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DESTINATION: BELLINGHAM

BY LONI RAHM President & CEO, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

ike the bulls-eye in a target, Bellingham represents an epicenter of northwest Washington’s blend of rural and urban—where mountains meet the sea. Balancing small town spirit with funky collegeinfusion, artist chic and culinary wow, progression and preservation, Bellingham has managed to honor the past while embracing the future. The surrounding landscape provides visual diversity. Mt. Baker dominates the eastern horizon, with a stair step of fertile valleys, foothills, placid lakes, and rivers that vacillate seasonally between docile and irate. Located just north of the Skagit Valley’s colorful tulip fields. To the west lies miles of meandering Salish Sea shoreline dotted with secluded bays and inlets, adjacent to the San Juan archipelago.

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WHERE IS BELLINGHAM?

Bellingham is located in Northwest Washington State, just 90 miles north of Seattle and 30 miles south of Vancouver, BC. The Puget Sound is to the west and the North Cascade Mountains are to the east.

BELLINGHAM WEATHER

Although Mt. Baker boasts the world record for most

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WASHINGTON FILM MAGAZINE 2014

snowfall, the populated cities and valleys in its shadow enjoy a moderate marine climate with misty mornings often giving way to sunshine throughout the day. The average temperature in January is a high of 43.3 F and a low of 30.1 F. In July, the average high is 73.9 F, and the low is 50.1 F. As for precipitation, in January the average rainfall is 4.65 inches, and in July, it’s 1.30 inches.

PROJECTS FILMED IN BELLINGHAM Whatcom County has been a “bit player” in several movies and commercials, including The Deer Hunter (1978) and The Ring (2002), but its rising claim to cinematic fame centers on recent independent films focused, not ironically, on achievements and accolades of fiercely independent locals. The Mountain Runners was released in 2011 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of America’s first mountain endurance/adventure race—a trek which lured amateur athletes in a combination of automobile, steam train, and human resilience to reach the top of Mt. Baker’s 10,781-foot volcanic glacial peak. This amazing docudrama weaves together archival material and dramatic recreations filmed in the historic Fairhaven District of Bellingham, the Nooksack Valley and Mount Baker.

Photos Courtesy (L to R): BELLINGHAM WHATCOM CO TOURISM, BWCT, LANNIE BOESIGER, ROBERT JAMES

As evidenced by the soon-to-be-released film Out of Nothing, the independent and competitive spirit has not diminished since the mountain runners era. This locally produced documentary follows four motorcycle fanatics—two Bellingham brothers and their friends—as they custom create a machine destined to break the motorcycle land speed racing record at Bonneville Salt Flats. Co-produced by local resident, comedian/actor Ryan Stiles, the film is in final editing.

KEY LOCATIONS OF INTEREST • Historic City Hall (downtown Bellingham) • Mt. Shuksan and Picture Lake • Historic Fairhaven District • Whatcom Falls Park • Bellingham Waterfront / Boulevard Park / Taylor Dock (interurban trail) • Chuckanut Drive Scenic Highway • Lynden Dutch Village and Raspberry Capital • Peace Arch International Border

For more information, contact Loni Rahm, President & CEO, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, at 360-7390027 or loni@bellingham.org.

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