitchell Way, Bellingham 360.398.6191,

L&L Libations has nailed this classic cocktail with a quirky twist: a splash of violette. This liqueur not only gives this drink its playful color, but deepens its flavor, giving it a sweet and flowery finish. Topped with cava, Spanish sparkling wine, the drink has a light fizz to it which tingles your taste buds upon first sip. Limoncello, a lemon liqueur, is typically made by infusing vodka with simple syrup and lemon juice, but L&L gave this recipe another twist by infusing theirs with gin. Served in an elegant coupe glass and topped with a lemon twist, this cocktail is the perfect classy beverage for a spring afternoon. 1107 N. State St., Bellingham. JULIA FURUKAWA


PEL’MENI RESTAURANT Russian 1211 N. State St., Bellingham 360.715.8324, Step off busy State Street after your late night festivities for an inexpensive and satisfying fill of plump dumplings. Stuffed with either meat or potatoes, these dumplings are piping hot and sprinkled with cumin, paprika, and

Photo by Julia Furukawa.



From breakfast to late night dinner, northwater’s 185-seat restaurant features a diverse menu of Pacific Northwest dishes made from locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. The restaurant’s waitstaff is personable and enthusiastic — eager to answer our questions about ingredient sources and what desserts they’d recommend.

Dining Guide  Taste


cilantro. Because they pair so well with tasty libations, Pel’meni manages to consistently have a line out the door as soon as the sun goes down. Smother them with vinegar, sour cream, and hot sauce for the full effect.



6937 Hannegan Rd., Lynden 360.354.5236, The menu at The Rusty Wagon overflows with options. Breakfast is served late and has all the diner favorites, but the burgers are clearly their specialty with a large selection on both the lunch and dinner menus. Don’t miss the full bar with sports screens, top-shelf liquors, beer, and more. Beyond the catch phrases and cowboy hats, The Rusty Wagon is a familyfriendly place to grab a burger.


Pho 99 If you’re looking for a hearty dish to warm you up while you’re stuck at home, look no further than Pho 99. If you’re a pho first-timer, try their Pho Chín, the traditional noodle soup with well-done brisket. If you’re a little more adventurous, go for the Pho Tái, Gân, Sách which has steak, soft tendon, and beef tripe.


Black Sheep Black Sheep has rolled with the punches in the era of COVID-19, and they know what the people want: great food and great booze. Black Sheep is offering a rotating take-out menu with drinks, including a make-at-home Paloma that comes with a bottle of tequila and a liter of their house grapefruit soda.


Brandywine Kitchen If you’re tired of cooking, look no further than Brandywine Kitchen for some take-home deliciousness. Their soups and sandwiches are tasty and filling, and right now, you can pair your food with a drink. Bring in an empty growler and Brandywine staff will sanitize it for you, then fill it up with the beer of your choice.

SCAMPI OSTERIA Italian 4832 Alderson Rd., Blaine 360.393.4415 This Italian restaurant in Birch Bay is adjacent to The C Shop, just a short stroll from the beach. Scampi’s interior is dimly lit, with soft light entering through large windows at the front and from turned-down overhead lighting. The atmosphere has a romantic and upscale feel, with wall art adding a homier touch. The food can be described in one word: incredible. The menu is wide, and includes traditional Italian meals as well as unique seafood dishes.   SKYLARK’S HIDDEN CAFE Eclectic 1308 11th St., Bellingham 360.715.3642, Skylark’s Hidden Cafe in Fairhaven is worth seeking out. From decadent breakfast items and house specialties to hearty dinner entrees, the menu at Skylark’s is varied and every bite delicious. Come for the food and stay for the jazz on select evenings.   TEMPLE BAR Bistro, Bar 306 W. Champion St.,Bellingham 360.676.8660, Continually recognized for their craft cocktails and small plates, Temple Bar aims to please. In between delicious bites made from locally sourced ingredients, sip on a unique cocktail with house-made infusions and bitters.

Photo by Dean Davidson.

WAKE ‘N BAKERY American 6903 Bourne St., Glacier 360.599.1658, Wake ‘N Bakery is a staple rest stop along Mount Baker Highway. If you’re in need of a


Fiamma Burger Craving a juicy burger? Fiamma’s got you covered. They’re serving their whole menu to-go and throwing in canned and draft beer too. No need to bring your own containers either. They’re repurposing milk jugs of all sizes to give you just what you want.

