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What’s Inside: Whatcom County trails offer an outdoor adventure 365 days a year...................................................B2 Keeping mentally and emotionally healthy during a COVID winter............................................... B6 Megan Richey, Ferndale native, returns home and aims to help motivate others.............................. B8

And More! Wednesday, January 27, 2021 A special publication of the Lynden Tribune and Ferndale Record


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record


Year-round Whatcom hiking

The view out to the Salish Sea is the reward for hiking up to the Cyrus Gates Overlook above Chuckanut Baysouth of Bellingham. Truth be told, it is possible to drive to the parking lot with restrooms too, by way of Cleator Road. Other trails branch off here. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

Chuckanut and Lake Whatcom trails are the ideal get-away in winter By Calvin Bratt editor@lyndentribune.com

   WHATCOM — Hiking in January? Absolutely.    Besides the Cascades high country, now mostly snowbound, Whatcom County is blessed with lower-elevation climbs that

are accessible and doable year-round.    A whole batch of the local hiking opportunity can be summed up with one label: the Chuckanuts. They’re definitely worth exploring in winter.    Chuckanut Mountain is the minimassif hugging the saltwater south of Bellingham and sprawling about equally in Whatcom and Skagit counties. The southern portion also goes by the name Blanchard Hill, but geologically it’s all inter-connected (although the trails not so much).    The climbing scarcely gets above

2,000 feet, enough altitude to deliver rewarding views out to the Salish Sea and its straits and islands, but nothing to deter the average day hiker in an afternoon.    A sign at the Cyrus Gates Overlook — itself an overlooked destination, it seems — explains how the geological terrain works here: This is the only spot along the whole 700-mile path of the Cascade range, from southern British Columbia to northern California, where a spur of the mountains touches directly upon the sea. Therein lies the uniqueness of the Chuckanuts.

The north side    On good wheels it’s possible to drive to the Cyrus Gates vista. Take HiLine Road off Chuckanut Drive. Just after crossing the Interurban Trail, the name changes to Cleator Road and it’s typically rough mountain access. But less than three miles gets you to the top at 1,830 feet.    But who wants to ride when it can be hiked? Welcome to just a bit of the delightful tangle of Chuckanut trails.    One destination can be Fragrance Continued on next page



Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record

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The Two Dollar Trail to Fragrance Lake is good for easy mountain biking as well as for hiking. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune) Lake, reachable by two routes. One is to park at the trailhead half a mile up Cleator Road and take the easy Two Dollar trail to the lake.    Along the way breathe in the fragrance of the cedar and hemlock trees on the west-facing slope, enjoy occasional views down to Chuckanut Bay and stop at the waterfalls of a small stream about three-fourths way in. At the lake, walk the extra .6 mile around, or find a place to icycool your toes if you wish.    The other way in is named Fragrance Lake Trail. Find a parking spot along Chuckanut near Larrabee State Park, get a quick jump onto the Interurban and trek just a few hundred yards (either north or south, depending on where you’re parked) to the Fragrance trailhead heading upward. It’s for hikers only, for this particular stretch.    At 600 feet you can veer off for an overlook. Or continue on to the Fragrance Lake Loop at 1,040 feet, and here the hoofed

and wheeled riders may join you.    But if you want to hike up to the Cyrus Gates Overlook, diverge a little before the lake onto the unimproved Fragrance Lake Road connector to Cleator. Share the final stretch with vehicles the .8 mile and 400 feet of rise in two turns to the top.    At a viewpoint to the east, see Lake Whatcom, Mount Baker and the Twin Sisters in the distance from a vantage you won’t have anywhere else.    At the top, there is a parking lot, restrooms, an interpretive panel and, of course, the view out to the western sea and islands. Other trails branch off here: Double Diamond, Upper Ridge and down to Lost Lake to the east.    Cyrus Gates (1858-1927), as personal secretary to early entrepreneur Charles X. Larrabee, facilitated the land donation that became Washington’s first state park named after Larrabee in 1915. Gates also See Hiking on B4


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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record


