Bellingham Alive | July/August | 2020

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Olympic Dreams on Hold

Pros to Know

Gardening Q & A

A classic example of addition by subtraction. How do you make a Porsche 911 even more iconic? Make it a cabriolet. One with 443 horsepower. A sleek design that updates yet stays true to its classic profile. Top it all off with a fully automatic roof that opens up in twelve seconds, and you have undeniable proof that sometimes less is indeed much, much more.

Experience the new 911 Carrera S Cabriolet.

Porsche Bellingham 2200 Iowa Street Bellingham, WA 98229 Tel: (360) 734-5230 Š2020 Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Porsche recommends seat belt usage and observance of traffic laws at all times. European model shown. Some options may not be available in the U.S.



r e B e l l I o n

R I S E™

N O I R™















All your favorite slots and 16 table games. Non-smoking gaming expanded 200%







Luxurious hotel rooms & suites Rates starting at $149


Award-winning dining with multiple restaurants and bars to choose from


Experience championship golf year round at Loomis Trail

SILVERREEFCASINO.COM I-5 · EXIT 260 Management reserves all rights.


RELIABLE. AFFORDABLE. NATURAL GAS. At the heart of our region’s progress on clean energy is reliable, affordable natural gas, and renewable natural gas. It’s here for you when you need it most—helping you cook for your family, heat your home, reduce emissions, and provide the foundation to expand wind, solar, and tomorrow’s new solutions. Farmers, workers, and businesses—across the Pacific Northwest— are working together to support you and your family.


Summer Fun Bucket List After a rough few months, what better way to take stock of your goals than with a bucket list? To help you dream about the summer and seasons beyond, we’ve compiled a list of destinations, DIY projects, and fitness pursuits to help you build your own to-do list. We’ve also added a section on Bellingham Basics, so even if you can’t travel far or make big changes this summer, you can at least check off a few boxes in your neighborhood. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that you never know what’s around the corner. We hope these pages will inspire you to get going on your dreams before it’s too late.




Community  Olympic Dreams on Hold


Savvy Shopper Backcountry Essentials


Apps We Love


Community From Accident to Author


Special Advertising Shop Local Guide


Gardener Q & A


Special Advertising Pros to Know


83 Recipe Blueberry Cantaloupe Panzanella


Photos: Photographing Herons by Lou Nicksic, Cascadia Jewelry by Megan Johnson, Coasters by Samantha Hale, Nude Beverages courtesy of Nude Hard Seltzer

Local Find  Cascadia Jewelry


Spotlight  Lou Nicksic 22

Game Changer Dominic’s Closet


Book Notes Reviews & Podcasts


Who Knew? Fourth of July


Heard Around the Sound Giant Hornets Arrive


Necessities Sunglasses


Summer Fun Bucket List



Five Faves  State Parks


Fashion Q & A How to Shop Vintage


Beauty Your Skin and Stress

Review 122 West Brewing Co.


Dining Guide


Local Eats Electric Beet Juice Co.


Mixing Tin Katie’s Killer Mimosa


8 Great Tastes


Sip  Wine Tasting Party


Farm Stands


Sip  Nude Beverages

Favorite Beaches Wellbeing Community Acupuncture


Featured Home Studio Getaway

Telegraph Townhomes


Spotlight Harmony Fields


DIY  Coasters


Publisher’s Letter




Letters to the Editor


Local Find Tracys Furniture


Necessities Picnic On


Meet the Team Devan Ballard


Remodel  Modern Ranch


Lasting Image

July/August 2020 5

Notes  What’s Online

Online Exclusive


~The Bob Ross Challenge~ Watching Bob Ross is always mesmerizing. Whether he’s creating a happy little pine tree or a peaceful little lake, he always leaves you wondering how he did that so well, and so fast. Well, now might be the time to try and keep up. ..


Written by Julia Furukawa @xoxogossipjulia

When most people hear the word Jeopardy, they think of the trivia game show hosted by Alex Trebek. However, on Western Washington University’s campus, there is a different meaning behind the word. First published in 1965, the student-run literary magazine published works of fiction and nonfiction from authors around the country. That was until 2003, when Jeopardy changed its policy to only accept work from Western students. To read the full story, visit

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or interested in trying for the first time, there’s never been a better time for yoga. First, check with local studios — most are offering online classes so you can maintain your practice while supporting local business.

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!



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

You can also find tons of YouTube videos made by qualified instructors to help you reconnect and decompress during this stressful time. Yoga with Adriene is a good place to start, but there are tons of options whether you’re looking for a basic stretch or a core-strengthening workout. Written by Julia Furukawa @xoxogossipjulia

Notes  Publisher’s Letter

A Letter From the Publisher



around the globe. As I write this letter, I can’t help feel a bit anxious and yet hopeful at the same time. So many lives and families have been affected over the past few months and tensions run high. We are at a turning point in history on so many levels, and I truly hope this time of change makes an ongoing difference. I hope that we as a society practice what we preach, so to speak, and live each day with the same passion and compassion shown during these protests. We cannot let the color of our skin dictate who succeeds or fails, and we all share a responsibility to continue on a path toward justice. We here at Bellingham Alive are against any form of discrimination and promote equality for all. In every issue, we bring you local business and personality profiles that reflect the vibrant community around us. Now, more than ever, as we are opening up our communities, it is vital we support our local retailers, restaurants, and businesses. Their livelihoods depend on it as does the quality and diversity of products and culinary experiences offered here in Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan Counties. As we support our local businesses, please continue to be safe. It is easy to become complacent and forget that COVID-19 is still among us. So, keep your distance and wear a mask, if not for yourself then for others. July 1 marks the launch of our 11th annual Best of the Northwest contest in which you, our readers, vote for your favorite local businesses. Now is your time to support those businesses you hold close and dear. Go to and vote until August 5. Remember you must fill in at least 10 categories for your vote to count, and you can only vote once per contest cycle. All duplicate IP addressed are deleted. Thank you for your continued support. If you don’t already subscribe, please consider it. You are why we produce this magazine and put so much heart and soul into every page. Be well, and stay safe,

Lisa Karlberg President | Publisher



SEMIAHMOO One of the Nicest Neighborhoods in the Northwest.

9000 Snowy Owl Ln. | $1,160,000 3 Bed | 2.5 Baths | 3,840 sqft. MLS: 1599031

The epitome of Northwest construction, this single-story craftsman was designed with function, relaxation, & enjoyment in mind. Spacious master bed and bath, covered outdoor space with enhanced fireplace feature, and a gated breezeway that provides private entry to professional office space. Cost to replace truly exceeds the list price! A truly once in lifetime home!

9121 Pintail Lp. | $700,000 | MLS: 1579146 4 Bed | 2.5 Baths | 3,250 sqft.

5440 Wood Duck Lp. | $840,000 | MLS: 1599646 3 Bed | 2.5 Baths | 2,960 sqft.

Nestled across from Drayton Pond, high ceilings and large windows provide the framing for picturesque views at all hours of the day. Main-floor master with 3 bedrooms and spacious loft upstairs. Covered front porch, 3-car garage, and a backyard you’d only find in a magazine!

Classic craftsman with peek-a-boo water views! Main floor living with ample custom features. Covered sun-room provides a special touch, bringing the outside in. 3-car garage with 3rd bay wired for 220 volts, making for perfect shop space!


Whatcom County...Even when it rains, I shine! Managing Broker 360-815-4718

Vancouver Blaine | Semiahmoo


July/August 2020 9

Notes  Contributors Laura Boynton Laura Boynton has called Bellingham home for over 30 years and enjoys daily outdoor play: hiking, cycling, kayaking. In addition to teaching fourth grade full time (herding cats), she dabbles in assemblage art, freelance writing, and performing solo car concerts. When medication failed to alleviate chronic pain caused by nerve damage, she turned to acupuncture and was rewarded with many good days prior to and following spine surgery.  p. 28

Tanna Edler

Spacious Suites Bus trips to appointments

Complimentary lunch & tour

Tanna Edler, principal of Tanna By Design, is the only interior designer in Yakima and the state of Washington to have won an Interior Design Society’s Designer of the Year award for five consecutive years. She is also the first in the Pacific Northwest to have received the coveted Impact Award for charitable interior design contributions in her community. Her notable skill in conceptual design development has earned her a well-respected reputation across the nation and her work has been recognized during numerous Tour of Home venues.  p. 64

Robin Haglund

24 Hour staffing

Robin Haglund is the founder of Garden Mentors®, which empowers people to cultivate a beautiful and resilient relationship with nature. Robin is an award-winning designer, an avid herbalist, an engaging speaker, and a down-toearth instructor. Her popular teachings are rich with information from her lifetime growing in rural and urban gardens, her adventures with plants, pets, and wildlife, and her decades of coaching gardeners in their personal garden spaces. Find her at  p. 65

Great food

Blake Vanfield

Voted Best Retirement Facility

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


Blake Vanfield is the marketing lead for Genuine Skagit Valley, a program to heighten consumer connection to the agriculture of the Skagit Valley. Her 12 years in the farm and food industry include running a cooking school and farm tour company, starting a farmers market, and consulting for food+farm establishments. Blake resides in Edison, WA, living dangerously close to Breadfarm. She can be found gardening, chasing her toddler, or dreaming of that ever-elusive siesta.  p. 83


New Memories TOGETHER! • On I-5 at Exit 236

The Skagit Casino Resort welcomes you back to the “bettor” place! We’ve been working hard to implement policies and procedures to make our Guests and Employees feel safe at The Skagit, including: • Non-Smoking policy in the casino • Self provided masks mandantory for entry • Temperature readings will be taken • Reduced capacity to encourage social distancing guidelines • Reduced hours to ensure property-wide deep cleaning each night

We hope you will join us soon!


PUBLICATIONS Bellingham Alive NSL Guestbook Couture Weddings MENU Seattle


ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Devan Ballard | Kristy Gessner Mia Sperandeo



CONTRIBUTORS Laura Boynton | Sarah Dunbar Tanna Edler | Jessica Gigot Amy Anderson Guerra | Robin Haglund Samantha Hale | Dan Radil | Lizz Roberts Annika Sampson | Tianna Tsitsis Blake Vanfield

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Julia Berkman | Esther Chong Julia Furukawa | Jack Taylor Mysti Willmon



Your trusted local credit union for over 80 years. Banking with WECU is banking in your best interest.

Jenn Miranda

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



12 360.483.4576 x4

Letters to the Editor Notes

Love the Bellingham Alive magazine! Now with a bit more time on our hands, I am enjoying taking it all in at home in Bellingham.

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

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

— Sallie D., Bellingham Thank you Bellingham Alive for continuing to promote local businesses. Follow this wonderful publication to stay updated on all the local happenings!  — Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse, Bellingham

Thank you for calling out our local heroes in your recent issue. It is important as a community we highlight and celebrate those who are going above and beyond. Keep up the great work!  — Jessie T., Lynden The issue with Lakeside Living offered up the best profiles of these areas I have seen. Amy Guerra and Julia Furukawa did an exceptional job of showcasing and offering up recreational opportunities and amenities unique to each. I continue to be a fan.  — Heidi H., Bellingham




Voted BEST PLACE TO BUY FURNITURE 5 years in a row As the largest furniture store in Northwest Washington, we offer the best brands at the best prices. Ready to add some flare to your home? Ask about our in-home design service, complimentary with qualifying purchase. Find out why Samuel’s Furniture has been voted Best Furniture Store 5 Years in a row! 1904 MAIN ST. FERNDALE, WA 98248 • 360.384.3388 SAMUELSFURNITURE.COM

July/August 2020 13

Notes  Meet the Team

Devan Ballard What is your role at the magazine and how long have you been with K & L Media?

We are here. We are ready.

Welcome back. Your health is essential. This includes medical visits for check-ups, routine care, screenings and emergencies. We have increased our already strict safety and cleanliness standards and our team is ready to provide safe, expert care for you. Welcome back.


I am an advertising account executive sidelining as a part-time editor. I started working for K&L Media last summer, helping local businesses advertise in North Sound Life Guestbook. I took on a full-time role at the company in January.

What is your background? I come from a very small secluded town on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I studied journalism and photography in Chicago before I got my creative writing degree from the University of Colorado. I moved to Bellingham about two and a half years ago, and I am so glad I did.

What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine? I love the people I work with, and having the opportunity to go out into the community and meet so many great people. I love the sense of community out here, and it is fun to work for a company that so many people know and admire.

What are some of your hobbies? I love being outdoors and exploring this beautiful area of the world. Hiking with my two dogs, Monet and Otis, and just spending time in nature is what I do the most when I am not at work. I also enjoy photography, cooking, fishing, camping, swimming, riding my bike, going to concerts, and mushroom hunting.â€‰ď ´



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Olympic Dreams on Hold 18 Dominic’s Closet 22 5 Faves: Washington State Parks 30


Lou Nicksic


21 July/August 2020 17

Life  Community

Jake Riley: Olympic Dreams on Hold BY JULIA FURUKAWA

at Sehome High School in Bellingham in 2003, he was just a regular kid. He’d graduated from Fairhaven Middle School, where he’d liked playing soccer, but he was looking for something new. That’s when he started hanging out with a group of guys a year older than him. “It [was] really easy for me to just look at them and be like, ‘Oh, those are some cool guys that are fun to hang out with, I’ll just keep doing what they do,’” Riley says. Lucky for Riley, the guys he fell in with were runners. “These guys, they were committed to running every day. They were committed to running in the off-season,” Riley says. “And it wasn’t necessarily because they had any massive aspirations, it was just because they [had] fun running together.”


Sprinting Toward the Olympics It’s been 17 years since that first brush with running, and Riley hasn’t looked back. In fact, in his peak training times, he runs about 110 miles each week. Last year, he began training for a crucial race: the Chicago Marathon. His time in the marathon would determine whether he would clinch a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. The marathon was also his first big race since an Achilles tendon injury that

required many months of physical therapy and rehabilitation work. For some athletes, such an injury poses a major setback. “It probably took me six months to really get into a place where I could train on a regular schedule, and then another six months before I was able to race again,” Riley says. But Riley pushed through. Leading up to the Chicago Marathon, he had the fourth fastest time out of all the

“I’m running out of adjectives to describe just how special this is to me and how big a deal this is within the running community. I’m just so pumped.” Jake Riley

Photos courtesy of Jake Riley




Although Riley agrees with the decision to cancel the games, which attract large crowds and athletes from all over the world, the decision still feels monumental, because it is. The games have only been disrupted three other times, during the first and second World Wars, when they were cancelled altogether.

runners. But only the three fastest make the team. For Riley, making the Olympic team would be a symbol of victory and achievement — a dream come true. “This is the be-all, end-all. This is the pinnacle of the sport,” Riley says. “So if you are a runner, this is what you dream about.” After only 2 hours, 10 minutes, and 36 seconds, the race was over for Riley. He finished second, officially qualifying for the 2020 Olympics. “I’m running out of adjectives to describe just how special this is to me and how big a deal this is within the running community,” Riley says. “I’m just so pumped.”

A Dream Postponed After years of training and preparation, Riley had finally qualified for the Olympics, but then something happened that nobody could have predicted. In March 2020, with the rise of COVID-19, Riley began to hear rumblings within the running community. Despite mounting evidence that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics might be postponed, he was reluctant to give up hope. Finally, on March 24, the official announcement arrived: For the first time in history, the Olympics would be postponed. “I woke up and was on my phone and saw [the announcement], and even though I prepared myself, it was definitely a little bit of a gut punch to actually see it there in writing,” Riley says.

Property Brothers Storm8 Studios

Although Riley agrees with the decision to cancel the games, which attract large crowds and athletes from all over the world, the decision still feels monumental, because it is. The games have only been disrupted three other times, during the first and second World Wars, when they were cancelled altogether. This is the first time the games have ever been “postponed.” As of now, the games are set to happen in 2021, barring further disruption due to COVID-19. For Riley, that means his training will continue. He currently runs seven days a week and trains with his coach Lee Troop, an Australian Olympic marathoner. When the games do finally come around, Riley will be ready and proud to compete. “Winning the Olympics? That’s probably a goal that’s a little bit too big to put on my goal sheet,” Riley says. “[For me it’s about] the experience, and performing well, and representing the U.S. well.” Riley is currently a masters student at the University of Colorado studying mechanical engineering. When he’s not training or studying, he’s working as an ACT and SAT tutor for high schoolers. His favorite place to run in Bellingham is on the Lake Padden horse trails up toward Galbraith Mountain. While he doesn’t think he’ll return to Whatcom County in the near future, Riley says he’ll always consider Bellingham, the place where he fell in love with running, home. 

If you’re an HGTV lover, you’re sure to have heard of these famous brothers. Channel your inner renovator and interior designer in this free game, which might feel like a mixture of Homescapes and Candy Crush. As you conquer levels, you earn coins to help complete a home renovation. Find inspired designs for your own home, or just enjoy some mindless fun.

Home — Design & Decor Shopping Wish Inc. What’s the best part of moving into a new space? Decorating, obviously. This app is like Pinterest, only exclusively for home items. Find the perfect addition to your living space at seriously discounted rates — all in one place. From a handy dandy vegetable slicer to a sequin throw pillow, you’ll find what you need no matter your style.