5 6 7 8



The Birch Door Not feeling like cooking breakfast? The Birch Door is offering their entire breakfast and lunch menu to-go. In addition to delicious breakfast favorites like french toast and waffles, you can also order burgers and sandwiches for lunch. Curbside pickup is also available. Kebab Casual With a new contact-free pay system, you can get delicious mediterranean fare while keeping a safe distance. Order and pay online or over the phone, then stop by this Fountain District food truck for pick-up. You can also get their tasty falafels, salads, and gyros delivered through GrubHub or Viking Food. Best Chopsticks Maintaining their regular hours, Best Chopsticks is the place to go for top-notch Chinese food. Call in or order online. With an extensive menu ranging from classic meals like Kung Pao Chicken to seafood options like Squid with Black Bean Sauce, there’s something for everyone. McKay’s Taphouse and Pizzeria For decades, pizza delivery has cheered up people stuck at home. Maintain the tradition by ordering McKay’s pizza and get your favorite canned or bottled beer delivered with it. You can also pick up your own pizza and get a growler refill while you’re there.

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sweet treat and hot coffee to bring the feeling back to your numb fingers, this will fit the bill. Whether you’re traveling to or from the mountain, watch for its signs as you pass through Glacier — the cafe is about a block off the highway.




12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes, 360.588.3525,


Located on the waterfront within the casino, 13moons is sure to catch your attention. The menu offers a wide variety including first plates, entree salads, seafood, and steaks. Give this go-to place for locals a try and you will be walking away satisfied.   A’TOWN BISTRO Regional NW 418 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.899.4001, A’Town Bistro’s careful sourcing of ingredients, creative approach to food and drinks, and comfortable atmosphere are why it’s about to become your new go-to restaurant. Pair your meal with something off the ever-changing cocktail menu. Bitters, shrubs, and syrup are made in-house and the creative cocktails are composed by staff or sourced from a collection of vintage bartending books.  –

Steak • Seafood • Wine

BASTION BREWING COMPANY American 12529 Christianson Rd., Anacortes 360.399.1614, On the Bastion Brewing Company menu you’ll find classic salads, an array of interesting burgers, and crispy chicken wings drenched in your choice of sauce. Food arrives impressively quick, and even more impressive is the quality of the food.   BOB’S CHOWDER BAR & BBQ SALMON Seafood, American

3320 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.299.8000,

GAMING | DINING | EVENTS | GOLF | LODGE 1.888.288.8883 | SWINOMISHCASINOANDLODGE.COM JUST MINUTES WEST OF I-5 OFF HIGHWAY 20 Must be 18 to gamble. Management reserves all rights.


Treasured for its fresh and local seafood, Bob’s Chowder Bar & BBQ Salmon has long been a favorite dining destination in Anacortes. The restaurant specializes in all-things seafood, from fried calamari to oyster burgers and grilled wild prawns. Pair your meal with a huckleberry or sarsaparilla soda, wine by the glass, hard cider, bottled beer, or a featured beer on tap.


Favorite Cooking Shows

901 Commercial Ave., Anacortes,, 360.293.7315, 720 S. 1st St., La Conner, 360.466.4451, 121-B Freeway Dr., Mount Vernon, 360.336.3107,


Since 1981, Calico Cupboard has been serving the purest, most heart-healthy, and high-quality ingredients. Using freshly milled, organically-grown, whole grain and unbleached flour, the cafe aims to promote its local farmers and gratify your body in the process. Sit down for breakfast or lunch, or just order from the bakery and grab an espresso to go. Calico Cupboard will leave you full, but feeling homey, healthy, and happy.

inspiration? Without restaurants or local cooking classes, it’s hard to know where to turn — but we’ve got you covered. These four shows will keep you motivated, engaged, and hungry. Prepare for some mouth-watering entertainment.

COA MEXICAN EATERY Mexican 102 S. 10th St., Mount Vernon, 360.840.1938 214 Maple Ave., La Conner, 360.466.0267 One bite of a taco or one sip of a margarita and you’re hooked. This eatery offers frequent customer appreciation days, offering 50 percent off food if you pay in cash. Deals and good food — what more could you want? Even on a different night, with the choice of fajitas, burritos, chimichangas, or flan, you won’t be disappointed.

The Great British Baking Show It doesn’t get much better than watching charming British people make charming pastries while treating each other with kindness and, well, charm. “The Great British Baking Show” will warm your heart as you fall in love with a group of amateur bakers who come together each week to complete three baking challenges. The best part about it: Unlike many American reality shows, the competitors remain good friends.