Hiking Continued from B3

worked toward the development of Bellingham’s parks system. The south side    Continue on down Chuckanut Drive into Skagit County to reach the trailhead for certainly the most well-known of the destinations on the south half of Chuckanut Mountain, Oyster Dome.    It’s necessary to park tightly along the roadway, and usually the long stretch of shoulder starting shortly after Taylor Shellfish is sufficient to handle all hikers, especially in winter. Watch for cars on Chuckanut as you cross to the trailhead.    For what it’s worth, this is also a pickup point of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail that wends its serpentine way, mostly connecting pre-existing trails, all the way to Montana.    Enjoy the steady elevation gain and long switchbacks getting you up to where you can turn right to the Samish Overlook, but instead stay left on the Samish Bay Connector and follow the signs to the Dome. This overall 3.5-mile climb is a showcase of second-growth fir and cedar, boulders and low spots. The reward at the top, at 2,060 feet, is the rocky promontory from which you can look west — and catch your breath.    This is the Washington Trails Association description: “Arrayed before you are the Skagit River flats and Anacortes to the left. Lummi Island and Orcas Island are in the foreground and background, respectively, to the right. Samish Bay is below you, and in the distance are Vancouver Island and the Olympic Mountains.”    The Samish Overlook is notable in its own right, however. For one thing, it is drivable, with a parking lot and proper restrooms, and starting there knocks a mile off your Oyster Dome climb. The way in on wheels is from Interstate 5 on Samish Lake Road and Barrel Springs Road, then several miles on marked gravel road east.    At the overlook, just sit and drink in the spectacular view to the Skagit flats or Samish Bay. It’s a popular place to picnic. With luck in summer, be there when the updrafts are just right for hang-glider after hang-glider to scamper down off the cliff for a lift under his sail and soaring high above land and sea like a condor in the sky.

Samish Overlook is definitely claimed by the hang-gliders, and they provide general entertainment doing their thing, when the updrafts are just right for jumping off the cliff and lofting into the sky. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

Lookout Mountain    In 2014, with facilitation by the Whatcom Land Trust and other organizations,


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record

The system of mapping and signing on the trails of Chuckanut Mountain serves the outdoor adventurer well. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune) approximately 8,800 acres of secondgrowth forest and stream habitat on the both the east and west sides of Lake Whatcom were transferred from the state Department of Natural Resources to Whatcom County. Water quality of the lake is also enhanced.    The benefit to hikers is now being realized. On the east side, with access at the end of North Shore Drive, the 2.4-mile Lake Chanterelle Trail has been created.    More recently, the complex of trails in the Lookout Mountain Forest Preserve on the west side is completed. The parking area and trailhead are off Lake Louise Road on the upland side of Sudden Valley.    Pay close attention to signage to make sure of where you want to go. It’s easiest for most people to take the wide vehicle road three-tenths of a mile to where a bunch of options converge, and there are more signs.    An easy jaunt is to an overlook of wa-

terfalls. The ambitious route is along the Rufus Creek Trail, first to the connecting Back Side Trail that will lead to Galbraith Mountain, popular with mountain bikers. In fact, be on the watch for speedy mountain bikers on all these trails.    Rufus Creek Trail then backtracks up the slope of Lookout, a 4.3-mile hike in all, to the Cougar Ridge Trail, which is only for bikers. A shorter, although steeper way down for hikers is the Baneberry Trail, not recommended for ascending.    Trails in the vicinity of Bellingham, and fully all of Chuckanut Mountain, are serviced with EMS checkpoint locations, with names and coordinates, for reporting in your spot in case of an emergency. You can reconnoiter as you pass checkpoint Alpha, Charlie, Bravo and so on.    The Chuckanut Recreation Area map of Square One Maps is the essential resource. Paper copies are available at Dave’s Sports Shop of Lynden.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record