Be My Eyes Be My Eyes You can now help others from the ease of your smartphone. This app allows users to “be the eyes” for people with different levels of blindness. If you have some time to spare, connect with locals in your area by answering the call of someone in need of assistance. Volunteers help with simple tasks like reading labels or matching clothes.

Boating HD Marine & Lakes Navionics Srl The weather’s finally getting warmer and it’s time to hit the water. This app provides a detailed guide and nautical charts to lakes and other bodies of water. Complete with tide monitoring, weather monitoring, and dock-to-dock autorouting, this app will come in handy whether you’re sailing, fishing, or diving. ANELYSE MORRIS

July/August 2020 19

Life  Community

From Accident to Author Local writer pens book about his traumatic brain injury BY JULIA BERKMAN

his Honda when he was rear-ended by a much larger vehicle. Although his car was nothing more than a crumpled heap of metal, Dwyer managed to escape the accident mostly unscathed. Or so he thought. In the following weeks, Dwyer began to develop strange symptoms — migraines, light sensitivity, and an inability to focus. The turning point came when he went to visit an aunt who was recently diagnosed with cancer. As he hugged her goodbye, worried about her health, he realized he wanted to cry, but couldn’t. “The brain has so much nuance involved in all the little spots, that whichever one you injure, you’re gonna have different things go wacky on you,” Dwyer says. He describes his brain injury as the result of his brain rattling around in his skull during the accident, pushing and pulling and bruising certain centers of his brain that control things like smell, sight, and thought. “After five years, I still can’t cry and I can’t smell,” Dwyer says. Although his recovery has made great strides in the years since his accident, Dwyer still has trouble reading books. As a writer, this is especially tragic. However, Dwyer is a man of many outlets, one of them being his position as a Spanish instructor at Western Washington University. “Waiting and waiting to get well enough to teach was probably the most painful part,” Dwyer says. Luckily, he was able to return to teaching after only a few quarters of leave, thanks to his fantastic support system and some help from the grad students in the brain therapy clinic on campus. “It took me doing a lot of climbing back towards normal,” Dwyer says.

“The brain has so much nuance involved in all the little spots, that whichever one you injure, you’re gonna have different things go wacky on you.” Seán Dwyer


You can read more about Dwyer’s journey in his book “A Quest for Tears: Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury,” published last fall and available online and in local bookstores. Below is an excerpt.

Impact January 29, 2015 3:42pm I’m driving from Fairhaven, on the south side of Bellingham, Washington, toward downtown. My route takes me up a twolane road that hugs a condo-topped bluff on my right and overlooks a steep drop to Bellingham Bay on the left. To my right, ground cover, green even in January, holds the earth in place. To my left, the expanse of the Bay, dotted with a variety of watercraft, sparkles in the waning sunlight. Northbound, I have the sun at my back, low in the sky, not bothersome in my rearview mirror. On this stretch of road, named the Boulevard, I drive through an empty pedestrian crosswalk. I round a curve and approach a Crosswalk Ahead sign, which alerts me to a second crosswalk, its sign shrouded in shrubbery. Standing at the right side of the road are two college-age men who are waiting to cross. A glance in the rearview mirror tells me no one is on my tail, so I slow and stop. One of the men nods his thanks and steps into the crosswalk. He focuses on something behind me, and his eyes widen. He pushes his friend away from the road and leaps back onto the sidewalk. My gut does a flip. I prepare for a possible impact. It won’t help to watch the mirror. I put the stick in neutral and nestle into my seat, trying to relax to lessen any injury if I get bumped. I don’t have time to put my car back in gear and race forward. A thought flashes through my mind: I may lose my Honda Civic’s third bumper in twelve years. I listen for the screech of tires; I spend five long seconds praying the driver behind me will stop. 

Headshot of Sean Dwyer by Maureen Kane


N JANUARY 2015, Seán Dwyer was driving home in

Spotlight Life

Lou Nicksic Capturing the Beauty of Bellingham’s Great Blue Herons BY JULIA BERKMAN

Photos by Lou Nicksic



way it takes flight and soars above the water. Local photographer Lou Nicksic is certainly captivated by it. He’s been shooting nature photos since 2010, when he finally bit the bullet and bought professional equipment. “We are truly blessed to have such a huge variety of wildlife that seasonally migrates through our area, and to be able to photograph the mountains, forests, and islands completes the whole nature-package,” Nicksic says. One of Nicksic’s favorite subjects, the great blue heron, has been at the center of several land development squabbles in recent years. Their local nesting area, Post Point Lagoon, rests on the border of an undeveloped section of land just south of downtown Fairhaven. It is one of only seven pocket estuaries that remain in Bellingham Bay. The heron colony arrived at Post Point in 2000, after being displaced from a nesting area along Chuckanut Drive. Since then, their new rookery has been threatened by luxury housing plans. According to the City of Bellingham, the Post Point colony is among the 73% of colonies in the Pacific Northwest that depends on access to plants often killed by development. Despite threats, the herons have persisted, doubling their nests over the past two decades and raising more than a thousand hatchlings. This is partially thanks to the city, which has committed itself to protecting, restoring, and monitoring the habitat since 2004. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife also designated great blue herons as a priority species, which grants them special protections. For those wanting to experience the birds firsthand, the herons typically arrive at Post Point in February and remain through the summer. A boardwalk with a viewing bench offers a peaceful place to watch the birds as they tend to their nests or set off to forage. “Photographing the herons as they float in and land in the tide-flats create so many unique stillframe postures,” Nicksic says. Whether capturing photos of the birds building their nests or teaching their hatchlings to fish, Nicksic is just one of many who find inspiration in the life cycles of these resilient birds.  July/August 2020 21

Life  Game Changer

Dominic’s Closet Recycling medical supplies for those who need them most BY JULIA BERKMAN

Jennifer and her son, Dominic


Photos by Lesley Keefer, Focus Photography


FTER THE DEATH OF HER SON, Dominic, in 2015, Jennifer Schouten was left with a surplus of Dominic’s unused medical supplies, from colostomy bags to PICC lines and medical dressings. Among the community of people with special needs, she knew some of these supplies were as valuable as gold. “Despite having really good insurance, we would have a really hard time getting what he needed,” Schouten says. “For example, the gastric bags need to be changed every 24 hours, while insurance covered one for a month.” When Schouten created a Facebook post about the surplus, requests for the equipment started pouring in. Before long, these requests began to overload her personal Facebook page. Realizing there was a demand that needed to be filled, Shouten, along with help from family and an arsenal of volunteers, created Dominic’s Closet, a nonprofit charity named for the place where she stored her son’s supplies. Dominic’s Closet donates free medical supplies to those in need, regardless of income or insurance. Immediately, the demand was almost overwhelming. “In just two and a half weeks, we shipped over 60 boxes of supplies to people all over the world,” Schouten says. She feels it’s a way to keep her son’s spirit alive. Dominic’s Closet is one of the first medical supply recycling centers in the country. Everything they send out from their facility in Fairhaven is sealed and within expiration date. “It’s shipped free of charge and it’s given free of charge because we remember how hard it was to get what you need when you’re giving that level of care,” Schouten says. Due to the impact of COVID-19, Schouten has more orders than ever, but fewer volunteers. For those who’d like to help, Dominic’s Closet accepts donations of unused medical supplies or gently used medical equipment. They also accept monetary donations. Those who wish to donate can send a check to 2950 Newmarket Way, Ste. 101-300, Bellingham, WA 98226, made out to Dominic’s Closet. Medical supplies can be mailed to this address as well. 

Book Notes Life

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity

Book Reviews

Pods We Love




How Did This Get Made?

I was ready to dive into Broom’s book, which recounts the author’s childhood there. I was eager to read about my hometown and gain a better understanding of the black experience there, considering how segregated we were when I was growing up. But I was unprepared for my reaction to Broom’s writing. I felt I was reliving my childhood; the accents, the phrasing, and the pervasive sense of fatalism in her words had me putting the book down every now and then to catch my breath. By simply recounting her life, in all its amazing details, Broom’s memoir becomes a commentary on racism, systemic poverty, greed, and the power of a hurricane to uncover the truth for all to see. This National Book Award winner is both intense and rewarding, and will stay on my recommended list for a long time.

Are you ready for side-splitting humor combined with in-depth analysis of a movie? If so, then “How Did This Get Made?” is the podcast for you. Hosted by Paul Scheer of “The League” along with Jason Mantzoukas of “Parks and Recreation,” this podcast examines movies with some of the worst critical and audience receptions. They break down what made the movie terrible, confusing, or both, in front of a live studio audience. At about an hour each, this podcast will have you laughing out loud while you’re cooking or doing chores around the house.

AFTER MANY YEARS of exploring the lives of girls and women, the #MeToo movement gave Orenstein a reason to “engage young men in authentic, long-overdue conversations about gender and intimacy.” In “Boys & Sex,” Orenstein shares her research and conversations with more than 100 men ages 16–22. As the youngest child and only girl in my family, I’m reminded of how it felt to hear how my brothers talked when our parents weren’t around. Orenstein writes a full and frank book filled with topics that parents and families can (and should) discuss with their sons and daughters — and perhaps with their book groups. Orenstein’s book is the newest on the topic of masculinity, following 2019 titles such as “For the Love of Men: A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity” by Liz Plank and “Boys Will Be Boys: Power, Patriarchy and Toxic Masculinity” by Clementine Ford.

The Shrink Next Door This suspenseful series from Bloomberg Media and Wondery breaks down a shocking story of manipulation and deceit with veteran journalist Joe Nocera. The story, which involves a therapist who managed to take complete power over one of his patients, highlights how humans can be simultaneously gullible and abusive and begs the question: “What would you do?”

by Peggy Orenstein

Who Knew? Fourth of July There weren’t any signatures in July It may be a surprise to some, but the Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed in July. The document was formally approved on July 2, and approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The actual signing took place in September.

Salmon on the Fourth? In New England, many people celebrate the Fourth of July by eating salmon and peas. What started as a coincidence — in July, peas were ready to pick just as the salmon were running  — has grown into a tradition present at barbecues all over the East Coast.

Fireworks! Each Fourth of July, there are more than 14,000 firework celebrations in the U.S. alone. What many don’t know is that these displays come with a hefty price tag. Small towns can spend up to $15,000, while larger cities can shell out millions.

Relishing the good times I mustard you a question. Do you like hot dogs? Because a bun of people do! Around 150 million hot dogs are eaten by Americans every Fourth of July. That’s enough franks to stretch from coast to coast five times. MYSTI WILLMON

July/August 2020 23

Life  Heard Around the Sound

The Buzz Around Town Asian giant hornets arrive in Whatcom County


HE PAST FEW DECADES HAVE BEEN HARD FOR BEES, with climate change, pollution, habitat loss, and

colony collapse disorder threatening their numbers and, as a result, the agricultural industry as a whole. Now, beekeepers have yet another problem to worry about: Asian giant hornets, also known, endearingly enough, as “murder hornets.” Native to eastern and southeastern Asia, the hornets first appeared near Blaine in late 2019. Although nobody knows how the hornets arrived in the states, invasive insects occasionally cross the sea on imported cargo. According to Ruthie Danielsen, a beekeeper with the Mt. Baker Beekeepers Association, the Asian giant hornet poses a huge threat to honey bees and wasps. The hornets eat bees and wasps for protein, and can wipe out an entire hive in a matter of hours. They also pose a threat to humans. Although the hornets don’t typically target people or pets, they will attack if threatened. “They do not lose their stinger when they sting you and they sting you multiple times,” Danielsen says. Should you get stung, the effects are much more severe than a regular bee sting, since the venom is more toxic.

What’s Your Favorite Beach and Why? 24

Danielsen recommends going to an emergency room if you get stung. As for what the general public can do to help combat the hornets, the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s website has instructions for how to create a bottle trap using household supplies. The department emphasizes that trapping hornets requires a commitment, as trappers must report their trap, monitor it, and send in any specimens. It may also put the trapper at risk of getting stung. Danielsen also warns people to familiarize themselves with what an Asian giant hornet looks like before trapping any insects. She worries people will mistake innocent honey bees for the deadly hornets. “The biggest thing that worries me is that beneficial insects will get killed, because people won’t recognize what a really large bumblebee is,” Danielsen says. With more people informed, though, Danielsen believes there is hope to stop the hornets from establishing themselves. “We do have a chance if we get enough people looking, enough traps up, [and] if we make a concerted effort to find their nests, then we have a chance,” Danielsen says. 

Jenn B., Bellingham I love the spit at Semiahmoo. You can always see beautiful expansive views, at least one or two eagles soaring, and they allow small fires.

Becca P., Bellingham Teddy Bear Cove at midnight in the summer, when there’s bioluminescence! It’s the perfect place to drink wine with friends.

Photos courtesy of Washington State Department of Agriculture


Building an Affordable Future: Telegraph Townhomes BY JULIA FURUKAWA


N 2018, Kulshan Community

Land Trust and Habitat For Humanity broke ground on a project that will change the lives of low and middle-income families in Bellingham. The Telegraph Townhomes, 54 affordable and energy-efficient homes on Telegraph Road, have been under construction since then. Executive director of the Land Trust, Dean Fearing, has high hopes for their potential. “The intent of our program is to keep these homes permanently affordable for the people who work and want to live in our communities,” Fearing says. “And that’s important just because of how tight the housing market is right now.” According to a 2018 study conducted by the Runstad Department of Real Estate at the University of Washington, Whatcom County had an astonishingly low 0.22% vacancy rate for apartments, and Census data shows a 2.59% vacancy rate for all rentals. These are drastically lower than what’s considered a “healthy” vacancy rate of about 6–7%. This means many Whatcom County residents, especially lower-income residents, often struggle to find housing, and it’s particularly difficult for them to become homeowners. Fearing explains that homeownership is important because it encourages people who work in Bellingham to remain in Bellingham. He hopes Telegraph Townhomes will help folks who might otherwise have to

jump around the county, moving from rental to rental, to secure a permanent place to grow and live. Mortgages will range from $175,000 to as little as $100,000. Some residents will be able to pay as little as $350 a month. “We’re creating stability that comes with homeownership so people put down roots in their community,” Fearing says. The homes are available to people who make 80% or less of the median income in the Bellingham area, which for a family of four is about $55,000. And there’s already a waitlist, which operates on a first-come, first-served basis, for hopeful owners. For Fearing, this project is just the start of the Land Trust’s work. “Any time we can find opportunities to work together as a community to tackle [housing issues] will be hugely important to start making a dent in the local housing crisis...” Fearing says. “We live in a county where people are spending way too much of their income on housing-related expenses and so we’ve got to work together to tackle that and really develop some solutions.” 

Whatcom County had an astonishingly low 0.22% vacancy rate for apartments, and Census data shows a 2.59% vacancy rate for all rentals. These are drastically lower than what’s considered a “healthy” vacancy rate of about 6–7%.

Elias O., Bellingham Neptune Beach, because it’s a hidden gem with lots of little treasures. There’s lots of driftwood to make forts and also a short whimsical marshland trail right off the beach with a wooden Loch Ness Monster floating in the marsh.

The Kenoyers sell twice as many homes over $800,000 than their next closest competitor.



Pamper FOROTE US! yourself 2020 today! BEST OF THE NORTH WEST

360.899.5105 1400 RIVERSIDE DR A. MT. VERNON, WA 98273 HOURS: TUES-FRIDAY 10-6PM SAT-MON 10-4PM

July/August 2020 25

Life  Special Advertising

PeaceHealth Helps Navigate Healthcare in the Era of COVID-19 BY MATT BENOIT FOR PEACEHEALTH


All healthcare providers and patients are asked to wear masks to in-person appointments


Telemedicine, which utilizes videoconferencing calls, is now being used for around 15 percent of all medical appointments by Bellingham-based PeaceHealth providers.

symptoms or concerns, and for those who may have contacted it. In facilities with less than two waiting rooms, anyone with a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms will quickly be taken to a private exam room, ensuring they are confined from others. “We’ve worked very hard to decrease the time that anybody would spend in a waiting room,” Bochsler says. “We’ve separated those rooms so that we do not have patients who are sick waiting in a waiting room in our public buildings.” Public areas are also being cleaned and wiped down more frequently, and extra hand sanitizer stations have been set-up. Refills are, as one might imagine, occurring a bit more frequently than normal. “We feel like we’ve done a very good job of making our clinic spaces as low-risk as possible,” says Bochsler. Finally, it’s important to remember that necessary care — especially of chronic health conditions — shouldn’t be put off because of COVID-19 concerns. “We don’t want anybody to be in the hospital unnecessarily at any time,” he says. “Especially now, during a time when COVID is in our community.” Elective surgeries and procedures — defined as any procedures that could be put off for 90 days without clinical harm to patients — are allowed, having been initially halted by Governor Jay Inslee’s statewide Stay Home order. All patients are screened for COVID-19 prior to their procedures or surgeries, ensuring safety for both medical providers and best care for the patient. For those at high-risk of complications if they contract COVID-19, Bochsler says it’s best to talk with your provider about the pros and cons of having a specific procedure done now, versus waiting several months. And whether you have questions about COVID-19 or other specific health issues, Dr. Bochsler says that contacting the providers you’ve come to trust is always a great idea. PeaceHealth is doing everything they can to ensure you continue getting the medical treatment and services you need to stay healthy during these uncertain times. 

