Lily Point Marine Park is well worth the Point Roberts drive
Wind-swept spot of fishing past now preserved in full natural beautyBy Cal Bratt For the Tribune
You have to imagine how this place was before you appreciate it now.
It was an island of sand and gravel left by the outwash of retreating glaciers 15,000 years ago. Then for centuries this wind-swept point of land was a primary fishery and summer village of the Coast Salish people. By 1905 industrial fish traps filled the waters here and the shoreline Alaska Packers plant canned the catch.
All of that is gone now. What is left is a serene, humbling convergence of sea, sky and land that can
A pair of hikers at Lily Point. (Cal Bratt for the Tribune)
evoke your own nostalgia.
Lily Point is a 247-acre Whatcom County park at the southeast corner of Point Roberts. That location means the enjoyment requires (for most of us unless you can boat into the marina) a 43-mile drive through both Canadian and American border stations to get here. But it’s worth the effort.
From upland parking in the woods, a loop trail heads south for first overlooks to the waters of Georgia Strait and the San Juan Islands beyond. Or if taken east, the view is toward Semiahmoo Bay and White Rock, British Columbia. This main trail is open to walkers, bikers and horses.
Eventually the human explorer, on foot only, must take the beach access trail that drops 200 feet from bluff to rocky shoreline below. It is very doable for the moderately fit.
Then let the ambience en-
Lily Point: Well worth Point Roberts drive
Continued from 3
fold you: the wide marine view, the sun and wind exposure, the pile-up of driftwood, the expanse of rocky beach (at low tide), the remnants of old building pilings, the soar and dive of bald eagles in every direction.
Even without the aid of binoculars and map, one can identify: Semiahmoo peninsula nearest, but still almost eight miles away; industry at Whatcom County’s Cherry Point; the islands Lummi, Matia, Sucia, Patos and Orcas; Canadian islands and beyond them, dimly, the Olympic range.
Most of all, what will draw the visitor’s attention is the yellow sandstone cliff running a thousand feet on the northcentral side of Lily Point. Be advised, there is no trail up here.
One can stand and marvel at the multiple layers and variations of rock and sand in this wall, the effects of constant wind and storm erosion, and the precariousness of trees
and shrubs that dare to put down roots here.
The trekking of Lily Point Marine Park, in all, is no more than a few miles. There are various helpful interpretive signs and stations, covering the site’s cultural history, its brief industrial period, its flora and fauna, and “what can you see?” in the distance.
There is a restroom facility at the free parking lot. From the border crossing, take Tyee Drive south to the marina, then A.P.A. Road east.
Lily Point Marine Park came together as a public preserve through the efforts of Whatcom County (acquisition in 2008), the Whatcom Land Trust, Lummi Nation, federal and state agencies, and preservationminded average folks who valued this special place.
“Lummi forebears each year performed their most important “first salmon” ceremony, seeking the annual return of the fish on which they depended. They called this place Chelhtenem, which means ‘racks for drying seafood,’” a sign explains.
After Alaska Packers Association operation from 1884 to 1917, the future of Lily Point for many years hung in the balance. Development proposals over 30 years catalyzed community sentiment to preserve the point for the permanent natural enjoyment by all of the public.
Tractor Trot enters second year
Event founder began running as recovery from car accidentBy Sarah McCauley Staff Reporter
With days getting longer and the sun making an appearance more often than not, runners can be spotted everywhere.
Whether it be a seasoned runner continuing their daily practice or someone who dusted off
an old pair of running shoes to give the sport a try, lots of people are getting out and getting active. Lynden is no exception. The small town has a thriving running community with dedicated runners hitting the pavement every morning.
Julie Kroontje and Shona Short are two of these runners. They are also the force behind the Tractor Trot, a race in Lynden through the Greater Belling-
ham Running Club (GBRC).
GBRC is a nonprofit organization aiming to make running, and the community that surrounds it, accessible and inviting to everyone.
