Sehmiahmoo again, and Anacortes - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

July 23, 2020

Sehmiahmoo again, and Anacortes

Thursday: Semiahmoo

In keeping with our recent resolution, we’ll keep this brief.  Today’s ride took us back to beautiful Semiahmoo again, but following a shorter and more enjoyable route this time.  Rather than following the Canadian border east from Blaine to Lynden we stayed on the west side of the Nooksack on well-familiar roads.  Much nicer, really.

It was surprisingly chilly and quite windy when we started the ride, biking south from Ferndale.  It really doesn’t feel like a midsummer day at all, and at first we both had misgivings about the ride.  Once we turned west though the wind had less of a bite; and the day steadily warmed up as it wore on.  Much better cycling conditions than the heat wave that’s projected to roll in this weekend.

Looking east from Ferndale Road, across another amazing blanket of potato blossoms.
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So here’s a question someone will know the answer to: are potatoes color coded? Do plants with reddish blossoms produce red potatoes, and is it white on white?
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Steve Miller/GrampiesSort of. We planted red, purple and regular white varieties this year. The stems and flowers on the purple variety were darker, almost a burgundy colour. The regular potatoes were just , regular. And the red ones had colouring somewhere in between. It was fairly easy to distinguish the tuber colour by looking at the plants before harvest. Interesting, huh?
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesOh, how great! What a wonderful thing to learn at my old age. Thanks!
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1 week ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Steve Miller/GrampiesI was just discussing this with a friend as we were riding on Westham Island (lots of potatoes growing there). But what colour are the flowers on Yukon Gold potatoes?
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5 days ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Jacquie GaudetJust googled it, and it turns out that the flowers of yukon golds are a light pinky violet with yellow at the base. This is a whole area of weird and wonderful trivia..
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5 days ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Steve Miller/GrampiesI suppose I could have Googled it too, but it's so much nicer to ask a friend!
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5 days ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Jacquie GaudetAwww, we're friends. So nice. This is a great online community.
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5 days ago
It’s pretty mesmerizing biking past these fields really, looking across these colorful rows tapering off in the distance. It reminds me of nothing so much as the lavender fields of Provence.
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The potatoes aren’t the only purple we pass today. The fireweed is starting to shed.
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Crossing the BP reserve again, south of Birch Bay. It looks like one of those mischievous bale tippers has been playing his pranks here.
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Shawn AndersonMaybe some cows got loose and decided to go bale tippin.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Shawn AndersonSounds like a Gary Larson cartoon.
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1 week ago
At Semiahmoo the wildlife congregates at a safe distance from the shore.
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I assumed these were cormorants, and from a distance I could see that there was a heron and a few gulls mixed in. I didn’t know about the seals though until blowing up this photo later.
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Jen GrumbyIf it's a shady day, is a group of cormorants still called a sunning?
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyI hate to throw shade on your idea, but I don’t think so. Note that it isn’t particularly sunny in this picture anyway.
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1 week ago
Image not found :(
At Semiahmoo.
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Bruce LellmanI love your photos. They are simply but beautifully composed.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonThanks, but the credit goes to the folks that placed it here. It’s nice that they left everything so uncluttered and exposed. Makes me think of a Winslow Homer painting.
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1 week ago
A super-safe lunch stop, Semiahmoo. The plexiglass shields us from both the biting south wind and the virus.
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Hanging out, Semiahmoo.
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By early afternoon the sun broke out and warmed the day a bit, but it never did get above the mid-sixties. A strange July.
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Friday: Anacortes

Another coolish, partly overcast day, much like yesterday except that the wind has abated.  We drove down to Edison again, but rode a new route: an out and back to Anacortes, generally following the shoreline of Padilla Bay the whole way.  Other than for a few busy miles on Highway 20 it’s a beautiful, quiet ride the whole way - one I’m sure we’d repeat if we were staying here longer.   The ride across Fidalgo Bay on a 2000’ converted railroad trestle is a real highlight, as is the viewpoint from Cape Sante on the outskirts of Anacortes.  A good ride, but one with room for improvement - no otters today either, disappointingly. 