Supporting mental and emotional health during COVID-19 Ideas: Keep up personal connections, get outside, skip screens for a while    This article is provided by WhatcomTalk.com, first printed Dec. 17, 2020, and is reprinted by permission. It was written by Annika Sampson.    The days are shorter, the nights are longer and we’re all spending a lot of time indoors. It sounds like a typical Whatcom County fall and winter, but this time it’s a little different. As we learn to adapt to COVID-19 guidelines and public health recommendations, it’s important to keep in mind not only physical health, but mental and emotional health as well.     On dreary days, I often find myself staring wistfully out the window, wondering what it’s like to live in California. I ask all my friends for their passwords to Netflix, Hulu, HBO and any other streaming service that could offer a glimpse of a sunnier world. I’m not alone in this. This season often comes with the “winter blues” as well as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).    In years past, I and many others have coped with the rainy season through gatherings with friends and family, travel, going to concerts or other events, and throwing ourselves into work. Of course, COVID-19 precautions make most of this unavailable. As we all work hard to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities, we still need to make sure we’re tending to our mental and emotional health, as well as that of our neighbors.    Joe Fuller, a program specialist with the Whatcom County Health Department, coordinates behavioral health services across Whatcom County that primarily address youth and their families. He partners

The Natural High Club at Vista Middle School of Ferndale is one example of creatively and consistently boosting each other toward healthy behavior, in this case fellow middle school students. (Courtesy photo) with all seven school districts, supports counselors and coordinates multiple prevention coalitions throughout the county. The most rewarding part of all this? “It’s pretty simple,” Fuller says. “It’s about help-

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ing people, and helping people access services that improve their lives — helping young people thrive and families function better.”    Although Fuller’s work focuses on youth, his advice and expertise can help anyone struggling with mental or emotional health, especially during this time of community and global crisis.    “The state Department of Health has provided us with a behavioral health forecast, which helps us map out how we look ahead,” Fuller explains. “We expect some increases in anxiety and depression. One of the outcomes of the pandemic has been increased isolation. When that happens, it just has an effect on those conditions.”    It’s important that people continue to find ways to stay connected within the current public health recommendations.    “What we know from prevention research is that even if someone has a lot of

risk factors, connection to one healthy individual makes a huge difference,” Fuller says. Maintaining these vital connections is more important now than ever, even if many of them are virtual.    For young people, adults and caregivers, stress management is key when it comes to maintaining connections, hope and joy. “I have a second- and sixth-grader,” Fuller says, “and managing a workload while trying to support their remote learning at the same time is hard.”    Easing stress looks different for every individual and every family. It can include things like exercise, art, self-care, meditation and breathing exercises. It can be making intentional time to call friends or family and check in, say hi, and catch up on your days — despite the distance.    Fuller also recommends putting away Continued on next page

HEALTHY LIVING those screens.    “Take a break from the media,” he advises. “People can get fatigued.” When the news cycle gets to be too much, turn off the phone or close the computer and step outside. Whatcom County has abundant trails and opportunities to be in nature, whether that’s through biking, hiking, exploring or walking on the beach.    The University of Washington emphasizes healthy routines, taking intentional breaks and extending kindness and compassion to help mitigate COVID-related stress. The Whatcom County Health Department and Whatcom Unified Command also have great resources for individuals and families seeking mental and emotional health support. After all, things get easier when we know we’re not alone and that we’re all in this together.    “It’s not all doom and gloom,” Fuller reassures us. “Students and families are building resilience over this time.” And when we build resilience, we’re able to come back from difficulties with greater ease.    Everybody has unique stressors in their lives, but we’re also all currently living with the same one. And although COVID-19 has taken a toll on our collective mental, emotional and behavioral health, we have also created new ways of bringing meaning and happiness into our lives.