June 17 at 9 a.m. will mark the second year that Tractor Trot takes over the streets of Lynden after Kroontje came up with the idea last year. She wanted to see a race in this community she loves and has been a part of her
Runners hit the streets of Lynden during the first Tractor Trot in 2022. The event returns for its second year and offers a new option for runners to take on with a 15K race. Race coordinators Julie Kroontje and Shona Short said all levels of runners are encouraged to participate. (All photos courtesy Joy Love)
“It’s a great place,” Kroontje said of the town she was born and raised in.
The race takes place on June 17 and is open to runners of all abilities. Community members looking to get in on the fun without breaking a sweat are welcome to come cheer the racers on, or go ahead and join at an easier pace by walking one of the routes. There will be three options: 5K run/walk, 10K run/ walk, and a 15K run/walk. This is the first time the 15K will be an option.
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Kroontje hopes anyone in the community who is interested will feel welcome to join.
“Come trot with us,” Kroontje said. “No experience necessary.”
Donations this year will go to the Maddi Foundation, which benefits the study of a rare disease impacting a young community member. Top finishers will be awarded prizes like a one-night stay at the Beautiful Inn at Lynden.
When asked about herself
See Tractor Trot on 8
Tractor Trot: Enters second year
Kroontje brushes off the questions and redirects conversation to the Tractor Trot, not wanting to steal the focus. But her friends are not afraid to speak on her behalf, rightfully showing off her impressive list of accomplishments.
“She will protest loudly. But seriously, she has an amazing story of overcoming the biggest odds to become a solid runner of many years,” Short said. “She runs early in the morning in all weather, and has the best running wardrobe too. She is the biggest cheerleader for others.”
After being hit by a drunk driver at age 23, Kroontje turned to running as recovery and therapy. It serves this purpose for her to this day. “It keeps me comfortable,” she said.
Running is also a source of community for Kroontje, which she easily finds within the running community here in Lynden. Every week, she and a group of women wake up early and go on a long run together. They’ve been doing it for over a decade now, offering support and solace to each other as they navigate both running routes and life together. From coping
with illness to the joys and challenges of pregnancy - the running group was there to support.
“One of our friends ran through her whole pregnancy up until five days before giving birth,” Kroontje said.
When asked if she prefers group runs to heading out on the roads solo, she stands firmly on the side of group runs.
“Group running is a big motivation to get out and do it. I’m not that strong, I don’t know about other people, but I’m not,” Kroontje said with a laugh.
But it’s clear there’s an impressive strength in Kroontje. There are a lot of people who can say they run regularly with a running group, but fewer can say they have run an impressive 60 half-marathons.
When pointing this out to Kroontje, how impressive her story and running career are, she brushes off the well-deserved praise. She explains that running is therapy to her, as it is to so many. It’s just what she does to stay comfortable.
What advice does this 60-time halfmarathoner have to say to new runners beginning their journey? Find a sense of balance.
“It’s such a fine line between listening to your head and listening to your body,” Kroontje said.
It may seem like it would be hard to keep track of all the races she’s competed in at this point, but she still remembers that first half marathon she and her running group did together years ago.
“That first half marathon in Seattle was pretty epic,” Kroontje said.
Ironically, her favorite race is one she has yet to run herself, but that’s just because she’s busy being the reason a bunch of her fellow Whatcom runners get to enjoy it: the Lynden Tractor Trot.
“I haven’t actually run it,” Kroontje said. “But I’ve run the course several times.”
Kroontje said she wants everyone to come out and experience the race. It’s meant to be fun and open to anyone who wants to try it – regardless of skill level.
Sign up for the race or learn more about it through the GBRC’s website gbrc.net.
The race starts at Forge Fitness, 100 Drayton St., Lynden.
Easy escapes for people who want to get away
Four relaxing gems to visit in Whatcom CountyBy Nathan Schumock Sports Editor
Bellingham and the greater Whatcom County area have plenty of outdoor nooks and crannies to explore. Let’s look at a few of them and highlight what I enjoy about them.