IL GRANAIO Italian 100 W. Montgomery St., Ste. 110 Mount Vernon 360.419.0674, Owner Alberto Candivi gets up every morning to make some of the day’s pastas by hand, sculpting basic ingredients into the building blocks for lavish, rich Italian dishes served throughout the day. When the ingredients call for a lighter hand, his restaurant also turns out reserved, delicate dishes. Il Granaio is a practice in the intricacies of cuisine, displaying the best flavors Italian food has to offer. With more than 30 items on the entree menu, the list can be quite daunting — and the dessert menu is also impressive. The wine menu is also expansive, and the beer menu features several local craft brews. Their grappa selection does the Italian cordial the justice it deserves.   NELL THORN Seafood 116 1st St., La Conner, 360.466.4261, Nell Thorn is seafood-heavy, so trying one of their seafood dishes is a must. Their daily specials take into account the freshest catches, but you’ll also typically find a seafood pasta, filet-topped salad, and oysters on the menu.   THE OYSTER BAR Seafood 2578 Chuckanut Dr., Bow 360.766.6185, The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive is perched among towering conifers above the oyster beds. Housed in a structure dating from the 1920s that has survived many incarnations, the restaurant owes its reputation to its remote, quintessentially Pacific Northwest setting. But people don’t dine at The Oyster Bar for its location alone. While oysters are the signature offering, The Oyster Bar offers a variety of other fine-dining choices and is known for its extensive wine cellar.   THE RHODY CAFE American 5521 Chuckanut Dr., Bow 360.766.6667, The Rhody Cafe is a spot with a cozy, home-style feel that places emphasis on fresh, local Washington ingredients. Even the pew-like benches that line the

Chef’s Table “Chef’s Table” takes an intellectual look at food as artistry and dives into the lives of the people who have made food their world. Each season profiles several of the most renowned chefs in the world, taking a look at their restaurants or businesses, their training and motivations, and what brought them to cherish food as an art form. Not only is “Chef’s Table” inspiring, but thanks to Netflix, it’s also visually stunning.

Salt Fat Acid Heat Named after her critically acclaimed cookbook, food writer and critic Samin Nosrat breaks down the very basic elements — the four in her title — behind what makes food taste good. Nosrat combines educational elements with cooking demonstrations, while remaining accessible to the viewer. Learn the basics behind what makes your food tick and you’ll be whipping up delicious meals in no time.

Nailed It! If you’re looking for a cooking show with a sprinkle of comedy, look no further than Netflix’s “Nailed It!” You’ll be laughing, grimacing, and cheering along as amateur (often, very amateur) home bakers work to recreate complicated creations under a time crunch. Hosted by comedian Nicole Byer, you’ll be giggling along with the contestants and remembering your past culinary gaffes as they smile through each challenge and present cakes that beg the question: “Did they nail it?” 

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Taste  Dining Guide walls were built by a local carpenter. Small glass vases hold fresh-picked flowers and plants that sit next to small paper dessert menus on pressed wood tables, giving the air of a family dining room. The Rhododendron changes its menu three times a year to follow what is fresh, in season, and available.   RISTRETTO COFFEE LOUNGE & WINE BAR American

416 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.336.0951, Ristretto doesn’t have a kitchen, but the baristas know their way around a panini press. You can also order breakfast all day, fresh salads, hearty bagels, or one of the baked goods brought in three times a week from nearby bakeries.   SAKURA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE & SUSHI BAR Japanese 1830 S. Burlington Blvd., Burlington 360.588.4281, Professional Teppanyaki chefs take you on a journey of delicious and interactive dining at Burlington’s Sakura Japanese Steakhouse. Using the freshest ingredients and perfect seasonings, they stir-fry your meal right before your eyes, creating a fabulous feast. Choose from steak and chicken to salmon and shrimp; each meal is served with soup, salad, rice, and vegetables. If it’s sushi you crave, they also offer a full sushi bar.   SEEDS BISTRO AND BAR American 623 Morris St., La Conner 360.466.3280, From soups to sandwiches, salads (or “weeds” as they call them), and bigger entree options, Seeds Bistro and Bar has something for everyone. Try an order of shucked oysters or one of the seasonal pasta dishes made with fresh pasta.   SWINOMISH SPORTS BAR & GRILL American

12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes, 888.288.8883, Located along the waterfront of Anacortes, this is not your run-of-the-mill sports bar. While you can go the more classic bar-food route, this restaurant offers Italian, barbeque, seafood, Southern, among many other cuisine styles. Find the latest lines, watch the race, or grab a beer and grub as you watch every play, pass, and score.