Photos courtesy of PeaceHealth

HE CONTINUING COVID-19 PANDEMIC has brought about many changes to daily life, including at the doctor’s office. Healthcare providers at PeaceHealth facilities throughout Northwest Washington, including those in Whatcom County, are taking many steps to keep both themselves and their patients healthy. Dr Jim Bochsler, who’s worked as a pediatrician in Bellingham since 1998, is also the medical director of PeaceHealth Medical Group in the Northwest. Dr. Bochsler says that perhaps the biggest change to daily healthcare right now is the expanded use of telemedicine appointments, replacing office visits with videoconferencing. Dr. Bochsler says about 10 to 15 percent of the visits for Whatcom County PeaceHealth providers are now virtual. Feedback from providers and their patients, he adds, has been positive. “We think that, in the future, patients are going to like this enough that we’ll be moving up towards 20 percent of visits done virtually,” Bochsler says. Still, virtual visits don’t work for everyone. While some patients may struggle with operating the necessary technology, others insist on the traditional reassurance that face-to-face visits bring. And even more importantly, any visits dependent on a physical examination, measurement of vital signs like blood pressure or pulse, or certain lab tests, necessitate a patient be seen in-person. In these cases, PeaceHealth has implemented several steps to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19. This includes screeners at clinics and hospitals to conduct temperature checks and ask patients if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. They’ll also provide visitors with masks if they do not already have them. The physical layouts of clinics have also been changed, creating separate waiting areas for those without COVID-19

safe, open AND ready. Your health shouldn’t wait any longer. The care you need is safe with us. Make an appointment at

Life  Wellbeing

Acupuncture for the People Bellingham Community Acupuncture BY LAURA BOYNTON



them relaxed or even asleep despite the many needles sticking out of their skin. An eighth person moves among them on a rolling chair, whispering, listening, reaching for hand sanitizer and inserting even more needles into their ears, foreheads, hands, and ankles. This somewhat otherworldly scene is community acupuncture in action. The seven patients are being treated by Matthew Stuckey, a licensed practitioner and the owner of Bellingham Community Acupuncture. Appointments are staggered in 15-minute intervals, with each patient receiving individual consultation time and up to an hour for their treatment session.

A Community Model for Care Acupuncture — the practice of inserting thin needles into specific points on a patient’s body to stimulate their nerves — has been a mainstream practice in the U.S. since the 1970s. Often used to treat pain such as carpal tunnel, back problems, and rheumatoid arthritis, acupuncture has also been used to help ease the effects of chemotherapy. It has also been successful in treating stress, depression, withdrawal, and PTSD. Despite gaining traction in America, current data shows only six percent of the population has sought acupuncture for treatment. Consider this: patients can expect to pay between $75 and $120 out of pocket per session. If more insurance companies covered acupuncture, might a greater number of Americans explore it as a treatment option? Community acupuncture clinics such as Stuckey’s aim to put acupuncture within the financial reach of all. The community model originated in China and arrived in the U.S. in the early 2000s, when two Oregon-based practitioners sought to make acupuncture available to more people while creating a sustainable income for practitioners.

Often used to treat pain such as carpal tunnel, back problems, and rheumatoid arthritis, acupuncture has also been used to help ease the effects of chemotherapy.


As word spread about community acupuncture, the model grew in popularity along the West Coast. In 2011, POCA (if you say it aloud, you’ll get the little joke), the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture was formed. There are now more than 100 clinics working within the POCA cooperative model across the U.S.

Affordable Acupuncture, Locally The first community clinic in Bellingham was founded in 2013, by a practitioner named Ed Layton. In 2018, Layton handed his ‘pins’ to Stuckey, whose first experiences with the community model were as a patient, dealing with injuries — first from a car accident and later from snowboarding. “It’s like coming full circle. I want my work to be meaningful to a bigger cause,” Stuckey says. “I’m trying to get acupuncture to people who wouldn’t otherwise get it.” The centerpiece of Stuckey’s clinic, located on Elm Street in the Columbia neighborhood, is a spacious room lined with recliners. Each recliner is covered in a clean fleece blanket. On the day I visit, one patient looks at his phone, two have their eyes closed, and another is clearly asleep. The atmosphere is relaxing, with a sense of safety. Gentle music muffles the low murmur of conversation as Stuckey confers with patients. This is clearly not the typical Western model of patient care. For starters, treatments range from $25–$45 per session. Additionally, we didn’t sit in a waiting room for 30 minutes. We are not receiving treatment alone in a sterile room. We are not discussing our medical concerns in private. Stuckey is not ours and ours alone for the duration of our treatment. We are part of a community of people that need treatment and relief, and perhaps the community is part of the treatment, for I am struck, over and over, by the respect that patients here show one another. No one looks directly at anyone else, except to occasionally flash a quick smile of recognition. The sense of safety in the room is palpable. I ask Stuckey if the energy of the room can help the healing process. “I have heard that so many times — and I’m not woowoo, either,” he says. “We have a traumatized culture, so to be in a room with other people, instead of just one doctor, one patient... I think it just feels safer. I’m trained in trauma-informed care, and I’m trying to create an atmosphere of safety.” Stuckey notes the community model could be a model for other types of treatment, too. “The challenge of bringing medical costs down is part of a systemic problem. What

we’re doing here is taking matters in our own hands. There is no insurance, no waiting for approvals, etc.”

A Slower, More Gentle Approach

Welcome Back! we are now open 8am - 2am. we missed you!

What about the needles? Specifically needles inserted into the body — a top ten fear of most Americans. Stuckey understands and sympathizes. His technique of tapping the needles means some patients don’t even notice the moment of insertion. “Find a practitioner who’s gentle with needles,” Stuckey says. “I’m needle-phobic myself. In school I had to stick needles in myself for a long time.” (The training for a practitioner in Washington State requires a master’s degree and three board exams.) While Stuckey sees people for both physical and psychological issues, he says some patients come in without a specific concern, but rather for the overall benefits of acupuncture. “Some people don’t have an ailment, they just want to feel good; they just want a tune-up,” he says. “As a society, we’re craving slowing down. [Here] you just have to sit... how often do we do that?” Finally, I ask Stuckey the question he says he was dreading: How does acupuncture work? “There is a Western explanation and an Eastern explanation,” Stuckey says. “Acupuncture comes from a very different cultural viewpoint of the body. [It] nudges you into the parasympathetic state — rest and relax. When we’re working on emotions, we’re not working on thoughts and brains, we’re working on the body. I’m comfortable saying we don’t exactly know how it works.” Hamlet’s words pop into my head: “There are more things on Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” I believe acupuncture’s adherents, myself included, are comfortable not knowing exactly how it works. We show up, instead, for the very real benefits we’ve experienced.


2205 Elm St., 360.734.1659, 

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

July/August 2020 29

Life  5 Faves


Moran State Park For those who don’t want to travel too far, Moran State Park is just a quick ferry ride away. A portal to the Pacific Ocean, this state park on Orcas Island offers miles of road for cycling and hiking, idyllic campsites, and an unbeatable view of the San Juans from the top of Mount Constitution. 3572 Olga Rd., Olga





Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park In the warmer months, Eastern Washington gets hot and dry, and Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is the perfect way to embrace the warm weather and sunshine. Jump off tall rock formations into dazzling blue water and take a hike through a landscape that will remind you of the Wild West. 34875 Park Lake Rd. N.E., Coulee City


Millersylvania State Park Nestled on Deep Lake just eight miles south of Olympia is Millersylvania State Park, the perfect destination for swimmers, fishers, and boaters. WIth 3,300 feet of freshwater shoreline and two swimming beaches, you’ll find a spot to cool off in no time.


Historic Hospitality



12245 Tilley Rd. S., Olympia


Bottle Beach State Park Located in Grays Harbor, Bottle Beach is known for its many birds. For any birders out there: More than a million shore and seabirds come to Bottle Beach each year. With miles of coastline and open tidal flats, it’s the perfect place to relax with a long walk on the beach. 33 Ocosta





The Injury Experts

3rd St., Aberdeen


Mount Spokane State Park With more than 100 miles of trails and three mountains, Mount Spokane is a hiker’s paradise. One of the largest parks in the state, its mountains provide stunning views of northern Idaho and even Canada. N. 26107 Mount Spokane Park Dr., Mead

Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Attorney

See our many reviews on Google from clients that feel like family

Serving the Pacific Northwest Since 1996

1900 D Street Bellingham, WA | 360-714-1900 |

July/August 2020 31

Backcountry Essentials 36 Cascadia Jewelry 38 Necessities: Sunglasses 40


Photos by Sara Welch

Fashion Q&A

How to Shop Vintage

34 July/August 2020 33

Style  Fashion Q & A

How to Shop Vintage Fashion Q & A with Sarah Dunbar, vintage buyer and owner of Pretty Penny

What do you look for when you shop vintage?

What brands hold up best through the years? Anything that is true vintage from the 1930s-1960s holds up well. The tailoring and fabrics during these eras were made to last. Even now, these pieces are wearable and hold up better than most department store items.


Photos by Sara Welch

I look for fabric, fit, and wearability. Fabric is really important because it is going to determine how the fit will be. Some of my favorite fabrics are cotton, linen, silk, and rayon. Fit is important because it determines which silhouette or look you are wanting — oversized, fitted, or structured.

Beauty  Style

Are there any vintage styles making a comeback in 2020? Vintage is always copied in contemporary fashion. Stripes, polka dots, and patterns from the 1970s are being seen on the streets and in runway fashion. Today you’ll find a lot of classic day dress silhouettes, wide legged pants, and color blocking.

Are there any summer patterns or colors you’re excited about? We just got finished with a spring 2020 photoshoot and used very vibrant tangerine, mauve, yellow, and greens. I am always excited about stripes.

What do you suggest for those who’ve never shopped vintage before? Make sure you know your measurements and fabrics. We have always been able to give high quality customer service because we can measure our customers and consult about which styles best fit their body type that make them comfortable. We have a measurement guide on our website that helps translate modern sizing to inches.

What draws you to vintage clothes as opposed to buying new items? Vintage items have a higher quality and tailoring you just don’t find in most modern clothing. The fabrics last longer and are meant to be worn. Not to mention how unique the colors and prints are — I like wearing something that no one else has. I tell our customers “It will pay itself off in compliments.” New items are fast fashion and often sourced from companies that have bad environmental policies. I think if more people were educated about garment factories and conditions for their employees they might change their mind about supporting big chain stores with low quality. Pretty Penny Clothing, 2330 Elm St., Bellingham, 360.393.3212, @prettypennyclothing 

Stressed? Don’t Let Your Skin Show It BY DR. TIANNA TSITSIS



our skin is a continuous, selfrenewing organ, our largest organ in fact. The quality of our diet and our environment play a role in the health of our skin, but so does stress. Stress causes inflammation and hormonal shifts, which can result in acne outbreaks, eczema flare-ups, the overproduction of oily skin, or dehydration resulting in dry skin. Without a doubt, the past few months have been stressful. Keep calm with these simple measures for beautiful, healthy skin.

Hit refresh on your skincare routine If you’re noticing acne flare-ups or dry, flaky skin, it may be time to reevaluate the type of products you’re using. I recommend bringing in your skincare products to your skin care specialist, whomever that may be. Different seasons require different products, so it is important to revisit your provider every quarter.

Exfoliate with chemical peels or dermaplaning Regular exfoliation is an essential part of maintaining healthy, beautiful skin. Without exfoliation, dead skin cells accumulate and cause your complexion to look dry, uneven, and dull. Additionally, build-up prevents proper skincare absorption and can also contribute to breakouts. Cosmetic medical-grade peels work to exfoliate the outermost layer of the epidermis using a gentle chemical

solution to promote faster skin cell turnover. And, dermaplaning (safe for most skin types) uses a fine blade to exfoliate up to three weeks of dead skin cells and unwanted peach fuzz. Both treatments reveal a brighter, smoother complexion, allowing for better penetration of skincare products.

Take more drastic measures with laser treatments A MicroLaserPeel treatment removes the superficial layers of skin, treating age spots, fine lines, acne marks, and more. It provides immediate, lasting results with minimal discomfort. The Halo Pro hybrid fractional laser is also a great option, as it can be adjusted for light or intense facial rejuvenation, treating melasma, hyper-pigmentation, sun damage, fine lines, enlarged pores, and more. Both Halo Pro and the MicroLaserPeel will leave you with radiant, clear skin.

Don’t forget the basics Our skin is primarily made of water, and when we are stressed, we often forget to drink. To keep skin healthy, avoid caffeine, foods with a lot of preservatives, alcohol, and smoking, all of which contribute to wrinkles and the appearance of aged skin. To learn more about what skin treatments are right for you, contact RejuvenationMD® — Aesthetic Skin Treatment & Wellness Center by calling our Bellingham office at 360.685.8408 or our Burlington office at 360.920.2620. 

July/August 2020 35

Style  Savvy Shopper

Backcountry Essentials BY JACK TAYLOR

The Shop Located on West Holly Street in downtown Bellingham, Backcountry Essentials has provided a place to shop for outdoor gear since its doors opened in 2006. Store owner Chris Gerston believes his store serves as both a gear shop and a hub for the outdoor community. Full of gear for every season and sport, the store is lined with hiking boots and camping equipment along with everyday items like water bottles and clothes. The shop underwent renovations in 2010, at which point they also expanded into the second story. Upstairs, you’ll find a selection of gently used clothing and shoes at unbeatable price points. The store also runs an award-winning ski shop.

The Atmosphere Gerston hopes his store is a welcoming place for people of all experience levels. “First and foremost, we try to be accessible to people,” Gerston says. “We have a staff with a lot of experience and I pretty much tell them, I don’t really care how fast they ski or how hard they climb, the thing we need to do is just be nice to people.” 36

At the back of the store you’ll find a beer cooler, so customers can stock up on brews before they set off on their outdoor excursions. You’ll also find guide books, maps, and other items to aid in trip-planning. In this way, Gerston hopes his store is like a mini vacation for people, a space where they can dream about their next big getaway. “Oftentimes, people may not be able to get out for a vacation or even get out for a hike,” Gerston says. “But they will come in here for maybe a 15 minute vacation, where they just sort of dream and walk around and look at the gear.”

What You’ll Find Backcountry Essentials sells gear and clothing from the best outdoor outfitters around. You can find shoes from Chaco, Merrell, Vasque, and Altra, as well as apparel from brands like Patagonia, Columbia, Prana, and Kuhl Clothing. Climbing, hiking, and camping gear runs the gamut — you’ll find offerings from Outdoor Research, Black Diamond, MSR, and more. Along with buying skis and ski boots, in the winter you can also rent skis and mountaineering equipment like ice axes and crampons. They even offer an option for people to demo new skis for a day. “My favorite thing to do is gear testing,” Gerston says, noting he’s already excited for next year’s skis. He loves seeing new items come into the store. If you’re someone who has years of outdoors experience or is curious about Bellingham’s outdoor community, stop by Backcountry Essentials to find the right equipment as well as the right information. 214 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.543.5678, 

Photos courtesy of Backcountry Essentials

An Indoor Hub for Outdoor Enthusiasts


SHOP LOCAL 1. Tree Bowl by Ann Marie Cooper | $175 Good Earth Pottery 1000 Harris Ave., Bellingham 360.671.3998,

2. Bigelow Gulch by Cathy Schoenberg, Oil on Canvas, 42×36 | $2700 WaterWorks Gallery



315 Argyle Ave., Friday Harbor, WA 360.378.3060,

3. Barkology Baseball Cap $32.99 Bow Wow and Woofs 8115 Birch Bay Square St. #111 Blaine, WA 360.332.3647,

4. Recycled Plastic Indoor Outdoor Rugs by Mad Mats $55–$125 A Lot of Flowers



1011 Harris Ave., Bellingham 360.647.0728

5. Austrian Cotton Throws by David Fussenegger $169–$195 Current and Furbish 1115 Harris Ave., Bellingham 360.733.3224

6. Ilse Jacobsen Cheerful FlipFlops | $34 each Tides of Anacortes



804 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.873.8785,

7. Etnia Barcelona “Sena” Gold-Black Sunglasses | $280 Binyon Vision 411 E. Magnolia St., Bellingham, WA 360.647.2020,

8. Ilse Jacobsen “Tulip” Shoe in Cheetah and Leopard Prints | $75 Statement Apparel



2945 Newmarket St., Ste. 107, Bellingham 360.734.9595,

July/August 2020 37

Style  Local Find


but her idea to start a business didn’t take shape until 2017. At the time, she was living in Missoula, where she attended school. “I was a bartender at the time, and everyone kept asking where I got some of my pieces… it kind of occurred to me that there was interest in it,” she says. She began selling at farmers markets, eventually opening an Etsy shop and selling pieces on Instagram. Her business name, Cascadia Jewelry, gained new meaning in 2019, when she and her husband — both originally from Kitsap County — moved from Missoula to Mount Vernon. “We picked the Skagit Valley because it’s so close to Bellingham… but it kind of looks like Montana. I had no idea there was an awesome artist market and community here.”