Samish Overlook: Lake Samish Road, Bow
Samish Overlook, in my opinion, is the best viewpoint you will find in Whatcom County.
The overlook is a bit far out for people living in Northern Whatcom County, it would take about 45 minutes from Lynden. However, I am certain it would be worth it, especially considering the beautiful weather we have been having. It is located just south of Bellingham.
Hopefully, the pictures help illustrate what a sight it is once you are at the peak. The Samish Overlook is also right near the starting point of the Oyster Dome hike. If
Easy Escapes: Four relaxing gems
ball or whatever sport you may like.
When it gets even hotter this summer, it is a good spot to go swimming or a place where you can launch your paddle board.
My personal favorite part is the train tracks that run alongside the beach.
If you walk down the train tracks, you will find a few more beaches secluded from the main one. Just be careful and do not get hit by a train.
Larabee State Park: 245 Chuckanut Drive, Bellingham
Larabee is much more well-known, as it is a state park, but it is still definitely worth mentioning.
There are two entrances to the state park, one is a boat launch and the other is a central entrance. The boat dock can also be a place to launch your paddle board so you can easily drift out into Bellingham Bay.
ing lot with access to the beach or viewpoints. There is also a playground for the little ones.
This is another nice place to relax or hike. There is also a more proper hike called Fragrance Lake that is right across the street.
Big Rock Garden: 2900 Sylvan St., Bellingham
Big Rock Garden will be the last and most obscure entry on this list. Hidden in Northern Bellingham, this 2.5-acre plot of land holds 37 sculptures scattered throughout.
For fans of the arts, this could be a great place to go check out some unique pieces. The Garden is enclosed by trees and holds numerous kinds of flowers.
It is a good place to escape and learn something about art that you did not know before.
Continued from 11 someone is interested in going even higher and getting in a good workout.
I have frequented the Samish Overlook numerous times with my friends to relax with a gorgeous sunset view of the San Juans and Bellingham Bay.
It is also a good place to bring a picnic or a place to take photos if you catch the sun at the right time.
I highly recommend checking it out sometime.
Marine Park: 100 Harris Ave., Bellingham
Marine Park has become one of my favorite beach and walking spots in the area. It is relatively hidden at the very end of Harris Avenue in Bellingham.
I was not even aware it existed until just recently and since then, I have made it a regular spot.
There is a nice beach and while rocky (like most Washington beaches) it is still a great spot to hang out with friends or family.
There is plenty of room to play football, base-
The main entrance will lead you to a park-
-- Contact Nathan Schumock at nathan@ lyndentribune.com.
Magical 3C’s Farms has weddings booked into 2024By Elisa Claassen For the Tribune
Abit of nostalgia. Some whimsy. Entirely rustic and charming. Incredibly beautiful. The 3C’s Farms setting is on acreage between Mt. Baker Highway and Sumas Mountain – and on the pages and websites of The Knot, WeddingWire, and numerous personal wedding albums of happy brides who have had their weddings there the past few years.
How do they know about it? It has very little advertising but brides telling other brides. Now bookings are being taken into 2024 and even 2025 since they are only offered on weekends.
The farm is a bit hard to see from the road but surprisingly not difficult to find if you look for the St. Peter’s Catholic Church nearby and the Kendall Cemetery across the street. For anyone worried about parking, the field is relatively flat and sufficient in size for many crowds. The owners have spent time traveling on road trips and collecting vintage rustic finds to
be remade into parts of this event complex. The two work together with vision and a series of tools – a bit of brain and brawn for both of them.