TAQUERIA LA BAMBA Mexican 2222 Riverside Dr., Ste. 850, Mount Vernon 360.424.0824 Off the road and inside a small plaza sits a little gem — a family-run, low-key Mexican restaurant. Taqueria La Bamba offers authentic taco truck food in a sit-down restaurant. The salsas are spicy, full of flavor, and made inhouse. If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food at a low price, eat here and you won’t be disappointed.   THIRD STREET CAFE Pacific Northwest 309 S. 3rd St., Mount Vernon 360.542.5022, Third Street Cafe stands out from the many other restaurants serving locally procured, organic dishes. The menu offers a range of dishes from simple to fancier options. Burgers and fried oysters are listed alongside pork belly lollipops and roasted beet salad.   THE UNION TAVERN — LOCAL 902 American 902 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.873.8245, Patrons can get the perfect-size dish in a flavor profile to satisfy any craving. With plenty of beers on rotation, there’s the basics plus a surprise or two. Cocktails are another highlight — you won’t find Red Bull vodkas or overly sweetened Mai Tais here. The staff uses fresh juice, quality spirits, and house-made sours and grenadine. Staffers are encouraged to create their own cocktails, and the tastiest concoctions get a place on the menu.   VAGABOND STATION Southern 2120 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.421.4227, Vagabond Station is known for its mostly Southern-style menu with a few curveballs. Dig into a prime rib sandwich, a meat-lover’s dream that is difficult to find in this day of well-done meat. Try a bowl of Vagabond Chili, the Santa Fe cornbread, or a wiscuit — biscuit dough cooked in a waffle maker. Of course, there’s crispy fried chicken and waffles, and their signature sandwich, the Yard Bird: chicken, cheddar cheese, and gravy piled onto a fresh, fluffy biscuit.

SAN JUAN CAPTAIN WHIDBEY INN American 2072 Captain Whidbey Inn Rd., Coupeville 360.678.4097, The entire menu features down-to-earth items that are reasonably priced, locally sourced, and


well-balanced. While the inn does serve as a special-occasion spot, folks dressed in shorts and a T-shirt are also welcomed. Built in 1907, Captain Whidbey Inn is a historical gem.   DOE BAY CAFÉ American 107 Doe Bay Rd., Olga 360.376.8059, Whether you’re heading toward the San Juan Islands or don’t mind taking a trip for an unbelievable meal, be sure to make reservations at the ever-popular Doe Bay Café. Owners Joe and Maureen Brotherton have stuck to their mission of providing world-class seafood and vegetarian dishes.   PRIMA BISTRO French 201 1/2 First St., Langley 360.221.4060, A quintessential South Whidbey dining ­experience in the heart of Langley, Prima Bistro marries gourmet French cuisine and classic Northwest ingredients. The selection of red and white wines offers options for connoisseurs of every stripe, along with a full bar. For fabulous food, elegant ambience, and world-class views, be sure to visit Prima on your next visit to Whidbey Island.   SALTY FOX COFFEE American 85 Front St., Friday Harbor 360.622.2486, When owner Andrea Hampton put together her coffee shop’s food menu, she worked hard to create items that were easy to make, but still healthy and satisfying. She wanted to be able to serve ferry riders on a time schedule, along with locals who come in for breakfast or lunch. Guests can take anything to go, including sealed wine and beer, much of which is locally made on the island.   VINNY’S RISTORANTE Seafood 165 West St., Friday Harbor 360.378.1934, Ciao! Vinny’s welcomes diners to their Friday Harbor Ristorante, mirroring the feel of this warm Italian restaurant. Dishes change monthly and reflect the desire to serve simple, gourmet Pacific Northwest seafood and modern comfort Italian. As well as a good selection of pastas, Vinny’s has seafood and meat entrees, many of them traditional favorites. The cocktail list includes the classics, along with some fun offerings.



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Notes  Lasting Image

The Great Blue Herons at the Post Point Estuary in Fairhaven provide great visual entertainment for the whole family. This image, which I was fortunate enough to capture, is a prime example of a Great Blue Heron flying in with nest building material.

Photo by Lou Nicksic.


North Sound photographers, we want to see what you’ve got. We’re looking for locally generated photographs for our Lasting Image feature. We’re seeking local nature photographs — ones that freeze a moment, tell a story, evoke an emotion. We’ll run your photo, along with your name, where you’re from, where the photo was shot, and a short 40-word write-up about the photo (inspiration for it, how you got it, meaning behind it, etc.). The photo must be high resolution (300 dpi) with no watermarks. Send to Then sit back and enjoy the view.


Your GaminG Destination!




Cape Flattery



Shi Shi Beach

La Push






Whatcom Falls Park






Salt Creek

Marymere Falls






Sol Duc Falls

Ediz Hook



Dungeness Bay


Hoh Rainforest

Kalaloch Beach

Olympic National Forest


Snoqualmie Falls

TACOMA Ocean Shores



Gifford Pinchot National Forest

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