Strong Materials, Classic Designs Rainey aims to create high-quality jewelry at accessible price points. “I remember going to shows in college when I was younger… and I couldn’t afford anything when I was there,” she says. “It’s important to me that self-expression, jewelry, and fashion is available to more people.” To achieve this goal, she starts with a raw sheet of base metal which she then hammers, texturizes, and shapes, finishing all ear hooks and chains with silver and gold. “I like the duality there of having a hardness and a softness developed from metal,” she says. She also treats each piece to prevent the metal from tarnishing. The result is jewelry that’s affordable, durable, and light-weight. When it comes to designs, Rainey gravitates toward feminine, classic shapes. She has a whole collection of lunar-inspired pieces, like her popular

Workshop photos by Megan Johnson, product photos by Sig Photography



“It’s important to me that selfexpression, jewelry, and fashion is available to more people.” Kira Rainey

moon drop earrings ($30-$38). Like most pieces Rainey makes, the droplet earrings are simple but versatile, making them a great gift option. Customers can choose from brass, silver, or copper in sizes small, medium, or large. “When you find these simple shapes — I’ve seen them on punk rock girls, I’ve seen them on really classic, sophisticated styles, and wild artsy styles,” she says.

Silver Linings Since moving to Mount Vernon, Rainey has been able to grow her business, working markets and events locally as well as in Seattle, Oregon, and Montana. When she’s not focused

on jewelry, she works part-time at Farmstrong Brewing. “I like doing the markets and art shows… putting a face behind what I’m doing. It’s more fun for me, you know, when people see my stuff and try it on. They get all excited and start smiling…that’s what makes it fun.” Rainey’s first market in Washington was Valley Made Market, a Skagitbased craft fair that normally takes place in Downtown Mount Vernon but shifted to online operations amid COVID-19. She also shows jewelry at Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle. “It’s really cool being new in Bellingham and Skagit Valley, because I’m starting out in a lot of these markets, and I’ve met a lot of

really cool people, and it’s starting to grow for me.” Due to COVID-19, Rainey has found herself with even more time to work on her art. “It’s funny, the silver lining for me, during COVID, is that I’m [making jewelry] full time, and it’s working right now.” You can find Cascadia Jewelry at local stores including The Lucky Dumpster in Edison, Fringe Boutique in Bellingham, and elSage Designs in Mount Vernon. For flash sales, custom pieces, and a glimpse into Rainey’s creative process, follow her on Instagram or visit 

July/August 2020 39

Style Necessities

1 2 3 4 5 40

Sunny Days and Perfect Shades

We appreciate all of our loyal patients that have been faithful and understanding during these challenging times.




special moment. When you finally find those sunnies that fit your face just right, you’ll want a pair in every color. To keep you looking cool, we found these stylish selections from local eyewear shops. Form and function come together to not only protect your peepers but also give you confidence to conquer these long summer days. 

Most of all we appreciate our Healthcare Workers. We are lucky to have a strong NWEC Team!


1 2 3 4

The Wendy in Blush by Cascadia Eyewear $150, Cascadia Eye, 2100 Little Mountain Ln., Mount Vernon

“Joey” by Tom Ford $475, Fairhaven Vision Clinic, 1207 Old Fairhaven Pkwy., Bellingham

Ah Dang! By Maui Jim $249, Binyon Vision Center, 411 E. Magnolia St., Bellingham

Sunwear Invu-122 $110, Advanced Vision Family Eye Care, 1633 Birchwood Ave., Ste. 105, Bellingham

• •


“Veronica” by Tom Ford

$445, Fairhaven Vision Clinic, 1207 Old Fairhaven Pkwy., Bellingham

July/August 2020 41




OTHING MAKES YOU DREAM about the future quite like a government-issued shelter-in-place order. I don’t know about you, but I spent most of my time in selfisolation planning what to do when the quarantine lifted, as well as noting everything I wished I would have done before the pandemic forced us to stay home. My hope is that these pages will inspire you to dream big and then make these dreams a reality. What’s a trip you’ve always wanted to take? A skill you’ve always wanted to learn? Whether it’s running a marathon or learning another language, you never know what tomorrow might bring, so get working on your bucket list today. BECKY MANDELBAUM


FUN RIDE IN A HOT AIR BALLOON Drift among the clouds, sip champagne, and soak in the views with friends and family. In our neck of the woods, Balloon Depot offers morning and evening flights seven days a week. Each spring, they’ll also fly you above Skagit Valley, so you can get a birds-eye view of the tulip fields. Further south, you can fly with Ballooning Snohomish to catch sight of Mount Rainier and the Olympic mountains.

SEARCH FOR BIGFOOT He’s out there. It’s just a matter of finding the right time, the right gear, and the right spot. If you’re really serious, go to and book a tour with The Bigfoot Adventures. Their nocturnal tour will take you to all the Bigfoot hotspots and teach you the best methods for tracking down the world’s most elusive creature. Search the woods with night vision goggles, learn the Bigfoot call, and end the night with a bonfire as your guides regale you with Sasquatch lore.

GO WHALE WATCHING We’re lucky to live in a region with such amazing wildlife. Whales are a symbol of the Pacific Northwest and you won’t want to miss seeing their beauty in person. Book a tour from Island Adventures Whale Watching, which departs from Anacortes, Everett, and Port Angeles. If you’re in Friday Harbor, San Juan Excursions will help you finally spot an orca, and maybe some seals and sea lions, too.

JOIN THE CIRCUS Did you know Bellingham has its very own circus? The Bellingham Circus Guild puts on regular performances featuring acrobats, jugglers, clowns, and magicians. If it’s not enough to watch the show, join the fun with the guild’s regular classes and workshops. Learn a range of circus skills, from handstands to hanging from a trapeze.

ADVENTURE IN AN RV For those who love to camp but are tired of sleeping on the ground, RV life may be the life for you. Who doesn’t want a mobile weekend getaway that combines the luxury of indoor plumbing and refrigeration with the solitude of nature? The staff at Camping World RV & Outdoors in Burlington or Poulsbo RV of Mount Vernon can help you find the perfect camper for your recreation needs. If you’re just looking for a temporary getaway, check out El Monte RV Rentals in Ferndale. July/August 2020 43

DIY PROJECTS BREW YOUR OWN BEER Love beer? Want to make your own? The Bellingham Homebrewers Guild can help you get started. Their informative monthly meetings are open to the public, but members enjoy additional benefits like competitions and group brews. North Corner Brewing Supply in downtown Bellingham is another great resource for novice brewers looking for equipment, camaraderie, or advice.

LEARN TO KNIT It’s never too late to learn a new hobby. Pick up some needles and get started with beginner’s classes from Northwest Yarns and Apple Yarns in Bellingham, WildFibers in Mount Vernon, or Fidalgo Artisan Yarn & Clothing in Anacortes. Learn the basics of knitting or crocheting before moving on to more advanced techniques. Before you know it, you’ll have hats, blankets, and gloves galore.

MAKE YOUR OWN JEWELRY If you’ve ever wanted to make your own bling, the Bellingham Metal Arts Guild is a great place to start. They offer a range of classes for beginners and experienced metal workers alike. Learn everything from soldering and designing lockets to making your own Christmas ornaments. They also offer courses and tools for small jewelry business owners.

TACKLE THAT REMODEL PROJECT If it’s time to finally expand your closet or build that addition you’ve always dreamed of, The RE Store can help. Not only can you find an array of used building materials at affordable prices, but The RE Store staff will also help you identify your needs and deliver items if you don’t have a truck. From lumber to cabinets to electrical supplies and more, The RE Store has it all. They’ll also remove and salvage any undesired materials from a demolition project.

BUILD YOUR OWN CHICKEN COOP Who doesn’t want fresh eggs every morning? Make farm-fresh eggs a reality with your own chickens, but first make sure they have a safe and comfortable home. You can find plenty of blueprints online, but The RE Store also offers a free guide to making your own A-frame coop with supplies you can find in-store. Before you know it, you’ll have a dozen freshly laid eggs, plus a dozen feathered friends. 44



Stehekin Pastry Company photo by Richard Uhlhorn

This remote village in the North Cascades mountains can only be accessed by foot, water, or air. Hiking in and out involves a multinight backpacking trip. For a faster, easier journey, the Lady of the Lake boat makes regular trips from Chelan. Once there, visit the historic Buckner Orchard, grab a delicious pastry from the Stehekin Pastry Company, and soak in the unparalleled views of Lake Chelan.



For a night to remember, grab your kayak and paddle out at dusk. If you don’t have your own gear, outfitters like Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures in Bellingham will help you get out onto the water. For something extra special, companies like Discovery Sea Kayaks offer a bioluminescent kayak tour on San Juan Island. Not only will you have a clear view of the night sky above, but you’ll also observe glowing bioluminescence in the water below.

Nothing screams achievement like summiting a mountain. Make your mountaineering dreams come true by reaching the top of our mighty Mount Baker. Experienced climbers can make the trek without professional support. For the rest of us, guides like those from Alpine Ascents can lead the way. For a more low-key adventure that still promises beautiful views, check out Skagit Guided Adventures.

TAKE A RIVER TOUR View the arrival of majestic bald eagles with Skagit River Eagle Tours. They also offer photography tours and fall color float trips. For a more heart-thumping adventure, sign up with Triad River Tours for a variety of white water rafting excursions on the Sauk, Skykomish, Snoqualmie, and Skagit rivers.

SPEND THE NIGHT IN A FIRE LOOKOUT What’s more scenic than waking up in a tower in the middle of the wilderness? Washington has dozens of fire lookouts, but nearby favorites include Hidden Lake Lookout, Park Butte Lookout, and Lookout Mountain Lookout. For a real leg-buster, hike your gear up to Sourdough Lookout, where the beat poet Gary Snyder once lived. Most lookouts are first-come, first-served, so make sure to go early to claim your spot. July/August 2020 45


DANCE YOUR HEART OUT Are you the one who stands on the side at weddings, hoping no one will drag you onto the dance floor? No more! Push yourself physically and creatively with dance classes and gain the confidence you need to shine at your next event. Pop into an adult class at Opus Performing Arts School downtown, or if you don’t want anyone else to see you, “YouTube University” is always an option.

Marathons are the ultimate fitness test. If you can push yourself for 26.2 miles, what can’t you do? If you’ve always wanted to prove to yourself that you’re up to the challenge, start training and work your way up to a race in August, like the Race the Reserve marathon on Whidbey Island. If you’re looking for company, check out the Greater Bellingham Running Club. They host regular group runs, workouts, and races throughout the year.


Photos Right: Opus by Juliette Machado, Greater Bellingham running Club by Joy Love Photos Left: Flow Motion by Kim Summers, Vital by Celina Meza


FIND YOUR CENTER Yoga is a great way to increase your balance, strength, and overall well-being. In Bellingham, Elements Hot Yoga, FLUX Power Yoga, 3 Oms, and Intent Yoga are a few places to start, as are Flow Motion in Ferndale and Quantum Health and Yoga Lounge in Mount Vernon. Most studios offer intro deals for new students, so you can try a few places before you decide which is the right fit. Some studios also offer peripheral services like wellness classes, saunas, and workshops.

BECOME A NINJA WARRIOR We’ve all seen, and loved, the show. Now, you, too can become like one of the contestants. Life Force Ninja Gym in Bellingham offers rotating obstacles just like the ones on the show, so you can get fit while challenging yourself in a safe, supportive environment. If you’re mostly interested in getting vertical, Bellingham’s VITAL Climbing Gym and Riverstone Climbing Gym in Burlington will help get you off the ground. July/August 2020 47


JOIN A BOOK CLUB It can be hard to finish a book, cover to cover. This summer, stick to your guns and finish a book (or a few) in the company of a book club. Create your own club with friends or turn to those from local outlets. Village Books offers a variety of book groups for readers of all genres. You can also join Bellingham Reads, a literary discussion group hosted by the Bellingham Public Library.



If you’ve always wanted to travel the world but have worried about the language barrier, worry no more. Dust off those old high school French lessons or dive into something completely new. Apps like Babbel and Duolingo make it easier than ever to learn a new language at home. For a more thorough experience, sign up for classes from Salud Spanish Programs or Whatcom Community College in Bellingham or Ode to Learning in Mount Vernon.

Whatcom Community College offers a range of community and continuing education courses, many of them under $100. While there’s plenty of career-focused subjects like grant writing, becoming an Airbnb host, building websites, and writing for social media, there are also courses like Tour the Solar System and Stars, Introduction to Thru-Hiking, and Putting the Science of Happiness to Work. Some courses last a day while others, like language courses, span a few weeks.



Could your cooking use a little zest? If you find yourself reaching for the microwave more often than the stove, it might be time to give your palate the gift of cooking lessons. There are plenty of local options, like Calypso Kitchen, the Community Food Co-op, and Ciao Thyme, that offer affordable classes that will have you cooking like Gordon Ramsey in no time.

Studies show that gratitude can lead to better health, fewer aches and pains, an increase in empathy, and even a greater resistance to stress. A gratitude journal is an easy way to take stock of what you have, rather than focusing on what you lack. Once a day, write down something you’re grateful for, taking a moment to reflect on why it matters to you. I promise, just one entry will have you feeling happier. Plus, whenever you’re feeling down, you can browse through the journal and remember everything good in your life.

FINISH YOUR BOOK Whether it’s a novel, a memoir, or an epic fantasy trilogy that’s been brewing inside you for years, make a commitment to finally put your words onto the page. Writing is hard, but there are plenty of local resources to help instruct, guide, and support your literary journey. Join a writers group at Village Books or attend the yearly Chuckanut Writers Conference, hosted by Village Books and WWU. If you’re strapped for time, wait until November to join the thousands of people who participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). 48

LET LOOSE WITH IMPROV Sometimes it’s hard to say “yes” to life. Well, in improv, saying yes is the first rule. Cut yourself some slack and let your hair down with some local improv classes, like those offered at The Upfront Theatre or Improv Playworks. Playworks even offers an introductory class for free, as well as classes in Mount Vernon, so there’s no excuse not to at least give it a shot. You might realize you’re funnier than you think!


SOAK IN A HOT SPRINGS Turns out you don’t need to own a hot tub to enjoy one — nature has some of her own. For a relaxing day out in the wild, you can visit Olympic Hot Springs on the Olympic Peninsula, or Goldmyer Hot Springs in North Bend. Don’t forget your swimsuit!

EXPLORE LUMMI ISLAND As the crow flies, Lummi Island is only a short distance from Bellingham, but it feels like a world away. Grab your bike and enjoy the short ferry ride over to the island, where you can spend the day cycling around the quaint island or hiking the Baker Preserve Trail for epic views of the San Juan Islands. Refuel with lunch at the Beach Store Cafe or relax with a glass of wine at Legoe Bay Winery.

VISIT ALL THE NATIONAL PARKS IN WASHINGTON Washington has three national parks: Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, and North Cascades National Park. Each boasts its own list of trails, campgrounds, and recreation activities. Go for a Washington road trip and check all three off your list!

SLEEP ON A FLOATING BED & BREAKFAST Nothing beats San Juan Island in the summer, when there’s more hiking, biking, shopping, and fine dining than you can reasonably fit into a day. If you’re planning a visit to Friday Harbor, why not make the night special by sleeping on the water? Let the waves gently rock you to sleep at The Wharfside Bed (Boat) and Breakfast.

TOUR A BAVARIAN VILLAGE This summer, take a trip to Germany without ever leaving the state. Leavenworth is a Bavarian village tucked away in the Cascade Mountains. The themed town has everything you’d find in the real deal: German chocolate shops, pubs that sell pretzels and brats, and stunning mountain views. There’s also great hiking nearby. For an extra-special treat, visit during Oktoberfest when the town comes alive with beer, brats, and music. Photos: Goldmyer Hot Springs by Hunder T Morgen, Flickr. Leavenworth by Icicle TV

July/August 2020 49


ESCAPE TO SEMIAHMOO RESORT Perched at the stunning northern tip of Semiahmoo Spit in Blaine, Semiahmoo Resort has everything you need for a classy weekend getaway close to home. From fine dining and wine tastings to golf and spa services, your time is sure to be filled with rest and relaxation.

Named after the historic founder of Fairhaven, “Dirty” Dan Harris, Dirty Dan’s Steakhouse specializes in prime rib and their steaks do not disappoint. Treat yourself to their famous filet mignon, served with house steak butter, garlic mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach.


Photos: Steak by Devan Ballard, Hotel Room courtesy of Semiahmoo Resort,


HAVE LUNCH AT THE WILLOWS INN The Willows Inn on Lummi Island is famous for its ever-changing prix fixe menu made from locally sourced ingredients and served at their beautiful lodge. It’s pricey, but more than worth it for the excellent cuisine from award-winning chef Blaine Wetzel and luxurious ambiance.


Photo courtesy of PAVÉ Jewelry and Design

We all dream of an outdoor getaway with lush gardens, turquoise pools, and a comfortable place to relax with a book or glass of wine. Why not make this dream a reality? With help from local home stores like Greenhouse, you can find comfortable, durable, and attractive furniture for your yard. When it comes to pools and hot tubs, Northwest Hot Springs in Burlington and Ferndale can help turn your turf into an urban oasis.

REFRESH YOUR WARDROBE Sometimes a change of attitude has to start with a change of clothes. We’re lucky to live in an area where trusted local retailers know how to combine style and comfort, without the outrageous price tags of big city boutiques. Three French Hens in Fairhaven, Cottons in La Conner, and Cheeks Designer Jeans in Lyden are all great places to start. For a downtown Bellingham shopping spree, make your way to Fringe Boutique, The Chipper Bird, and Sojourn.