“We’ve gone junking in Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada,” Angie Cain said. They also
have traveled along the West Coast in search of fun finds. They’ve brought home old wheels which are now part of a large chandelier,
The home of Angie and Frank Cain is at 6222 Mt. Baker Highway between Deming
and Kendall. Frank, part of the large Zender family, grew up nearby. Angie, who grew up on a farm in Acme, was part of the Jacoby family. They both attended Mount Baker High School (at different times), married and originally had a3C’s Farms has booked weddings into 2024. The home and farm of Angie and Frank Cain exhibits a creative vision and craftsmanship of the two together which appeals to many couples. (Photo courtesy 3C’s Farms)
one-acre homestead in Acme with a garden that garnered an article in another publication with a pond and water wheel Frank made, she said.
In 2000, this site was seven acres of farmland when they arrived. It now has 300 dahlias, zinnias, stock, lisianthus, and more. Behind the home is a fenced-in garden, covered outdoor event space, a bar, storage space for event signage, and a number of quaint out buildings that beg to be explored and discovered by guests.
While Frank has his company, 3C’s Timber Cutting Inc., Angie said she took from his choice of business name for her own, 3C’s Farms. Where do the C’s come from? Two places actually: three members of the Cain family and three ways to cut timber. Their only child, son Kendal, is grown and married to Cayley.
The parents do work together in envisioning and creating the elements within the complex down to the smallest of details – even a memorable set of restrooms within former silos.
A small version of a Victorian tiny home is replete with a small porch, twin window seats within, a bar stool set up by mirrors for brides and their bridal parties to do makeup and hair. A cutting flower garden is maintained during the week, when guests are not there, to produce both floral bouquets for weddings and for flower subscriptions.
At present, Angie has 24
subscriptions done on one year or six month selections which are suitable for gift giving and moms, she said. In addition to floral arrangements, she also can make wreaths.
In the past year, a crafter fair and a Mount Baker High School class reunion also took place at the farm and in view of one of the former goal posts from their old football field –something else the Cains had thrifted. An old ski lift chair from Mt. Baker Ski Area has also been saved and placed on their property on the hillside. Wood has been saved from old barns as well as Frank cutting trees, milling the lumber, and then building.
Wedding season starts in May and goes through early October. Part of that is due to restrictions by Whatcom County, Angie said. They also pull in help from high schoolers and a few college students.
Anyone interested in weddings or facility rentals at the farm can look online at 3csfarms.com for booking details. The farms’ directory contains local licensed bartenders, florists, photographers, filmmakers, and vendors. The farm also has a list of wedding officiants, catering, and music.
On TheKnot.com the site shows as a woman-owned business, guest capacity up to 300 people, having covered outdoors space and indoor event space as well as a bar to rent. Angie can also be contacted at the farm regarding flower subscriptions.
The last Saturday in April, 3C’s Farms hosted its annual craft show, top photo. Due to the busy wedding season, which starts weekends in May and extends into October, the event venue doesn’t have time for more craft events. The home and farm of Angie and Frank Cain, pictured above, exhibits a creative vision and craftsmanship of the two together which appeals to many couples. (Photos courtesy 3C’s Farms)
Play Whatcom by bus
Locally, Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) provides bus service around Bellingham and the County. It can also connect into buses that go into other neighboring counties. (Elisa Claassen for the Tribune)
WTA is an affordable way to explore the countyBy Elisa Claassen For the Tribune
Public transportation can be a variety of things in larger cities: light rail, subways, com-
muter trains, streetcars and trolleys, cable cars, van pools ferries and water taxis. Locally, Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) provides bus service around Bellingham and the County. It can also connect into buses that go into other neighboring counties.
A few quick facts about public transportation. According to American Public Transportation Authority (APTA), in 2019, Americans
See By Bus on 18
and follow the
By Bus: Play Whatcom
Continued from 16 took 9.9 billion trips on public transportation. It’s a $79 billion industry that employs more than 430,000 people. More than 6,800 organizations provide public transportation in the United States.
Busses aren’t just for commuting to and from work. They’re also a way to explore Whatcom County when a car is not available or simply as a way to save on gas. Get out your cash, purchase a bus pass or download the Umo mobile app and get ready to go.