South of Edison. I think these must have just blossomed out in the last week. I don’t remember noticing them here before.
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After a couple of miles on the shoulder of Highway 20 we cross the Swinomish Channel and turn off toward Anacortes.
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Crossing Fidalgo Bay on the 2000’ long trestle of the short-lived Anacortes spur of the old Seattle and Northern Country line.
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On the Tommy Thompson Trail, on the Anacortes side of Fidalgo Bay.
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LFL, on the Tommy Thompson Trail.
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Looking across Fidalgo Bay to the refineries on March Point. I wonder why this poor log is chained down? Looks like it’s under beach arrest.
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Bruce LellmanDidn't you hear? Trump ordered all logs on beaches to be chained.
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1 week ago
Jen GrumbyTo Bruce LellmanUnderstandably. Being on the Far Left coast, they're obviously Socialist logs.

Very dangerous. A threat to American suburbs!!!
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1 week ago
Looking across Fidalgo Bay to March Point; and beyond, across Padilla Bay to the mainland. The long trestle is to one of the loading piers for the Shell refinery.
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Looking south across the Anacortes marina from Cape Sante. The small park at the end of the cape was the turn back point for today’s ride.
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Looking east toward the Shell Refinery from Cape Sante.
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Looking northeast from Cape Sante, to what I think must be Hat Island.
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On Highway 20, on the long bridge crossing the Swinomish Channel. Very busy highway, but not a scary crossing at all - as long as you’re on the north side. It’s especially comforting to have such a high railing, since the crosswinds can be severe here. There’s no protection at all on the opposite side, where cycling looks like it would be suicidal.
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Some project notes

No, we haven’t changed our minds again - we’re still full steam ahead for Zagreb, and having such fun along the way.  As announced, we bought our flight Thursday.  Later that evening, Air Canada gave us a call to let us know that the transaction had been rejected by our credit card (Bank of America, our replacement for Capitol One).  We have a second card (also with BoA, but different vendor) which we gave them instead, but the next morning when Rachael checked our account we found we had been charged in triplicate: one with the first card, which went through after all; and two sets with the second card.  Frustrating, stressful, and a cause for more interminable calls with the airlines.  The consensus is that they screwed up, and we should see credits to reverse the second and third charges in the next few business days.  We’ll see.

The other fun has been planning for our first 14 days in Croatia, where if things go badly on arrival we could be subject to monitored, enforced self-isolation until negative test results are available.  We want to do everything we can to reduce the risk of being turned back at the border, and one part of this is to be able to demonstrate that we have 14 days of prepaid lodging at the same location.  We don’t really want to spend 14 days in Zagreb though - we want to leave after 5 days, assuming we’re cleared for travel by then.

After much back and forth, we finally hit on what feels just right.  We made a five day reservation at a hotel, and then made a second 9 day reservation to follow it.  The reservations allow free cancellation with one day notice, so if things go well we’ll just cancel the second one when the time comes.  Also, we upgraded and reserved a suite with kitchen facilities, so we can prepare some of our own meals if we’re self-isolating.

Oh, and btw: we had charge rejection issues with this hotel booking also, and have to monitor for duplicate charges for this along with our flight over-billing.  We’re starting to have serious misgivings about BoA too.

That behind us, we’re moving on to easier, more normal concerns - putting together a pre-departure task list, thinking about what sort of cold weather gear we need for winter in Crete, that sort of thing.  Time to get serious about this - we’re less than four weeks from departure now.

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Comment on this entry Comment 2
Shawn AndersonThat stinks about being triple charged. I've been with BofA for over 20 years and never had any issues. I do know, that if you are traveling, you have to place a travel restriction notice on your card so it will go through. You can use the BofA app to do that and it works beautifully.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Shawn AndersonStinks, but the odor passed fairly quickly. Just some billing confusion, but the duplicate charges were dropped.
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1 week ago