RENT A YURT AT DOE BAY Known for its beautiful setting and annual music festival, Doe Bay Resort on Orcas Island is the perfect place for a weekend trip with (or without) the kids. From their waterfront location to their acclaimed cafe that serves food grown in their garden to their kayak tours and their clothingoptional hot tubs, there’s something for everyone. You’ll be sure to leave refreshed.

BUY SOME BLING Who says you need a reason to buy a ring? If you’re in Fairhaven, stop by Whimsey or Silvery Moon to find a unique piece of jewelry that makes you smile whenever you wear it. PAVÉ Jewelry and Design in Mount Vernon offers a range of glittery pieces perfect for any occasion, even if the occasion is just spoiling yourself. July/August 2020 51


VISIT BELLINGHAM’S HISTORIC HOUSES Bellingham has dozens of historic locations, but the historic houses are especially fun. Tour the Pickett House, built in 1856, which holds the title of Washington’s oldest wooden structure, or visit the Roeder Home, which was constructed in 1910 and whose grounds are now a county park. If you’re strolling through residential Fairhaven, stop and admire the Gamwell House, a stunning Victorian built in 1892.

Bellingham Alive’s Bucket List

“Relax with a massage and body scrub at a Korean spa. I also want to head up to Richmond for a game of indoor mini golf at West Coast Mini Putt.” Mariah C., Graphic Designer “See the northern lights and become fluent in another language.” Becky M., Editor-in-Chief


“Take a drive to the Okanagan wine region and experience some of their wineries. Also visit the Olympic Rain Forest and find a cool place to have a picnic. “ Lisa K., Publisher “Learn to ice skate and do one trick. Also horseback riding on the beach with someone I love.” Jenn M., Office Manager “Finally learn how to play an instrument and explore more of the outdoors.” Anelyse M., Editorial/Marketing Coordinator

Photos by Emily Porter

“Hiking and camping in the Hoh Rainforest... and soaking in the hot springs. I also want to explore Vancouver Island.” Devan B., Sales Executive

READ EVERY HISTORIC MARKER IN FAIRHAVEN In the late 1980s, a local newspaper publisher, Tyrone Tillson, received a grant to create and install historical plaques documenting Fairhaven’s colorful past. Today, you can still find these markers scattered around the neighborhood, denoting tidbits of history. While some simply mark where structures used to stand, others, like HERE IS WHERE MATHEW WAS CUT IN TWO BY A STREETCAR 1891, offer an illustrative, if morbid, view of what life was once like in Fairhaven. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled to the ground — some markers are hard to spot.

Extra Credit • Follow a vegetarian diet for a month. • Travel somewhere new without an itinerary.

CRUISE CHUCKANUT DRIVE Chuckanut Drive Scenic Byway delivers exactly what its name promises — a scenic drive along the Chuckanut Mountains. Considered by some to be the Big Sur of Washington, this 24-mile stretch of road puts you in contact with some seriously beautiful views of the mountains and Bellingham Bay. Fun fact: It’s also the only place where the Cascade Range connects with the sea. Break up the drive with a hike in the mountains, a walk along the beach, or delicious seafood from Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar or Chuckanut Manor.

DRINK A BEER AT EVERY BREWERY This one might take awhile. Bellingham is known for its numerous craft breweries, even earning the nickname Brewingham. With more than 15 breweries (and new ones cropping up every year), visiting them all requires time, thirst, and careful planning. Start with standbys like Boundary Bay, Chuckanut, Stones Throw, and Aslan, but make sure not to skip newer places like 122 West or Stemma. Outside the city, you can also try new brews from FrinGe in Ferndale and Terramar in Edison.

• Face a lifelong fear. • Reach out to someone you miss. • Learn about a relative you don’t know well. • Go car-free for a month. • Start a garden. • Become someone’s pen pal. • Walk down a new street every day for a month. • Help a stranger in a life-changing way. • Visit every state in the U.S.

July/August 2020 53

Life can be tough, especially right now. I’m here to listen to your needs and help life go right. CALL ME TODAY. Joe Treat State Farm Insurance Agent 2600 Elm St, Bellingham, WA 360.733.0870,



The Beauty of Efficiency 360.354.0333 104 Front Street, Lynden WA






Two locations to serve you! Ferndale 4950 Pacific Hwy Ferndale, WA 98248 360.306.8844 Exit 260 off I-5

Oak Harbor 33510 State Route 20 Oak Harbor, WA 98277 360.675-1366 1/2 mile North of City Limits

Full service general contractor.

More than 40 homes plans to choose from. • 2–5 bedroom homes • 500–2,800 sq. ft. homes with affordable pricing! • Featuring quality Marlette Homes •

Permits, site development, and home installation.

Ability to complete the entire project.

DIY Coasters 58 Tracys Furniture 60 Garden Mentors® 65


Studio Getaway on Camano Island


July/August 2020 55

Home  Featured Home

Studio Getaway on Camano Island BY BECKY MANDELBAUM


UCKED AWAY ON THE EAST SIDE OF CAMANO ISLAND, you’ll find this stunning 1,100 square foot

studio from Designs Northwest Architects. The owners dreamed up the studio after visiting an overnight winery in the Cascade Mountains, where they stayed in small, charming cabins made of stone and concrete. When it came time to build their studio getaway, the owners thought back to the cabins and decided to emulate the modern, no-fuss style. The owners have a larger house across the street, which they use to entertain friends and family during holidays and summer months. The studio serves as a retreat where they can relax and unwind after a day of socializing in the main house or whenever they’re in need of a romantic getaway. The studio consists of one large, mostly uninterrupted space. To offer a sense of privacy, a double-sided stone fireplace partially separates the bedroom from the living area and kitchen. The master bathroom — with a large, freestanding soaking tub situated to maximize water views — is the only truly separate room in the studio. When opened, the bathroom’s oversized walnut sliding doors help maintain the studio’s airy quality. Because the owners can rely on the kitchen in the big house, the studio enjoys a small efficiency kitchen perfect for simple meal preparation. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a large back deck offer guests a sweeping view of the Cascade Mountains as well as Port Susan Bay. Per the owners request, preexisting trees on the property were incorporated into the design of the studio and its landscaping. The overall effect is a clean, no-fuss hideaway surrounded by greenery and water.  Architect  Designs Northwest Architects Photography  Lucas Henning 56

July/August 2020 57

Home  DIY

DIY Coasters with Photos and Artwork BY SAMANTHA HALE



and taking trips, but it also means more time for arts and crafts. If you’ve been looking for a way to spice up your décor, customized coasters are a great afternoon project. These DIY works of art also make a great gift!

What You’ll Need 4 – 4"×4" tiles (light-colored, ceramic, flat-topped work best) 4 – Printed photos or artwork, cut to 3.75"×3.75" Mod Podge Small 1" foam brush Self-adhesive felt pads

Directions • Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the front of the tile. Make sure to cover the entire front of the tile, all the way to the edges. A thin layer is best and will ensure that no bubbles form. • Place your photo or artwork on top of the wet coat of Mod Podge. The photos should be cut to slightly smaller than the tile to ensure the edges lay flat. Smooth the photo with a dry paper towel, gently pushing out any bubbles. • Apply 3 coats of Mod Podge with the foam brush, waiting 15 minutes between each coat. Apply each coat as a thin layer, making sure to wrap around the sides of the artwork. • Stick felt pads to the bottom of each coaster. Rough and uneven surfaces are common on the back of tiles. The felt will keep your furniture scratch-free and elevate your tile from the surface. • Allow to dry for three days. It’s normal for Mod Podge to feel tacky until it’s had proper time to dry. For best drying, leave the coasters in a warm and dry location. Love this idea, but not sure what to use for artwork? Here are some ideas: • Maps that showcase important locations • Photos of family and friends • Artwork that matches your décor • Cards or postcards you’ve received • Wedding invitations 






SPECIALIZING IN and hard to source finishing items for your home.





Vote for us as Best Hardware /Lumber Store


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Ph: 360-676-1025 • Fax: 360-676-4357 Monday - Friday: 8am-5:30pm Saturday: 9am-5pm • Sunday: CLOSED


See us on:

Home  Local Find

Quality Furniture in Anacortes Tracys Furniture BY LARA DUNNING


N 1980, brothers Bob and Steve Tracy opened Tracys

Furniture in Anacortes. At the time, the showroom had 2,500 square feet. Today, the store boasts more than 14,000 square feet and carries everything you need to beautify your home. At Tracys, you’ll find high-quality furniture for your living room, dining room, home office, and bedroom, along with a wide selection of lighting accents and home decor items.

Quality-Crafted Furniture Tracys is committed to selling the best products; if an item falls short of their standards, they quickly remove it. New to the store this year is Smith Brothers of Berne, Inc., an American-made furniture line that dates back to 1926. In fact, Tracys Furniture is the first store in Washington State to carry their furniture. “Everything they do is based on quality,” says Bob. “They don’t cut corners, and even have their own quality control testing facility at the factory in Berne, Indiana.” Along with quality craftsmanship and a lifetime guarantee on the foam, Smith Brothers of Berne, Inc. offers 1,000 fabric options and 100 types of leather, giving customers the ability to customize their purchase to their own style and taste. Once an order is placed, it arrives in four weeks. At the store, you’ll also find quality furniture from Stressless by Ekornes, Flexsteel, and Palettes by Winesburg, just to name a few. Upstairs, you can browse bedroom decor and furniture, as well as mattresses from Sealy, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, and Mattress 1st. Tracys also sells sheets from Seattle-based 45th Street Bedding.

Commitment to Customer Service Bob, now the sole owner of Tracys, is surrounded by a team of 11 employees, two of whom are sales representatives with training from the American Society of Interior Designers. Everyone works together to provide topnotch customer service. “We gave up commissions years ago because it was counter-intuitive to the customer,” says Bob. “We pride ourselves on providing good service and putting the customer first.” It’s important to visit Tracys more than once, since their displays are constantly changing. The store regularly refreshes their display rooms to reflect new merchandise, giving customers new ways to visualize how they’d like to style and furnish their home. 1920 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, 360.293.8444,  60



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. MLS# 1507411 | $599,000

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# 1563581 | $589,000

Christine Cicchitti

Christine Cicchitti

Windermere Real Estate 360.296.3814

Windermere Real Estate 360.296.3814



NW contemporary custom-built retreat nestled in one of Skagit County’s finest foothills. Meticulously built, this builder had the highest standards in mind with attention to details throughout. Unbelievable entertainment options showcasing open floor plan, Chefs kitchen & spacious outdoor living area. Geothermal, Solar, ADA accessible, generator, & 42x50 shop. All on private, gated 20-acre dividable parcel, you’re only minutes from I-5 with easy commute to Seattle or Vancouver. One of a kind! MLS# 1609031 | $1,900,000

Renata Mason Windermere Real Estate/Whatcom, Inc. 360.815.2059 |

Come out to Skyview Ridge in Ferndale and take a tour of our homes under construction that will be ready for you this summer. There are several floor plans to choose from with prices starting at $485,000. Just a quick drive into Ferndale or the freeway you will love the location of this new neighborhood. Call Becki or Jon for all the details.

Becki Murphy 360.815.7239

Jon Rockwood 360.815.5079

July/August 2020 61

Home  Necessities

1 2 3 4 5


Penny Pinchers

Keep Calm and Picnic On BY DEVAN BALLARD


UMMERTIME in the Pacific Northwest is a magical time of year. The weather and the setting can’t be beat and the days seem to go on forever… not to mention the epic sunsets. What better way to savor the beauty of the season than by having a picnic? Get ready to spread out the blanket, bust out the wine, and relax with these summertime picnic essentials. 

1 2 3 4 5


8500 sq ft shopping destination. Antiques, collectibles, jewelry, tools and home furnishings.




FB: pennypinchers4894 360.927.7570

Mango Wood + Marble Cutting Board/Serving Tray $44.95,

Waterproof Outdoor Blanket $59,

Picnic Chair — Islabomba $57,

Love Bags Deluxe Cooler — Love Blanket $59.95,

Govino Go Anywhere White Wine/Cocktail Glass, 4-pack $34.95,

July/August 2020 63

Home  Remodel

Modern Ranch on the Farm


EN YEARS AGO, I designed a custom home for my

family, from building plans to final touches. It was our dream. And yet, like any healthy designer, as the years went by, I began to find flaws in my layout and planning. Fast forward to a recent meeting I had with clients. We were in my home office for their remodel design presentation when suddenly they stopped me and said, “We’ve changed our mind.” Needless to say, I was taken aback. They proceeded to tell me that during our original design consultation, they couldn’t concentrate because my home was so beautiful. The more they thought about it, the more they wished they had a house just like mine! They no longer wanted a remodel. Instead, they wanted to sell their house and focus on new construction. Like this, I found myself with the opportunity to redesign the house I originally custom designed for myself. This may be every designer’s dream … I know it was mine!


What resulted is a modern, rustic ranch farmhouse with vintage influences and an industrial hint. It is everything I would have wanted in my original house design, and it was everything my clients wanted in theirs. We featured custom, reclaimed wood furniture, beams, and accents. We added custom leaded glass inserts for our transom windows and powder-coated steel railings for the stairs, creating a juxtaposition of vintage and industrial. In addition, our clients were completely hands-on when it came to incorporating salvage pieces from their farm throughout the home. The story ends with me drawing up their construction plans, sourcing and selecting their finishes, managing the build, and staying on board for questions throughout the entire interior and exterior final installation. Their gorgeous custom home is a new and improved version of my own!

Photo by Nic Aston


Gardener Q & A Home

Q & A with Robin Haglund, founder and president of Garden Mentors® It’s July — what sort of landscaping activities are still appropriate? By now you may want to scale back on planting shrubs and trees. Things will be drying out soon, so be sure your irrigation plan is set up, and stay on top of watering — especially newly installed gardens. How to know if it’s time to water? Stick your finger in the ground to see if the root zone is dry. If it is, apply water at the ground level, slowly, and deeply. Do you have young trees? You might consider attaching watering bags to them to fill about once a week or so. If you’re keeping chickens, hot summer days are a great time to deep-clean your hen house.

Photo Credit & Copyright Garden Mentors Inc. & Robin Haglund

What’s possible this time of year in the vegetable garden? By now tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, beans, and other warm season vegetables are in the garden. It’s also time to stay on top of harvesting veggies you planted earlier in spring, such as salad greens, broccoli, cabbage, peas, and cilantro. And, there’s still time to reseed for late summer harvests. I like to sow new lettuce every week or two throughout the season, to be sure I’m harvesting it all season long. In the heat of summer, pick a cooler, shadier spot to grow leafy greens and choose varieties that are slow to bolt. Starting another round of broccoli, cauliflower, and kale now means you’ll be able to get it going for a late summer/early autumn harvest.

I love planting herbs but never know what to do with them. Any advice? Herbs have so many uses in our kitchens and home apothecaries. Now is a great time to snip them for fresh flavors. Summer is a fantastic time to harvest herbs like

rosemary, thyme, oregano, raspberry leaf, feverfew, lavender, lemon balm, and mint to preserve for winter use. If you have a food dehydrator, follow your machine’s herb drying instructions for best results. If you don’t, try bundling your herbs tightly at the cut end with jute or other twine. Then, hang the bundles upside down in a clean, dark, and dry spot until they’re crispy. You can loosely wrap a paper bag around them to capture any bits that fall. Once dry, crumble them into a clean, dry, labelled jar to use in the winter.

Are all weeds bad? Are there ways to use native plants we think of as pests? I believe weeds are, for the most part, wonderful. We’ve been trained to believe they need to be eradicated to make way for things like the great American status symbol: the lawn, a totally unnatural contrivance. Although some weeds can be dangerous to humans, animals, agriculture, and other plants, many have medicinal uses. Consider, for instance, the benefits of ubiquitous weeds like dandelion, plantain, and horsetail. Dandelion is a 100% edible plant that also feeds pollinators and whose powerful taproot makes a healthy roasted tea. When it’s growing in your garden, dandelion also helps break up clay and create better soil health. Plantain is similarly everywhere. My favorite use for plantain is to alleviate summer itches from bug bites. Simply find some clean leaves in your garden, chew them briefly, and then apply the pulp to irritated skin. While many of us despise horsetail “invading” our planting beds, this pre-human, dinosaur flora makes a fabulous ingredient in hair rinses — which, by the way, I make and sell on Etsy. Remember to always identify and research your own herbal experience before using any plant for food or medicine.  July/August 2020 65


Pros To Know We are pleased to share with you these select building professionals who can assist on your projects, whether you’re planning a small update or a major home construction project. Start your project on a firm foundation.


The Pros A+ Window Washing | p. 78 Bank of the Pacific | p. 68 Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing | p. 74 The Color Pot | p. 71 Corwin Electrical Services | p. 76 Garden Spot | p. 73 Highline Construction | p. 70 Homebridge Financial | p. 71 Homeport Interiors | p. 69 I’ve Got a Guy Tree Service | p. 76 Jennifer Ryan Design | p. 72 Kimbler Insurance Agency | p. 74 Legacy Kitchen & Bath | p. 78 Mt. Baker Overhead Garage Doors Inc. | p. 72 Northwest Fine Furnishings | p. 68 Options Cabinetry | p. 69 Pioneer Flexspace | p. 75 Russell’s Window Coverings | p. 79 Spectrum Plumbing and Heating | p. 79 Top Quality Painting | p. 73 Topside Roofing & Siding | p. 77 July/August 2020 67


BANK OF THE PACIFIC Our Home Loan Professionals know the programs to get you the best rates and terms on your mortgage loan. Whether you just want to take advantage of the low rates to lower your payment or to make your new home more affordable, the Mortgage professionals at Bank of the Pacific are here to help you find the best loan to fit your needs. Not only do you receive fast and accurate response to your borrowing questions, you can also count on us to be there after the loan has closed. This is the advantage of having a relationship with a local, full service bank offering a full array of personal and business related services. Other great products include Cash Back Rewards Checking or Businesses loans and Treasury Management/Merchant services. Message us through our website, give us a call or start your application online to get the ball rolling on your next loan! You can apply for both Home and Business loans online at: www. Personal service and professional insight that bring value beyond the transaction.