Rides are $1 for adults. Anyone 18 or younger, or 75 and older, rides the bus for free. A free youth pass is needed when riding the 80X bus to Skagit.
A day pass is $3, a Skagit-
Whatcom Day Pass is $6, and then additional passes are available for more rides and more days. The WTA has online help at ridewta.com for checking routes and schedules and also using a trip planner linked to a map or tracking your bus to see if it is on time.
Within Lynden, the Lynden Hop, a shared ride service, has a new on-demand service using a new mobile app and costs $1 a ride. Book your ride by phone at 360-676-7433 or online. As with other parts of the WTA service, youth and seniors 75 and older are free. Quickly move between Fairway Center and the downtown and grab lunch with a friend, view art Jansen Art Center, and walk along the trail at the Lynden City Park.
Within Bellingham, a few
Spring blooms around the downtown Bellingham Public Library, top photo. In photo above, Regal Cinemas has a multiplex facility in the Barkley district near a series of restaurants, coffee shops, retail shops and a trail system. (Courtesy photos)
locations accessed by bus:
Boulevard Park (Route 1): From Boulevard Park you can walk along the boardwalk, enjoy coffee at Woods at the park, and follow the trail into Fairhaven to shop.
Fairhaven Park (Route 105): Many people don’t realize this park has 136 acres to explore, which include a playground, trails and a splash park.
Lake Padden (Route 533): The wooded trail follows the shore of the lake within 745 acres with sections for horseback riding, biking, walking and taking non-motor boats. A dog park and playgrounds are inviting for families.
Lake Whatcom (Route 525): The lake is the largest in Whatcom County and has several park areas, a boat launch and an enhanced swimming area.
Cornwall Park (Route 15): 70 wooded acres along the Guide Meridian is blocks from Interstate 5 and Squalicum Parkway – one direction going to the hospital and the other to the waterfront. The park is noted for its disc golf course, horseshoe pits, outdoor athletic courts
for basketball, tennis, and pickleball. The noted Cornwall Rose Garden is located on the south end.
Also, the buses can go to the movie theaters, museums, shopping downtown or in Fairhaven, and many other locations. Use a day pass and go from place to place.
To go beyond and into the community using partnerships with Skagit and Island transits:
• To connect between Bellingham and Lynden (Route 15)
• To go between Bellingham and Birch Bay (Route 75)
• To go between Bellingham and Mt. Vernon (Bus 80X)
• To go between Mt. Vernon and Everett (Bus 90X)
• To go between Mt. Vernon and Anacortes (Bus 40X)
• To go between Mt. Vernon and Camano Island (Bus 411C)
• To go between Anacortes and Whidbey Island (Bus 411W)
Give bussing a try and see how far you can go, bring a few friends, and leave less of a carbon footprint. Take your bike along to ride at your destination. Use the bike rack and make sure you notify the driver.
BELLINGHAM’S PREMIERE ESCAPE ROOM VENUE
Play Whatcom by Air
San Juan Airlines goes into islandsBy Elisa Claassen For the
BELLINGHAM — I stopped by the San Juan Airlines office at 4167 Mitchell Way on a Saturday afternoon recently.
Operations Manager Tammy Wilcox, who has worked for several airlines, said she also loves traveling herself and mentioned the opportunity to jump into the plane heading out to pick up a passenger from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.
In contrast to taking the ferry boats from the busy terminal in
Anacortes, which is around an hour drive from Bellingham and then riding the ferries for another hour to the quaint day trip destination, I climbed in, put on my seatbelt, and was fascinated flying above the many San Juan Islands.
Since my maternal grandparents had a cottage on the shores of Orcas Island when I was growing up, I looked down and saw it as well as homes perched atop hillsides. This was a better visual representation of the height of the mountains on some of the islands, roadways, boats and even ferries. I looked for whales but couldn’t see them or recognize them on this flight.
