Lummi Peninsula - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

July 17, 2020

Lummi Peninsula

Today’s ride

Today’s ride takes us to Lummi Nation, the reservation for the Lummi people, the native inhabitants of this part of the Washington Coast as well as the San Juan Islands.  For those unfamiliar with the Lummi, here’s a brief introduction:

      Lummi Nation – Lhaq ‘temish (People of the Sea)

      The peoples of the Lummi Nation are the original inhabitants of the
      land and coastal waters now known as Bellingham and Ferndale in    
     
Whatcom County, WA. They are descendants of an aboriginal
      community that inhabited the San Juan Island archipelago of   
      Washington
 State.

      Their ancestors were a people of the “seasonal round” who spent
      much of the spring, summer, and early fall hunting and gathering,
      returning to their permanent village sites for the winter months. 
      Known as the “salmon people,” their oral history pays homage to the    
     
Salmon Woman and her Children.

Lummi Nation consists principally of two blocks of land: the peninsula at the northwest corner of Bellingham Bay, and Lummi Island that sprawls just offshore.  Today we’re biking just to the peninsula, because I was uncertain whether the ferry to Lummi Island is open to nonresidents due to coronavirus precautions.  At the ferry today though we confirmed it is open to us, so with luck we’ll be back again before we leave and circle the north end of the island as well.

Nearly all of today’s photos are from Lummi Peninsula, because we’ve already shown you the roads we took getting there and back.  The Lummis are an artistic people, and circling the peninsula took us past one noteworthy carving or painting after another.  The best part of the ride though was coming up the east side of the peninsula overlooking Bellingham Bay - a brilliant stretch of coastline that we’d be happy to come back to again and again.  

Both of today’s videos are from these few miles along the bay, including this loose dog encounter that briefly startled us: a black retriever charging down the road barking excitedly, his owner running behind and ineffectively calling him back.  Alarming enough that I quickly stopped, dismounted, and positioned Rodriguez between us.  Not a concern though - he just kept running down the road, passing me, passing Rachael - until he joined up and started cavorting with a second dog, apparently a friend.

At the northern entrance to Lummi Nation.
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At Gooseberry Point, the site of the ferry to Lummi Island and the principal commercial center on the peninsula.
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Now how did the Lummis know I’d be out this way today? How welcoming!
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Jen GrumbyWhat an honor! If only that booth was open with some free ice cream bars.

I wonder what this is really all about? I couldn't find anything on the interwebs.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyMmm! Salmonberry ice cream would have been perfect.
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2 weeks ago
Ron SuchanekThe Lummis have long held reverence for Great Scotts.
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4 days ago
The Salmon Woman?
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On the Lummi Indian Reservation.
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In front of Little Bear Creek Retirement Community. The little bear is particularly charming.
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In front of Lummi Nation School.
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In front of Lummi Nation School.
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Image not found :(
A seahawk and some anxious looking salmon?
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The ferry to Lummi Island. Hopefully we’ll be back to ride out there.
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Ron SuchanekEgads! That water looks rough.
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4 days ago
Orca Lady.
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Rounding the south end of the peninsula.
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Lummi Island, from the peninsula.
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On the east side of the peninsula, cycling along Bellingham Bay.
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The view across Bellingham Bay to Bellingham and Chuckanut Mountain.
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Looking south toward the mouth of Bellingham Bay.
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At the entrance to Lummi Cemetery.
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North of Lummi Nation, biking along Red River.
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Video sound track: Dreamland, by Madeleine Peyroux

Odds and ends

Darn that dog!

Yesterday was  overcast and windy, so we decided to take a well known, easy ride that started from home: an out and back to Birch Bay along a route we’ve ridden a few times now.  If conditions became unpleasant, one or either of us could just turn back.

Eight miles into the ride, a message came up on my Garmin that I had an incoming phone call.  I couldn’t answer it in time, but a message on voice mail identified the caller as Kaiser - they’re calling to schedule an appointment for me with a wound nurse.  This is a call I’ve been waiting for, and I decide to just bike home and deal with it there rather than beside the road.  Unwounded Rachael soldiers on to Birch Bay, and returns three hours later with another 46 miles to add to her impressive tally for the month.

I haven’t mentioned the dog bite for probably over a month, but I should have been paying more attention to it.  It took me awhile to finally realize its no longer improving.  After two months of regular progress, it looks like the healing just inexplicably stopped.  The wound is much smaller but still open, and hasn’t really changed for several weeks now.  Finally it sank in that I should check in with the doctor.  I scheduled a video checkup for next week and sent in photos of the wound, and they promptly referred me to their wound clinic.