NMLS# 417480

Lynden - Bellingham Hannegan - Anacortes 360.734.0544


NORTHWEST FINE FURNISHINGS For more than 43 years, Northwest Fine Furnishings has been dedicated to helping its customers turn their house into a home. Let our expertise and large selection of furniture from trusted brands like Intercon, Lyndon Furniture, Stylus, Whittier, Oakcraft, and Sunny Design, along with our extensive selection of lighting companies, give you the ability to create the look you have always envisioned for your home. From oak and cherry, to maple and pine, we have a wide variety of finishes for all your wood furniture needs and our wide selection of sofas, both contemporary and traditional, offer over 400 fabric options for you to choose from. Add a touch of class and sophistication to your home with our wide selection for all rooms — bedroom, living room, dining, office, and more! Visit our impressive showroom today and let’s find the right choices for you!




919 Riverside Dr., Mount Vernon 360.424.8455



HOMEPORT INTERIORS OPTIONS CABINETRY 4071 Hannegan Rd., Ste. K Bellingham, WA 98226 Homeport: 360.392.8754 Options: 360.746.8759




You’ll find everything you need at Bellingham’s one-stop Interior Design Center - Homeport Interiors and Options Cabinetry. We are locally owned and operated with our in-house design team offering a combined experience of over 65 years to assist you. Interior Design, Kitchen and Bath Design, Space Planning, selecting finishes and creating a plan to produce a highly utilized, livable space. We know how difficult it can be to shop around at various locations. To make it easier, we carry everything you need, in one design center. Imagine selecting your flooring, counter tops, cabinets, even furniture and decor, as well as getting personalized attention from our design team without visiting more than one place! Options Cabinetry is focused on creating beautiful, functional cabinetry


for every lifestyle, budget and dream. We provide original custom designs that allow our clients to set themselves apart. Whether it’s your home or business, custom design is our specialty and we can’t wait to help your dream become a reality. Let our designers at HomePort Interiors and Options Cabinetry help you get started today. No project is ever too big or too small; too long or too short. “We put the life back into the heart of your home”. KITCHEN & BATH DESIGN. INTERIOR DESIGN. SPACE PLANNING. FURNITURE DESIGN. CABINETS. CARPET. FURNITURE. KNOBS AND PULLS. HARDWOOD. LUXURY VINYL PLANK. TILE. LAMINATE COUNTER TOPS AND MORE

July/August 2020 69


HIGHLINE CONSTRUCTION 1420 Meador Ave., K 05, Bellingham, WA 360.746.5455




Highline Construction has reinvented the construction experience: we provide clients with collaboration and support, from the initial stages of planning all the way to the final touches of your dream project. This detailed process along with our in-house design studio ensures an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. We utilize clear processes to ensure that every detail of our projects are planned before we start construction. Ample time and energy invested in pre-planning helps the project move forward in a predictable fashion with very few surprises. Taking advantage of our in-house designer and full showroom, our team makes preconstruction planning easy and fun.

As a General Contractor, our personal mission is to enrich the lives of our employees, our clients, and our community. By focusing on our employees, we have attracted and built a dynamic team of individuals that share the same core values. For our clients, we strive to exceed customer expectations by fostering a culture of continual improvement and delivered promises. We also take great pride in giving back to our community. Each month we highlight a local non-profit and donate our time and resources. If you are looking for a committed team that cares deeply about the community and everyone we work with, give us a call. We can’t wait to start your project.



HOMEBRIDGE FINANCIAL As a premier lender with over 20 years of experience, great rates and exceptional service is my #1 priority. As one of the Nation’s top non-bank lenders, HomeBridge Financial Services lends our own money and services our own loans. We are #1 in the nation for renovation loans, including FHA 203K, conventional homestyle, and now a HomeBridge VA Renovation Loan. I specialize in many types of loans including selfemployed, first time homebuyers, low or zero down mortgages, and many more. My clients are treated with dignity and respect, and I take the time to review your situation, listen to your objectives, & help you understand all your loan options. With a schedule that is convenient for you, I’ll take the time and make sure you get best possible loan for you. I care about my borrowers and go the extra mile to help get them into the home of their dreams! Give me a call today! Terri Gunderson: Mortgage Loan Originator, NMLS #87838 HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc. Corp NMLS#6521 2219 Rimland Drive, Suite 219 Bellingham, WA o: 360.483.4345, c: 360.303.5898


THE COLOR POT Your new flooring is HERE! At the Color Pot, we want to help you find the perfect new floor. We have years of experience and we are ready to share our knowledge with you. We carry a variety of floor covering options from the popular Luxury Vinyl Plank to porcelain and ceramic tiles and classics like sheet vinyl, cozy carpet options, and more! Along with a huge show room full of samples, we also have materials in stock at our store! Our designers will work with you to create a space that expresses your taste and fits your lifestyle. Along with all of our flooring options, we also carry window coverings, countertop options, and a great selection of mosaic tile. We’ve been your locally owned and operated choice for over 60 years, and we are proud to continue to offer quality flooring at fair & honest pricing for many years to come. Set up an appointment today or stop in anytime! Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM- 5:30PM, Saturday: 10AM – 4PM 1210 N. State St. Bellingham 360.734.4020





July/August 2020 71


MT. BAKER OVERHEAD GARAGE DOORS INC. We are a family-owned and operated company that has been serving the garage door industry since 1979! As a Master Authorized Dealer of Clopay® garage doors and an Authorized LiftMaster® Dealer, we are a convenient one-stop-shop for all of your garage door needs. Whether you’re building your dream house or it’s time to replace your existing, we have many design options to give your home a brand new look. We provide installation and repair service from the Canadian border to North of Seattle. Our service technicians have more than 30 years of combined experience and are committed to solving your garage door problems quickly and efficiently.

Mt. Baker Overhead Garage Doors Inc. Chad & Charley Anderson Skagit County: 360.724.3261 Whatcom County: 360.671.5582 Toll Free: 800.468.5330






of the

of the







Jennifer Ryan Design is a Bellingham-based full-service interior design and remodeling company, bringing sophisticated whimsy mingled with steel-toed boots. Jennifer has an uncanny ability to combine unexpected patterns, colors and textures making your home reflect your distinct personality. From concept and design to production, Jennifer Ryan Design projects run smoothly and professionally, with a high level of collaboration between clients, and subcontractors. She is committed to exceeding clients’ expectations while respecting their budgets. In the wake of Covid-19, Jennifer is taking the utmost care to keep both clients and team members safe. Whether it be a kitchen, bathroom, or your entire home, Jennifer will realize your vision in ways you never imagined. Her hands-on approach assures that all elements are seamlessly executed, and your wishes and goals are met. See for yourself why clients and design professionals alike rave about Jennifer’s impeccable eye for great design, attention to detail and easy work style. Jennifer Ryan Design W 360.733.9519 C 360.319.7092




GARDEN SPOT At Garden Spot Nursery, community is everything. We want to make your shopping experience the best it can be, so that you leave with everything you came in looking for. At every turn you will find our knowledgeable staff ready to answer any questions you may have. Tell our experts about your project and rest assured you will receive limitless valuable advice from design to maintenance. Trust us to deliver the most unique and remarkable pieces to complete your garden or landscape. You’re sure to find everything you need from intriguing plants and statuary to soil and amendments, or we will get it, just for you. You are in good hands at Garden Spot Nursery. Why? Because Gardening Makes Us Happy, and we want you to feel the same way. We are plant people. We are garden makers. We are here for you. We are Garden Spot Nursery.



900 Alabama St., Bellingham 360.676.5480



TOP QUALITY PAINTING Top Quality Painting LLC is a Bellingham based business that services all of Whatcom county and some parts of Skagit County. It is owned by two long-term Bellingham residents and long time friends Mike Hamel and Reggie Harris! With over 25 years of painting experience between them, we are knowledgeable in all aspects of interior and exterior painting. This includes new construction, repaints, and remodels on the residential side, as well as larger projects on the commercial side. Our employees pay great attention to detail and our company’s goal is always the satisfaction of the customer! You may ask why should I use Top Quality Painting over another company? Our slogan says it best, because with Top Quality Painting, “Our Paint Jobs Last!”

360.296.0989 LIC#: TOPQUQP849RN


July/August 2020 73


BARRON HEATING AC ELECTRICAL & PLUMBING For nearly 50 years, HVAC has been the heart of Barron. But today, we do so much more. From heating and cooling services to electrical, solar, plumbing, fireplaces and hot tubs, our team is dedicated to finding the most effective ways to increase energy efficiency, optimize comfort, and improve indoor air quality in your home or business. That’s why Barron is Northwest Washington’s largest and most respected team of Home Performance Experts. At our Firelight by Barron showrooms, located in Ferndale, Burlington, and Marysville, you’ll discover fullline, working furnace displays and a wide selection of spas and accessories. Our showrooms also feature the area’s largest display of beautiful stoves and fireplaces. As your Home and Building Performance Experts since 1972, 150 employees serve both residential and commercial customers in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan and Snohomish counties. Barron Heating, AC, Electrical & Plumbing stands by Our Mission: Improving Lives™.



5100 Pacific Hwy, Ferndale 360.676.1131


KIMBLER INSURANCE AGENCY Kimbler Insurance Agency is a family owned and operated independent insurance business in Bellingham, WA. Being an Independent Insurance Agency means that we work for you, not the insurance company. We have a huge variety of insurance products and insurance companies available to fit your needs. So, if you need Auto Insurance, or Home Insurance, Renters Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, Boat Insurance, or are looking for Life Insurance or Health Insurance, please give us a call for a free quote and consultation. At Kimbler Insurance Agency, we pride ourselves on our honest, hard-working, & trustworthy service. Our main goal - To help protect what matters most: you & your loved ones.

Kimbler Insurance Agency LLC


Alex Kimbler Insurance Agent 360.312.5104 316 E McLeod Rd Ste 104 Bellingham, WA



PIONEER FLEXSPACE 6407 Portal Way Ferndale, WA 98248 360.603.8314

I am pleased to present our third phase of the ultimate Mancaves/People caves. My name is Doug Scoggins and I am the owner/builder of Pioneer Flexspace and Pioneer Post Frame. After 23 years of building 100+ buildings, this is our crown jewel. It’s all in the details. This third phase is loaded with upgrades based largely on the feedback of the 100 buyers in the last two phases. Owners of large boats and motor coaches will enjoy the luxury of 54’ wide aisles with 14’ wide overhead doors. The tarmacs between buildings are nearly flat with one continuous trench drain. Every unit is fully sprinkled allowing uses like light/hobby fabrication, permitted uses go way beyond just personal storage. Every unit has a 720 square-foot timber frame loft, bathroom with a shower, lots of outlets and all the communications, it truly is a flexible space. Why settle for passive storage


when you can have a getaway to hang out, enjoy your favorite hobbies or just kicking back. It’s like adding 2228 ft.² to your house. We’ve equipped every unit with LED lighting, natural gas heat and insulation values higher than residential construction, it’s essentially “green”. We ground the top off the concrete floors and saturated the slab with a densifier, hardening the top and making it highly stain resistant, then we buffed them for a durable shine. We’ve used the best insulated overhead doors, quiet electric operators and included 2 remotes. There are 108 units in the completed park but they’re going fast. Please check out our website, send me an inquiry and I would love to give you a personal tour to answer any questions. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Doug July/August 2020 75


I’VE GOT A GUY TREE SERVICE Looking for a tree care professional? I’ve Got a Guy Tree Service is a locally owned and operated business since 2017. From the beginning we have been working to build a positive relationship with our community by providing professional, honest, and reliable services. We proudly serve Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, and Island Counties. We provide 24/7 emergency services, full tree removals, wind sailing, stump grinding, crown reduction, logging, hedging, and pruning/thinning. Free estimates are provided upon request. We’re licensed, bonded, and insured. With over 25 years of combined experience our team is skilled with any dangerous situation. Call us for a free estimate today, and follow us on Facebook to keep up with all the latest from I’ve Got A Guy Tree Service.





871 E Axton Rd. Bellingham, WA 98226 360.325.9947


CORWIN ELECTRICAL SERVICES Corwin Electrical Services is a family owned and operated company started in May of 2016. Our focus is to provide quality, reliable service at a fair price for the long run. When the economy is on an upswing and prices are climbing we maintain our same fair price and great customer service so our customers keep calling us back in the future! We offer many different types of electrical services from Industrial, Commercial, Residential, Generator installations, Private utility locating, Load study monitoring, Parking lot light servicing, and more! Corwin Electrical Services strives to provide high quality, reliable work with great customer service. Our trained and certified electricians go above and beyond to make sure every customer is satisfied.

Steve Corwin 360.920.1893






TOPSIDE ROOFING & SIDING 161 E. Horton Road Bellingham, WA 360.752.2220

For over 30 years Topside Roofing & Siding has provided and installed Quality Products from the most wellknown home improvement brands in the Industry. We are Whatcom County’s only factory-certified GAF Master Elite roofing contractor. Our workmanship and warranties are unmatched. Homeowners throughout the area have grown to know us and depend on us and our “Commitment to Quality.” We are proud to offer our services in all of Whatcom, Skagit, and Island County, including Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale, Blaine, Anacortes, Burlington, Mount Vernon and more. Your home is your largest investment. Your roof protects everything, your possessions, your family.


So when the need to replace, repair, or just a little maintenance, choose a contractor you can count on for knowledge, diversity and experience. Topside Roofing & Siding managers and crews are factory trained and certified. We will inspect your roof and provide options based on your needs. We repair and replace all types of residential roofing systems. RESIDENTIAL ROOFING AND COMMERCIAL ROOFING • COMPOSITE SHINGLES (GAF, MALARKEY) • TPO (GAF) • METAL (TAYLOR METALS) • SIDING • HARDI PLANK • WINDOWS • PLY GEM • DECKS • DEC TEC

July/August 2020 77



360.927.9235 LIC# 603297625


LEGACY KITCHEN & BATH With a primary focus on the whole home, Legacy Design Group, Inc. president and CEO Jacqueline Scott, has dedicated over 20 years in the industry in various capacities. Currently the lead designer for Legacy Kitchen & Bath, Jacqueline focuses on whole home space planning including universal design, aging in place applications for home living as well as designing kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms and every room in the home. Jacquie is a member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the leading trade association for the kitchen & bath industry, and is certified with both a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) and AKBD (Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer) designations. Both ensure that professional competencies have been met in the industry. Locally she is a member of the Building Industry Association of Whatcom County and the recipient of the Remodeling Excellence Award. 1610 Grover Street, B-8 Lynden, WA 98264 Cell: 360.927.4436 Office: 360.354.1985 Appointments are Appreciated



Photo by Carson Artac

A+ Window Washing LLC has been serving Whatcom County since 2013. Leon Nishball and his team provide the highest quality window washing for their clients, with special attention to detail. Whether you choose to have all your windows cleaned or just those special view windows, A+ will make them shine! Our team is ready to do interior and exterior windows to meet their client’s needs. If you are getting ready for a special event, putting your home on the market or finishing up a new construction project, A+ Windows is your number 1 choice for window cleaning. With over 10 years of experience you can expect quality work and results. A+ Window Washing is also capable of serving your commercial space or storefront with individualized, regularly scheduled cleanings. Business owners can count on A+ to be professional, reliable and timely. Call, text or email today for a free estimate.


RUSSELL’S WINDOW COVERINGS Locally owned and operated for more than 25 years Russell’s Window Coverings has been bringing you a huge range of options, styles, and designs for your home or office. Russell’s brings to you a vast selection of window treatments perfect for just about any window imaginable. From our classic horizontal blinds to our timeless plantation shutters and motorized shades, we’re sure to have a look and design that meets your specific needs. Specializing in Hunter Douglas products, which are well known for quality and customization options, we offer a variety of products and outstanding service, ensuring you get the personalized look that suits your lifestyle, décor and budget. Call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss the beautiful options available for your home.

873 Hinotes Ct. A2, Lynden, WA 360.656.6579 or 360.961.4918


SPECTRUM PLUMBING AND HEATING Spectrum Plumbing began a little over 8 years ago with one van and a dream - Our intention of bringing quality, craftsmanship, and new ideas to the world of plumbing. To say plumbing is our passion is an understatement. We are a small family run company owned by Ben and Nikki Fuller and located here in Bellingham but provide service to all surrounding areas. We offer residential services, from unclogging a toilet to plumbing new homes, exciting green built, sustainable ideas, commercial services ranging from small tenant improvements to massive waste water treatment plants and restaurants, and not to mention a growing service department. It has been an honor to serve our community and to be trusted with your homes and businesses allowing us to grow and to be able to support all of the families that work with us.