The pilots went through a brief safety lecture, smiled, and within minutes we taxied onto
the main runway and were airborne a short time later. The flight was both quite smooth, the views were amazing, and we got to our destination within about 20 minutes.
Going to Orcas Island is only 13 minutes of flight for those looking at another short option. Our passenger was ready within minutes and got to chat with him briefly over the noise of the plane. He lives in California and has a vacation condo in the islands which he visits regularly.
Once we returned I talked more with Wilcox and asked why she enjoys her job.
“My favorite parts of my job are helping passengers plan and execute their travel plans,” she said. “I personally love to travel
and enjoy helping others do the same. The other thing I enjoy is being part of a small business and having a hand in the growth of the company.”
According to Wilcox, San Juan Airlines (SJA) was purchased several years ago by an owner in Friday Harbor in the flight territory.
What makes this small regional airline special? One visitor to the office was a former pilot of theirs who now flies a small private corporate jet service. The flight experience is great for the pilots who have the opportunity to land in very different small landing strips. In fact, for customers, booking a flight may involve going on a regularly scheduled flight or creating your own destination. Wilcox said they have regular customers being flown into the islands or in and out of Point Roberts for work projects when time is money and they need to get there quickly. She also said that some people have diffi-
culty with crossing two international borders by land with Port Roberts and the flight approach is a good solution –especially if they don’t have a Nexus or a Passport.
As summer approaches, more tourists jump aboard their three- or five-passenger Cessna planes for fun excursions to fishing, beaches or hiking. Just because it isn’t on the schedule doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Wilcox said to ask them and if their destination has a place to land, then they will price it out, and see if it can be accommodated including for groups of threeto-five.
One place SJA could land was at a horse camp for a local teen who wanted to attend, Wilcox said. The ranch had either a driveway or a grass strip. San Juan gives suggestions of Campbell River on Vancouver Island for fishing, Eastern Washington for wine
The San Juan Islands Sculpture Park is on 20 walkable acres near Roche Harbor on the north end of the island. More than 150 sculpture pieces make their home there. (Elisa Claassen for the Tribune)By Air:
Continued from 21
tasting, International flights to Bellingham include Boundary Bay, Victoria, Vancouver International Airport, Nanaimo, Tofino, as well as Vancouver International Airport to Seattle at Boeing Field.
Scenic flight tours can be designed and recently San Juan took passengers over the Skagit Valley tulip fields. Another option is to fly over the San Juan Islands in a onehour flight.
Within Whatcom County, San Juan goes on a regular schedule with daily flights to Orcas Island, Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor on San Juan Island, Lopez Island and Blakely Island. Since Lynden does have a runway, they have landed there also.
The flights currently vary between $95 and $114 oneway. The cost for Point Rob-
erts’ flights are $148 each way. Passengers can also choose to return via the San Juan ferry system for free since fares are taken going west bound only.
Simply arrive 15 minutes before your flight. Let their staff know if you need to be somewhere on a specific time or have a critical appointment to maintain. Requests can be made online and 95% of requests can be confirmed from these online submissions.
Anyone with questions about the airline can email email@example.com or call 1-800-874-4434 daily between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The website contains information about flying with Visual Flight Rules (VRF) in rugged terrain.
Anyone who wants to fly with San Juan to San Juan Island and explore, the airline does cross promotions with Suzy’s Mopeds and San Juan Safaris.
Whatcom County Golf Courses
Whatcom County Map
Welcome to Whatcom County, a northwest paradise of small towns steeped in cultural heritage and history, and nestled perfectly between the big-city life in Vancouver, British Columbia to the north and Seattle to the south. Outdoor enthusiasts will find nothing lacking as the Whatcom playground goes from saltwater shores to the towering Cascades, framed by the ever-present Mount Baker, to the east. Whether you come for a day, a week or a lifetime, one thing you will know for certain: You are in the right place!