The next available appointment is in two weeks, in Portland.  After discussing options, we decided the smart thing was to leave Bellingham a few days early, cancel our planned next stay in Port Townsend, and head back to Portland in time for the appointment.

Doggone it!  Foop!!

About Croatia and Greece

Yes, we still hope to go to Croatia later next month unless the wound nurse counsels us To stay close to home.  The situation there is still muddly, but becoming gradually clearer.  There have been a number of ambiguities in the official pronouncements but they’re gradually being clarified; and it looks like the country is quickly stabilizing in its protocols for managing tourism.  At this point we’re seeing nothing to discourage us from going (other than anxieties about the flight itself); and certainly we’re seeing nothing at home that tempts us to stay.

And, for the first time there are also reports that Greece may let Americans in soon, as long as they arrive with a fresh negative test result.  We’re going to give it a few more days of reflection, but we’re thinking that sometime next week we’ll buy a flight to Zagreb with follow-up legs to Athens and back home again.  With luck, we’ll celebrate Christmas and New Year in Crete this year.

About this blog

We’ve been in Bellingham for over two weeks now, and by now have covered most of the region we expect to see.  We’ve still got another two weeks of riding to do but there’s no point showing you the same roads over and over again.  We aren’t going dark on this blog exactly, but we are dimming the lights in anticipation of dropping the curtain.  If something compelling enough comes down the road to be worth reporting in the next few weeks we’ll report it, but otherwise we think our work is done here.  

Thank you again for following along with us during this harrowing time.  With luck, we hope to be back next month on our way to Zagreb, and we hope you’ll come back and join us.

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Ride stats today: Scott: 44 miles, 1,300’; Rachael: 50 miles

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Jen GrumbyFoop! and Dagnabit!

Sorry to hear about the wound needing follow-up care.

Where will youse be staying in Portland?
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2 weeks ago
Bob DistelbergIt's been said before, but I think it's worth saying again. THANK YOU for the work that you've put into this journal. I've looked forward every day to logging in and seeing what you guys have been up to. Seems like you have a knack for finding interesting places to ride, and the photos and commentary are always great.
Good luck with your visit to the wound doc. I hope it all goes well. And I'm looking forward to reading about Croatia (and hopefully Greece) in the coming months! In the meantime, enjoy just riding and having a break from posting.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyI think you meant dognabit.

We’ll be staying in an AirBnB basement unit in SE, sort of near the Hawthorne District and about 10 blocks from the Portland HAC center.
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2 weeks ago
Gregory GarceauWell, us Cycleblaze fans will miss your near-daily reports, but maybe us Cycle365 fans will be the beneficiaries of your Cycleblaze hiatus. I mean, you've got to blog SOMEWHERE to keep your writing skills sharp.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Gregory GarceauStranger things have happened.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bob DistelbergThanks again, Bob. It will be nice to scale back for a few weeks, though I’m sure we’ll be back intermittently. As much as anything it will be a relief to come to some closure about what we’re going to do next. Such a catastrophic time we’re living in! If it’s this unsettling for us, I can only imagine what it must be like for people with more serious problems and fewer options than we’re fortunate enough to have.
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2 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanThank you once again for your informative, beautiful and entertaining journal. It's one thing to ride just about every day for months on end but then to also, each day, assemble such a great online journal is a real gift to us all.

I've heard that the backyard of the HAC World Headquarters, only ten blocks from where you will be staying, is a nice place to gather. We should meet there sometime while you are in town.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanDefinitely we should meet up at the HAC HQ. you’ll recognize me by my Scott’s-plaid mask.
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2 weeks ago
Susan CarpenterI really hope your leg soon restarts the healing process and that your plans for a fall overseas touring adventure come to pass - it's always a treat reading what you and Rachael are up to!
Hopefully the secret police force will be out of Portland by the time you arrive.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Susan CarpenterI think my leg should be fine, now that I’m finally leaving it alone (embarrassingly, I’ve always been a compulsive wound tamperer). It will be good to get a professional opinion though.

Can you believe it about the storm troopers? It turns the stomach, like so much other news in recent months. It certainly does nothing to deter us from the idea of hopping overseas, if they’ll let us land.
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2 weeks ago