753 E Smith Rd, Bellingham 360.739.9207

July/August 2020 79




First drive thru to offer Beer, Wine, Cider and Champagne in Washington! HOURS


Serving local coffee, handmade sandwiches, and our famous grillers and burritos! Follow us on Facebook for our rotating menu of local beers!



845 Lincoln St. Bellingham 360.752.2336 Open at 4am, serving alcohol at 6am!


B B erry Farm 020

B oxx B erry Farm

6211 Northwest Drive, Ferndale 360.380.2699

B ox x B erry Farm

Best Agricultural Company

Providing Fresh Berries, Vegetables and Flowers in Whatcom County since 1960.

122 West Brewing Co. 84 Electric Beet Juice Co. 87 Must-Visit Farm Stands  91


Photo by Michelle Waite


Harmony Fields


July/August 2020 81

Taste Spotlight

Harmony Fields A day in the life of a farmstead cheesemaker BY JESSICA GIGOT

5:20 AM: The alarm goes off. 5:30 AM: My husband gets up to feed the animals, except the milking ewes,


and I make coffee. We both tip-toe down the stairs, so as to not wake our two girls, who are four and two.

2:00 PM: Done with cheesemaking steps for the day, it’s time to take some deliveries and pick up the kiddos.

6 AM: I round up the milking ewes in the barn and get them in line for the milking stanchion. After milking, I clean all the equipment, the milking parlor, and sheep barn. The sheep are then let out to pasture for the day.

3:00 PM: The milking ewes come back from pasture. I then feed the other animals, like the donkeys and ducks.

8 AM: I head back to the house to help get the girls dressed and off to their preschool.

5:00 PM: Dinner!

8:30 AM: A little time for breakfast and office work — and a muchneeded shower! 9:00 AM: Off to the cheese room! I may begin with packing orders or will start heating the milk for a new batch of cheese. There are usually several steps involved. Once I am in the cheese room, I am there to stay. About 70 percent of cheesemaking is cleaning, so there is always a lot to do.

4:00 PM: I cook dinner while the family has playtime.

6:00 PM: It’s back to the sheep barn for the evening milking. After, the sheep cozy up inside for the night. 8:30 PM: I check my email and any other paperwork. Then I settle in to read, write, or catch up on the news. 10:00 PM: Time to sleep before doing it all again. Visit to sign up for a summer cheese CSA, shop for gifts, or learn more about the farm.

Photo by Michelle Waite


ARMONY FIELDS is a small, seasonal farmstead sheep creamery in Bow, Washington. This means we only make cheese with milk from animals we raise right here on our land. Our East Friesian/Lacaune flock of sheep produce milk for about six months, so that is our window for making our fresh (feta and soft, spreadable) and aged cheeses (tomme). After the lambs arrive in March and the milk begins to flow, we are in constant motion, caring for the animals, making cheese, and managing the pasture. As a family of four, our daily routines vary throughout the season. Some days are market days, others are cheese days. The sheep are milked twice a day — that is a constant! We do have help with milking, but here is an example of a busier day at Harmony Fields:

Recipe  Taste

Blueberry Cantaloupe Panzanella BY BLAKE VANFIELD

P Watermelon Feta Salad with Golden Tomatoes and Tarragon Adapted from Sommer Collier


ideal for putting stale bread to good use. Didn’t quite finish your loaf from Breadfarm? “Waste not want not” is never better with this cool, sweet, and savory Italian bread salad featuring a medley of produce from Skagit Valley growers. Here, ripe blueberries from Bow Hill Blueberries and cantaloupe from Red Shed Farm are complemented by fresh basil grown at Blanchard Mountain Farm.

Serves 6 Prep: 20 minutes



¼ ripe seedless watermelon cut into bite-sized pieces 8 ounces Harmony Fields feta cut into bite-sized chunks ½ red onion, sliced 2 golden tomatoes cut into wedges 3 tablespoons roughly chopped tarragon leaves 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon dry sherry Salt and pepper to taste

6 cups stale bread, ¾” cubed 2 pints fresh Bow Hill Blueberries 3 cups cantaloupe 1 cup basil, chiffonade ¼ red onion, thinly sliced ¼ cup Bow Hill Blueberry pickle brine 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar ½ cup olive oil 1 small clove of garlic, minced 1 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS • Chop the watermelon, tomatoes, onion, feta, and tarragon. Place ingredients in a large salad bowl. • Whisk the olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, and sherry in a small bowl, then season with salt and pepper to taste. • Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top of the salad and gently toss. 

INSTRUCTIONS • In a small bowl, soak the red onion in the Bow Hill blueberry pickle brine. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. • In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Add the onions and the brine. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. Let rest at room temperature at least 20 minutes prior to serving. • Make sure to use bread that’s at least one or two days old, as it will absorb the moisture from the fruit and dressing while holding its shape. Fresh bread will become soggy and dissolve.  July/August 2020 83

Taste Review

122 West Brewing Co. on the Rise


N 2018, Melvin Brewing in Bellingham faced public

criticism after an employee was accused of sexual assault. The brewery then posted insensitive content on its website, garnering even more backlash from the community. When Melvin eventually closed its Fountain District location in 2019, Bellingham-local Gary Pickering saw an opportunity to bring new life to the space. Pickering opened 122 West Brewing Co. in September 2019, naming the brewery after the longitudinal line that runs through Bellingham and several other locations that are important to him, including Portland, Seattle, and Whistler. As a longtime beer fan and former home brewer, Pickering wanted to make his mark on the Bellingham craft beer scene. Most of all, he wanted to create a space for the community to come together and share good food and a solid brew. “We’re getting lots of locals from the neighborhood [and] getting lots of great feedback…” Pickering says. “Our mission is to create great beer, great food, and have a nice, comfortable environment for people to come and relax and hang out.” Starting with mostly beer, 122 West has begun to expand its menu, which features classic pub bites such as reubens and burgers. Before the pandemic, the brewery had begun to host live music and events throughout the week. “We have really been focusing on getting live music on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and that’s starting to come


together,” Pickering says. “So far, the musicians like playing there, and it seems like our guests like when we have live music as well, so that’s great.” At any time, 122 West has about 10 to 15 handcrafted beers on tap. Pickering’s favorite is their Sultana Double IPA; the beer packs a punch at 8.6% alcohol by volume. “[Our brewer] likes to experiment and try new things,” Pickering says. “We work with what we can get and we get creative and we’re able to make pretty awesome beers.” The brewery hasn’t started bottling or canning their beers yet, but they distribute kegs to other local breweries and restaurants so Bellingham residents can get a taste of what they’re working on. For Pickering, the next step is selling 122 West beer in local stores, so even more people can taste what they’re brewing. What’s really important to him, though, is making sure people know that 122 West isn’t Melvin — it’s a brand new business with a mission to bring the community together through great beer. Other than inhabiting the same location, they’re not associated with Melvin in any way. “I think it took a while to shake what I call the ‘Melvin Hangover,’” Pickering says. “But we’re a new brewery, 122 West Brewing Company, and we’re all locally owned.” To taste for yourself, stop by the brewery’s location at 2416 Meridian Street in Bellingham. To learn more, visit 

Photos by Gary Pickering


Dining Guide  Taste

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.

WHATCOM 11TH HOUR TEA & COFFEE BAR Tea, Coffee 833 N. State St., Bellingham 360.788.4229, 11th Hour Tea & Coffee Bar has an extensive menu of drinks around $3–5, with a variety of teas, golden milks, tea lattes, superfood lattes, and a full line of espresso items. The intimate space is cozy and encourages conversation between friends and strangers alike. The energy, menu, and location attract everyone from college students and families to healthminded folks.



714 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham 360.392.6520,

5694 Third Ave., Ferndale 360.384.5820

Seafood, American


If fresh shellfish is your gastronomic highlight, you’re in the right place at B-Town Kitchen and Raw Bar. Items from the Small Plates menu make terrific appetizers or adult-beverageworthy snacks. The heated patio provides an urban vibe suited for parties or gatherings.

BELLINGHAM CIDER CO. American 205 Prospect St., Bellingham 360.510.8494,


If you’re looking for a true home-cooked meal, look no further. Bellingham Cider Company’s knack for comfort food is reflected in their simplistic yet thoughtful dishes. Each dish has a handful of components and ingredients, all locally or regionally sourced, that shift based on season.   THE BIRCH DOOR CAFE American 4192 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.306.8598,


7 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.527.3473, The Hearthfire menu speaks to the everyday eater, not just the special occasion treat of Anthony’s. Seasonal items, such as peaches or huckleberries in the summer, complement salads, entrees, and drinks. Steaks, seafood, and items on the Woodfire rotisserie round out the selections.

The Birch Door Cafe does not fall short on charm, variety, or serving size. Brunch enthusiasts will be delighted by the three pages of breakfast options. Dishes include traditional pancake breakfast platters, French-style baked omelets, egg scrambles and Benedicts, and plenty more. Listen for the ringing of the kitchen bell every time one of these massive breakfasts is served.

BBQ lovers, get ready to celebrate. CrossRoads in Barkley Village serves up finger-licking food in a family-friendly environment. With live music, pool, shuffleboard, karaoke, Jenga, and flat-screens throughout the bar and dining room, there’s something for the whole family. At the bar you’ll find eight taps, two of which rotate seasonally. If you’re really there for the BBQ, cut through the noise and go straight for the BBQ plates.

D’ANNA’S CAFE ITALIANO Italian 1317 N. State St., Bellingham 360.714.0188, If you’re looking for good Italian food without having to resort to a national chain, D’Anna’s may be the place for you. The emphasis here is on the food, not the frills. The restaurant stands out in many ways, but D’Anna’s delicious, homemade pasta is what really makes it special.

BRANDYWINE KITCHEN Regional NW 1317 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.1071, Named for the farm where they began growing their decadent heirloom tomatoes, Brandywine Kitchen sources many of its ingredients locally, upholding their “from seed to plate” philosophy. The menu offers vegetarian and gluten-free options and a rotating selection of beer from local breweries.

CAMBER COFFEE Coffeehouse, American 221 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.656.5343, Camber is more than just a coffee shop. Customers can order at the counter for a quicker bite, or enjoy table service for the restaurant experience. Throughout the day, customers will find a full menu for breakfast (or brunch, depending on your wake-up time), lunch, and dinner. The food is best described as “new American comfort.”

1255 Barkley Blvd., Ste. 102, Bellingham, 360.306.3624

Dine in at one of the largest Mexican restaurants in Washington and experience the authentic cuisine derived from decades of dedication to excellent food. Using family recipes passed down for generations, Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant will not only leave you full, but also deeply satisfied.

DIRTY DAN HARRIS Steakhouse 1211 11th St., Bellingham 360.676.1011, The “dirt” on Dirty Dan Harris? In a word: excellent. The steakhouse provides a warm atmosphere, friendly waitstaff, quaint historic surroundings, and superb food. Perhaps the best reflection on the restaurant is owner Kathy Papadakis’ waitstaff. Most have worked here for years — and it shows in their enthusiasm for your dining experience. Make sure to leave room for dessert, because the selections are dangerously good.   DRAYTON HARBOR OYSTER COMPANY

Seafood, Regional NW

685 Peace Portal Dr., Blaine 360.656.5958, A board inside Drayton Harbor Oyster Company tracks when the last oyster delivery was made and how long it takes the oysters to get from the ocean to the kitchen. The

July/August 2020 85




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Local Eats  Taste

New Location, Same Great Smoothies Electric Beet Juice Co. BY AMY ANDERSON GUERRA

Photos by Annika Sampson



Electric Beet Juice Co., where those are the names of two new smoothie offerings. Despite the new address, customers can expect the same delicious recipes as always, plus many exciting new menu items. Electric Beet Juice Co. started more than five years ago in the Public Market building and then moved to a temporary location on State Street before finding its new home on Cornwall Avenue. For owner Kara Marklin, the new location is a dream spot. “Probably the number one thing I’m excited about is having a permanent location... being next door to Pure Bliss and all of these great businesses around here, I can’t really think of a better place,” Marklin says. Electric Beet’s new location is bright, clean, and comfortable, featuring a cheerful color palette and green succulents lining the walls. Marklin did much of the interior construction work herself, with the aid of a handyman. Her goal was to create a welcoming environment where people could enjoy celebratory food. “I didn’t just oversee the project, I actually did the project... I got to use saws — big saws — and all kinds of tools, and I loved it so much, it was the wildest experience. I started to think that maybe I had missed my calling and I was supposed to be a builder.” When asked what makes the place unique, Marklin is quick to reply it is her creative recipes. She admits to constantly experimenting with new offerings. “Honestly

it comes down to having time to recipe test them... again and again.” Favorite new menu additions include the Campfire, a cookie-flavored confection featuring cardamom, turmeric, dates, and sunflower butter; the Strawberry Blonde, with its signature beet juice, strawberries, ginger, and coconut water; and the Power Suit, which is packed with blueberries, banana, pineapple, and other nutritious ingredients. Electric Beet uses thoughtfully sourced, organic materials for their drinkable creations. This same standard for ingredients also applies to their food menu, which features spring rolls, salads, pancakes, rolls, desserts, and more. Marklin hopes to pursue more changes in the future. “For the restaurant, I want to be able to serve dinner plates... natural wine — I want to make things happen for the theater crowd.” The first phase involves an expansion of hours, with doors opening as early as 8 a.m. and eventually staying open until as late as 9 p.m. Marklin also hopes to give attention to another project. “I want to start a program that uses Electric Beet’s kitchen — and utilizes different aspects of Electric Beet — but is a separate nonprofit that is able to train and then hopefully provide jobs for... adults with developmental disabilities,” she says. Whether wielding a blender, a power saw, or a passion for community, Marklin creates great outcomes. The next time you’re seeking a positive place to refuel, head to Cornwall Avenue to try one of Marklin’s flavorful creations. Electric Beet Juice Co., 1422 Cornwall Ave., 360.676.7477,  July/August 2020 87

Skylark’s Hidden Cafe Katie’s Killer Mimosa Ingredients: Fresh muddled orange, orange vodka, peach schnapps, pineapple juice, orange juice, champagne $9

record? 13 minutes. This level of freshness means oysters so good that people come from all over the globe to taste them. The intimate, casual setting will make you feel like you’re at a friend’s house.   FAT SHACK American 414 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.366.8752, Fat Shack offers a variety of burgers, wings, and their specialty: densely packed sandwiches. The typical “fat” sandwich is some combination of grilled steak and fried chicken, along with cheese and a host of sides, all pressed inside a fresh hoagie roll. It is not for the meek, or for someone looking for a salad bar. Along with its unapologetic embrace of deep-fried food, Fat Shack serves up some surprises. Its hamburgers are hand-pressed, hand-seasoned, and never frozen.   THE FILLING STATION American 1138 Finnegan Way, Bellingham 360.715.1839 716 Alabama St., Bellingham 360.746.2079, The 1950s vibe resonates within the walls of this all-American burger joint. From the antique gas pump to the car memorabilia lining the restaurant, The Filling Station is Fairhaven’s newest go-to spot to satisfy your hunger. With names like Chevy Pickup, Mustang, and Thunderbird, the menu provides different burger selections along with appetizers like Dip Sticks (deep-fried zucchini strips), Hot Rod (footlong hot dog), or the Junkyard (classic, onion, and tire fries).


a former employee, is the perfect addition to a Sunday brunch. While it may just taste like orange juice at first sip, don’t let it fool you — it packs a tropical twist. Splashes of peach schnapps and pineapple juice launch this breakfast beverage to a whole other level, transporting you to the beach as you sit at the bar. Speaking of the bar, Skylark’s offers the perfect balance of elegance and hominess. From the unique mirrors hanging on the walls to the vintage furniture and beautiful woodwork, it embraces the Victorian-esque vibes of historic Fairhaven. Stop by to read a book at one of the outdoor tables or enjoy live music performances on the weekends. Couple your cocktail with their “delicious, unpretentious food,” for a delectable, convivial experience. Skylark’s Hidden Cafe, 1308 11th St., Bellingham, 360.715.3642, ANELYSE MORRIS


9989 Mount Baker Hwy., Glacier 360.599.9883 Graham’s Restaurant is the classic, rustic stop for a good burger and brew in Glacier, especially for hungry travelers. Built in 1904, the building represents a long-gone era in the Mount Baker wilderness. Connected to an oldtimey grocery store, the cabin-like restaurant is made complete by black-and-white photos of the cast from the 1935 film “Call of the Wild,” starring Clark Gable and Loretta Young, warming their hands over the little stove oven which still sits there today.   HOMESKILLET American 521 Kentucky St., Bellingham Owners Tina and Kirby named their restaurant after one of their favorite lines in the movie Juno, when a store clerk says, “This is one doodle that can’t be undid, homeskillet.” The skillets on their menu came afterward, but are now one of the eatery’s most popular items.

Photo by Julia Berkman



Dining Guide  Taste A small skillet is filled with perfectly-fried potatoes, eggs, and your choice of toppings. Homeskillet can’t be beat with its friendly service, colorful atmosphere, and ultimate comfort food.



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.


KURUKURU SUSHI Japanese, Sushi 11 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.392.8224, KuruKuru Sushi, which translates to “go around Sushi,” offers not only a good meal, but a good experience as well. Along with the more traditional sushi, delicious lightly tempura-fried sushi also makes its way around the conveyor belt. If you don’t see something you like, the chefs behind the counter will gladly make something for you.