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record

A creative outlet for anyone is artistic expression, right down to chalking a sidewalk. And those who pass by can enjoy it as well until the next rain. (Courtesy photo)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record


Back home helping others be motivated

Clients at Manthey Momentum of Ferndale have some fun with their routine on Halloween day. Megan Manthey returned to her hometown to set up shop after having a college and five-year professional career in soccer elsewhere. (Courtesy photo/Megan Richey)

Ferndale’s Megan Richey has a story to tell of hopes and building resilience By Elisa Claassen for the Lynden Tribune

   WHATCOM — Megan (Manthey)

Richey, now a 32-year-old mom to a youngster, left Ferndale and Ferndale High School at age 16 to become a fulltime student at one of the most preeminent training facilities in the nation for athletes, in Bradenton, Florida. The former Ranger soccer player was headed to the next level — and eventually to the international level of play.    “I knew that I wanted to go to a top Division 1 college to play soccer and earn my bachelor’s degree,” she wrote on her

website and said on the phone. “I knew that upon graduation I wanted to turn pro. That is exactly what I did ... God opened the door.”    “I will be the first to tell you it wasn’t a smooth road.”    Not only transferring to IMG Soccer Academy, she also simultaneously attended the private Pendleton School. She left her family behind, prepared summers at IMG for her college soccer season, and then spent five years playing profession-

ally year-round in Boston, Iceland, Denmark and France. She also went on mission trips to South America.    While one of her first honors was to graduate as the female Player of the Year from IMG, she said she was always preparing for life after soccer and started coaching as well already as a teen.    “I was always looking for an opportunity to grow as a player and athlete and Continued on next page

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record

HEALTHY LIVING looking forward to the future.”    Now she is an elite trainer and specializes in exercise therapy, sports nutrition and personal training as well as sports performance training. As the owner/CEO of Manthey Momentum in Ferndale, she now has a 5,000-square-foot space within view of Interstate 5 at 1355 Pacific Place. While she was pregnant, she worked with her husband, Brent, to redo the location, gutted from having fasteners and parts in it, to make it suitable for working with both children and adults.    “I started with kids because I wanted to bring the educational component, movement, pattern and foundational strength components I saw missing in the soccer community.”   “Derek Leader, Giovani Fernandes, Brook Hamilton and Stacey Daniels were pivotal in my transformation as an athlete, on and off the field, and showed me what committed coaches look like.” See Richey on B10


Skiing Mount Baker

John Walstad and Gary Wilde of Whatcom County enjoy skiing up at Mount Baker last weekend. Snowfall has been plentiful for all the snow sports possible at the ski area and vicinity. (Courtesy photo/Lisa Reynolds)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record



Megan's daughter bonds with a client at Manthey Momentum, a business Megan says is meant to be a family-friendly environment centered on healthy lifestyle choices.,(Courtesy photo/Megan Richey) Continued from B9

   She chose the University of Colorado in Boulder “where I spent my first two years of college being humbled and absolutely hating college soccer.”    Rather than give up, she found a solution and made a change. “God has been faithful in providing opportunity and

direction since I was exiting the sport and making it clear how I could serve through coaching — and impact lives that way.”    “I was ready to throw the towel in and give up on my dreams. I decided to start the recruiting process over at the end of my sophomore year of college.

I transferred to the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and I am forever grateful for Kevin Dempsey and Mike Barroqueiro and all they did for me in those last two years.”    Megan ended her college career as the conference’s leading goal scorer and overall point earner.

   She relocated back to Ferndale because her husband is also from here. “He had a home and a job. But,” she laughed, “I never thought she would move back, but I am happy.”    Her own business has been operating minimally in the past year under the Continued on next page

HEALTHY LIVING governor’s COVID directives. It was hard to accept, but it gave Megan more time with her threeand-a-half-year-old daughter.    The professional trainer believes that many in the community could benefit from even a few simple suggestions for their health:    1. Get fresh air each day: Step outside.    2. If struggling and out of work — and missing a routine: Set a schedule to be motivated to get out of bed.    3. Before bed, write one to three things to accomplish the next day that would bring life to your soul, such as read 10 pages in a book or phone a friend.   Coach Megan receives emails at megan@mantheymomentum.com. She realizes not all of her clients have the same goals she had to play a sport professionally ­— although she could teach some soccer skills — and her aim is to work with all to increase energy, strengthen confidence and improve quality of life through nutrition and mental wellness tips.

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record


Now life is focused on family — her young daughter and her husband — after Megan Manthey played out her aspirations in soccer, including professionally in France, Iceland and Denmark. (Courtesy photo/Megan Richey)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, January 27, 2021 | Ferndale Record


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