LYNDEN DUTCH BAKERY American 421 Front St., Lynden 360.354.3911, Guests of Lynden Dutch Bakery will have a hard time picking just one sweet treat. Options include pies, donuts, fritters, cakes, and seemingly countless more. The wide variety of scones are some of the shop’s most popular items, along with a savory selection for those missing their sweet tooth. Fruit pies use berries grown just a few miles from the shop, and the owners sell many of their pastries to local businesses for wholesale.


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.


Refuel from book browsing at Evolve Chocolate and Cafe with their Lamb Pita. Piled high with slow-roasted lamb on a crisp, baked pita and accented with mint yogurt sauce, cucumber, and feta cheese, this dish packs a mighty, protein-rich punch.

If you’re craving authentic flavor and spice, cozy up in Mount Vernon’s Rachawadee Thai Cafe with a bowl of Tom Kah. This creamy coconut soup is made with lemongrass, galangal, mushrooms, and your choice of chicken or prawns.

At Iron Rooster Bakery & Cafe in downtown Fairhaven you’ll find a spread of delicious European-inspired pastries and sweets. For a tried-and-true standby, go for the Chocolate Almond Croissant. Flakey, buttery pastry meets rich chocolate and slivered almonds.

Dine in Parisian style at The Black Cat, tucked onto the third floor of Fairhaven’s historic Sycamore building. Start your evening with an Oyster Shooter — if you’re feeling bold, ask your server to spike it with a shot of vodka.

5 6 7 8


Creamy, savory deliciousness awaits you at Bellingham’s premier Cajun restaurant, Bayou on Bay. In their signature Shrimp and Grits dish, prawns are sautéed with shallots, bacon, green onions, and mushrooms, then combined with a rich cream sauce.

Drop by Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro in downtown Bellingham for a wide array of delicious beer and food options. If you’re craving a dark beer and a meatless meal, pair an Oatmeal Stout with a Veggie Burger.

Get your western fix at Lynden’s Rusty Wagon. Kids will love playing in the western-themed buildings outside the restaurant. As for the food, go all in with the finger-licking Baby Back Ribs, paired with a salad and your choice of side.

Looking for a quick late-night bite? Stop by El Capitan’s and grab a dog, Seattle style. The X.O. is their flagship specialty, topped with cream cheese, thick-cut bacon, grilled onions, and tangy BBQ sauce, paired best with a pale lager.

July/August 2020 89

Taste Sip

Hosting a Wine Tasting Party BY DAN RADIL


OOKING FOR A LITTLE SOCIAL ACTIVITY THAT’S AFFORDABLE, informative, and fun? Consider hosting

a wine tasting party for a small group of friends or family. It’s a great way to stimulate conversation and lift your spirits while getting a fresh perspective on wines you might not otherwise buy. Set your tasting party in motion by selecting a theme. Choose wines from the same winery or the same part of the world — Napa, Spain, Bordeaux, or Walla Walla, for example — and have each guest or couple bring a bottle to share. My personal favorite is a blind tasting party. Start by making sure everyone brings the same varietal; all chardonnays, all merlots, etc. This levels the playing field, allowing you to compare wines with similar characteristics and flavor profiles. Have your guests bring their wine in a brown paper bag to conceal its identity, then remove the corks and upper foil labels. You can either number the bags and pour from there, or tape the name of the wine to the bottom of identical decanters, pour the wine into the decanter, and number the bottle prior to serving. Make score sheets with room for notes so tasters can record their preferences. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your scoring system! Instead of a boring 1 to 10 rating 90

scale, I use descriptors for each level such as, “I thought this was supposed to be wine,” to “This could replace one of the basic food groups.” Keep your pours at about one or two ounces each, allowing tasters to revisit each wine. This gives everyone a chance to change his or her order of preference and makes for better comparisons with wines sampled earlier in the tasting. When everyone has completed their scoring, designate someone to compile and announce the results — preferably in reverse order, for a bit of suspense — while revealing each wine as you go. A couple of other helpful suggestions: First, try to limit your blind tasting to no more than six to eight people, which usually means a competition of four to six wines. If your invite list exceeds eight, simply take into consideration that you might need two bottles of each wine so everyone can have a taste. Second, be sure to have palate cleansers on hand during the tasting, such as bread or crackers, along with plenty of bottled water. Encouraging your guests to bring appetizers is another great way of cost-sharing for the event, but consider serving spicy or flavorful foods either before or after the blind tasting, so they don’t interfere with the taste of the wine. I’ve been hosting and attending blind tastings for years, and there are plenty of great takeaways. Invariably, there’s a pleasant surprise when a lower-priced wine outperforms something twice the cost. I’ve also learned more about specific wines from different regions, which gives me a great reference point for future purchases. Finally, group participation means everyone has a hand in the party’s success. Share your wine tastings in the company of good friends, and you’re guaranteed a fun and memorable experience. 

Dining Guide  Taste

THE MILL French 655 Front St., Lynden 360.778.2760, The Mill is the type of place where one could spend a full afternoon grazing on cheeses, sipping cocktails, and enjoying a good book. The bistro-like atmosphere gives the restaurant a European vibe without losing the welcoming small-town service of Lynden. The menu is full of bistro plates like fresh salads, paninis, soups, and, of course, meats and cheeses.   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.

Must-Visit Farm Stands Goods Nursery and Produce From March through October, Goods offers a selection of Washington-grown fruits and veggies, with plenty of organic options. The owners emphasize building healthy connections with local farmers and community members, so you can feel good about your food. While you’re there, explore the nursery and pick out a plant or two for your garden. 2620 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, 360.671.3085

Schuh Farms

NORTHWATER Regional NW 4260 Mitchell Way, Bellingham 360.398.6191, 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.

Whether you’re looking to buy fresh seasonal produce or a delicious home-made pie, this Skagit Valley staple is your go-to stop. At their farm store, you’ll find a range of goodies including locally made cheeses, jams, ice cream, and espresso. During the summer months, you can purchase berries from their berry stand or pick your own. Don’t forget to say hello to the farm animals! 15565 SR 536, Mount Vernon, 360.424.6982

SALTINE New American 114 Prospect St., Bellingham 360.392.8051, The short and sweet menu is described by owners as “new American comfort.” Comfort classics are woven in with nods to international flavors and technique. Saltine also offers a long list of European and American wines along with craft cocktails and local beer on tap.   THE STEAK HOUSE AT SILVER REEF Steak, Seafood

4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale 360.383.0777, This award-winning restaurant offers elegant dining and an intimate atmosphere. Prime-grade steaks are broiled at 1,800 degrees to lock in the natural juices and finished with a special steak butter. They also have an extensive wine list. This dining experience rivals any of the big-town steakhouses in quality and service without the big-city price tag.   TASTE OF INDIA Indian 3930 Meridian St., Ste. 107, Bellingham 360.647.1589, At Taste of India, all the dishes are rich, delicious, and authentic. Dishes come with your choice of pulao rice or the classic Indian bread naan. Taste of India offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, all with exquisite and well-developed flavors.

Snow Goose Produce Perhaps best known for its ice cream cones — particularly the generous portions — Snow Goose also offers fresh produce and a variety of local food and gift items. Browse the covered, open-air market for smoked fish, bouquets, bread, wine, cheese, and a selection of pantry items like jam, honey, syrup, and pickled goods. You’ll also find jewelry, pottery, and textiles from local makers. 15170 Fir Island Rd., Mount Vernon, 360.445.6908

Youngstock’s Nursery and Produce For fresh produce and bountiful flowers at affordable prices, visit Youngstock’s in Bellingham’s Sunnyland neighborhood. If you’re looking for an assortment of fresh food without the hassle of shopping, order one of their Grab and Go boxes — just place your order through email and then pick up in person. The stand is open from April through October, seven days a week. 2237 James St., Bellingham, 360.366.8173 

July/August 2020 91

Taste  Dining Guide

A Blast From The Past

We Care How You Look Wally’s Barber Shop 314 E Holly St #100 Bellingham 360-647-0807



SKAGIT 13MOONS AT SWINOMISH CASINO & LODGE Seafood, Steak 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.   ANELIA’S KITCHEN Polish 513 South 1st St., La Conner 360.399.1805,


A welcoming atmosphere, local food prepared with care, and great music make Anelia’s Kitchen & Stage a must-visit. The assortment of house-infused Polish vodkas and myriad of local beers on tap will make you wonder why you didn’t visit sooner. Na zdrowie!



CATRINA TACOS & TEQUILA Mexican 517 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.336.5566, Catrina Tacos & Tequila is known for their take on Street Tacos — with a multitude of meat fillings to choose from, double tortillas, cilantro, and onions — but that’s certainly not the only mouthwatering option. With plenty of drinks to sample, there’s always another reason to visit again.   CHUCKANUT MANOR Pacific Northwest 3056 Chuckanut Dr., Bow 360.766.6191,

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.

Tucked along Samish Bay, Chuckanut Manor has been serving flavorful Pacific Northwest fare for more than 50 years. Open for lunch and dinner, including a daily happy hour from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., the restaurant is known for its mouthwatering seafood dishes, burgers, steaks, stellar service, and breathtaking views of Samish Bay. The dining room and bar are expansive and feature white tablecloths, nautical decor, and rows of windows that show off the magnificent views. In the summer, guests may also dine on the outdoor patio. While the tablecloths might allude to fancy attire, the vibe is casual and everyone is welcome just as they are.   DAD’S DINER A-GO-GO American


of the



of the










2615 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham 360.332.2505 |

906 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.899.5269 Dad’s Diner A-Go-Go in Anacortes is the epitome of creative flavors and fun presentation. Add in the superior customer

Sip  Taste

Refresh your taste buds, go Nude Nude Beverages BY JACK TAYLOR

Photos courtesy of Nude Beverages


F YOU LOVE HARD SELTZER but prefer a dry, crisp

beverage rather than a sugary drink high in calories, you’re not alone. For people like Julius Makarewicz, the owner of Canadian company Nude Beverages, this same preference inspired him to create a drink that’s both refreshing and health-conscious. “I found myself trying to eat healthy and trying to work out and take care of myself, but come the weekend, everything kind of flew out the window,” Makarewicz says. Only seeing high-calorie beverages, he was determined to create an alternative for consumers, much like how sugarless sparkling waters such as La Croix and Bubly offered an alternative to sugary soft drinks. “I just saw the gap in the market for a better-for-you alcoholic beverage,” Makarewicz says. Although the idea of a healthy, sugarless hard seltzer came to Makarewicz in 2013, it wasn’t until 2017 that Nude Beverages officially launched. To perfect the recipe, Makarewicz worked with an awardwinning natural beverage developer to find the best flavors. The result is a crisp beverage with only 100 calories per can,

zero sugars, and zero carbs, and with flavors such as classic lime, peach, mango, and raspberry lemon. “Raspberry lemon is my favorite, followed by classic lime because classic lime tastes exactly like a vodka soda,” Makarewicz says. He also suggests that if you have a sweet tooth, this drink may not be for you. “It’s definitely not sweet unlike other hard seltzers on the market,” Makarewicz says. “We have no sugar whatsoever, so it’s very crisp and dry and very refreshing.” After launching in Canada in July of 2017, Makarewicz has turned his company’s attention toward the U.S., starting with Bellingham, a move he says is a logical one given the city’s location. “Bellingham has a great market...we know Bellingham, our team knows it because we have been to Bellingham so much...we grew up driving down to Bellingham, so it’s easy to launch,” he says. Makarewicz also uses Nude Beverages as a way to give back to the community, specifically animal rescues. Nude Beverages has partnered with the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to raise money. “We are big into animal rescue, we donated over $100,000 with a goal of a million dollars by 2020,” he says. As for the future, Makarewicz hopes his company becomes the number one ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage in North America. For now, you can find Nude at Haggen and select gas stations, markets, liquor stores, and tap houses across Whatcom and Skagit counties.  July/August 2020 93

Taste  Dining Guide service in a comfortable, casual atmosphere, and it’s no wonder so many locals eat here weekly. The space is decorated with framed photos of dads, most of whom are local — an appreciation of their loyal fan base. Every edible item is a labor of love, just how Dad would make it at home.   FORTUNE MANDARIN Chinese, Mandarin 1617 Freeway Dr., Mount Vernon 360.428.1819, Tea warmed over a candle, delicious drinks with a slight exotic twist, tender and flavorful meat, and vegetables cooked to perfection are expected at this peaceful bar and restaurant with Chinese decor. The owner and staff remember regular patrons, creating a sense of community alongside mouth-watering food.   GREEK ISLANDS RESTAURANT Greek 2001 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.293.6911, Some of the very best Greek food in our area comes from this versatile and excellent menu, with plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and glutenfree options. They serve both authentic food, such as classic gyro plates and spanakopita, while also mixing in American and seafood options, such as pork ribs and fish and chips.

13724 Laconner Whitney Rd., Mount Vernon 360.466.4411, Craving home-cooked food but don’t want to make it yourself? Skagit Valley’s Farmhouse may be what you’re looking for. When first entering the building, you walk past a mouthwatering pie showcase and through a gift shop that has the perfect items for Ma and Pa. The decor is reminiscent of country living. Even though their breakfasts are famous, try their lunch and dinner menus as well — when you eat here, you’re home.   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.


THE OYSTER & THISTLE RESTAURANT & PUB Seafood, Steak 205 E. Washington St., La Conner 360.766.6179, The Oyster & Thistle Restaurant and Pub takes the time to prepare food with care. Their pastas are handmade and hand-cranked using semolina flour and an egg-rich dough. You’ll also find plenty of fresh, expertly shucked oysters and perfectly seared sea scallops.   RAILROAD PUB & PIZZA Pizza, American 122 S. Spruce St., Burlington 360.982.2133, Railroad Pub & Pizza in downtown Burlington has all the charm of a rustic pub with quality food and drinks. The menu boasts several artisan pizza options on a 24-hour aged malted dough crust, as well as soups, salads, and sandwiches. The bar offers a multitude of taps for craft beer and ciders. The wide garage-style windows open in the summer, and the central fireplace heats the space in the winter. It’s a great place to watch a game, drink a beer, and eat some pizza.

11 Point Lawrence Rd., Olga, 360.376.3242, The menu of this Orcas Island eatery may be small, but it is mighty. Breakfast and lunch are served late and their menu features meat and produce grown on the island. Don’t forget about their bakery before heading out — all sweets and baked goods are made in-house.   CYNTHIA’S BISTRO American 65 Nichols St., Friday Harbor, 360.298.8130, Located in a renovated 1920s home, this local San Juan Island staple is known for their innovative menu selections. You can enjoy lunch, or even an extended breakfast, daily in spring and summer. They are famous for their brunch, but you might try stopping by later in the evening for their dinner menu — a special treat.   FRIDAY HARBOR HOUSE Regional NW 130 West St., Friday Harbor 360.378.8455, It’s hard to beat the view of the ferry landing, marina, and San Juan Channel from Friday Harbor House — the hotel and restaurant provide a sweeping panorama of water and sky. In addition to the delicious food menu,



Friday Harbor House is one of the few island restaurants to offer a full bar at brunch every day of the week.   INN AT LANGLEY American 400 First St., Langley, 360.221.3033, If beauty were a taste, this would be it. As a guest, you’re taken on a mouth-watering culinary journey through a multi-course tasting menu. Not only is the meal a delight for the taste buds, but there are also surprises at each turn, whether it’s the presentation or the accoutrements. Each guest is served as if they are the only one in the dining room. The menu is prix fixe, with an additional charge for wine pairing. Dinner here is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. $ $ $ $  ISLAND SKILLET Homestyle 325 Prune Alley, Eastsound, 360.376.3984 Beloved by loyal patrons for its large portions and casual, customizable meals, Island Skillet is a must-stop for anyone visiting Orcas Island. A rustic metal rooster outside the entrance sets the tone. Start the day with a skillet breakfast complete with a bottomless cup of coffee. Sandwiches rule the lunch menu, and you can choose from a lengthy list of sides and customizations for most items, so you can totally have it your way.   SAN JUAN ISLAND BREWING CO. American

410 A St., Friday Harbor, 360.378.2017, At San Juan Island Brewing Company all the brews are named after San Juan-inspired concepts, and if you can’t decide what brew to try, order a sampler. If they weren’t in the business of brewing, San Juan Island Brewery would be in the business of pizza. Order one of their wood stone pizzas and you won’t be disappointed. The thin crust is crispy on the bottom, but still soft and chewy.   TOBY’S TAVERN Seafood 8 NW Front St., Coupeville, 360.678.4222, Overlooking the scenic Penn Cove in the center of old Coupeville, Toby’s Tavern offers diners a dive bar ambience with a delicious menu of seafood favorites. Steamed and soaked in a scrumptious mix of simple seasonings, wine, and juices, Toby’s robust offering of mussels makes for a memorable visit.

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Notes  Lasting Image

Although the ski season was cut short this year, I have the pleasure of looking through old photographs captured on the mountain. While locking in my ski boots I spotted the bright orange Volkswagen van, grabbed my camera and shot as many photos as possible. It is not every day that Mt. Baker has an empty parking lot with a beautiful van isolated in the snow.

Photo by Emily Porter


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.





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