Team Anderson makes a decision - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

July 21, 2020 to July 22, 2020

Team Anderson makes a decision

Enough, already!

A month of nights, a year of days / Octobers drifting into Mays / You set your sail when the tide comes in / And you just cast your fate to the wind.

A rather impatient pair, Rocky and I aren’t ones to brood at length over a decision.  That’s especially true of me - I’ve always tended to weigh alternatives and make a choice fairly quickly rather than draw the process out waiting for that last piece of critical information that will make the best choice clear.  I’m more swayed by the risk of missing out on an opportunity because of indecisiveness than of ending up with a less  desirable outcome.  Think fast, use good judgement, make your best call, and get on with it - that’s how I see it anyway.

So we’ve been wavering back and forth for weeks now over this Croatia & Greece thing, and are sick of it.  We’re tired and stressed by the process of weighing and reweighing the same considerations over and over again.  To borrow a phrase from a former Vice President turned felon, we’re feeling like pusillanimous pussyfooters and don’t like it.

We’re going with our hearts, and going to Croatia.  We bought our flight last night.  We leave for Zagreb on August 19th (only four weeks from today!), and have a return ticket from Athens on January 11th.  Now that we’ve cast our lot, we’re very excited about it and feel like there’s a lot to do between now and then to get ready.

On the phone with Expedia, purchasing our flight. Rachael must have spent three hours in the last two days talking to Expedia and Air Canada agents, making sure we could apply our credit from the previous flight and still change or cancel this one if it falls through. It’s a relief to have this behind us.
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Jeanna & Kerry SmithI'm sure Rachael gets all the appreciation she deserves for taking care of things like this.
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2 weeks ago

Yesterday’s ride: Lummi Peninsula

This wasn’t the ride we started out intending to take.  We went out to the Lummi reservation again, intending this time to take the ferry out to the island for a short bike ride around its north end.  When we got there though, we found that the fare is seven dollars each for cyclists - enough that it didn’t really make much sense to us.

Instead, we just more or less exactly repeated our ride from a few days ago.  Which was fine.  It’s an excellent ride, and with today’s clear skies and great visibility, much different than the first time.   Views of Mount Baker were fantastic.  For lunch, we stopped in Ferndale and sat on a bench in Riverwalk Park overlooking the river.

Belted kingfisher. The bridge over the Nooksack on Marine Drive is a great one for birds. This is the same spot that we regularly see waxwings perched on the snags.
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In front of the Northwest Indian College.
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In front of the Northwest Indian College.
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On Kwina Road, at the northern entrance to Lummi reservation.
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The terminal for the Lummi Island ferry. Maybe someday it will feel worth $7 to catch a ride across this narrow channel, but not today.
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Looking across Hale Passage to the southern end of Lummi Island. Note the siege of herons offshore.
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Looking across Bellingham Bay to Bellingham, Mount Baker and the Sisters range. It was a shock to round the peninsula and see this view, which was hidden in the clouds the first time we were here.
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Jen GrumbyOne of my favorite exclamations:

"The mountain is out!"
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2 weeks ago
A bird’s eye view of Mount Baker.
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Jen GrumbyA mountain, from the eye of a bird
So humongous it seems quite absurd!
But when the bird took flight
The mountain seemed slight ...
Smaller than President Turd!
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyI knew you could do it. Gold star!
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2 weeks ago
Looking northeast across Bellingham Bay to Sumas Mountain.
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Roadside art, Lummi Shore Drive.
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Looking east across Red River. Another spot that looks dramatically different today.
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In Centennial Riverwalk Park, Ferndale: Lummi Helping Settlers Around Big Log Jam.
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Rodriguez with Salmon Children, Centennial Riverwalk Park.
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Looking east from Ferndale Road. Clouds are starting to build to the east as the day wears on.
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Today’s ride

We’re back in Everson again, heading east into the foothills.  Today we’re on an out and back ride that skirts the south end of Sumas mountain and then follows mostly small roads up the Middle Fork of the Nooksack.  I wasn’t aware that the river even had a Middle Fork until a few days ago, when Rachael pointed out a news article about a dam removal project: the dam across the Middle Fork was demolished just ten days ago.  For the first time in 60 years the river runs free again, all the way from the glaciers of Mount Baker to Bellingham Bay.  This article gives an excellent account of the history of the river and the dam.

I’m glad she unearthed this good news, both because it’s a ray of light in such a dark time and because it steered us to a road we would have missed otherwise.  It’s another ride we could easily try to fit in a second time before we leave.  We’d better hurry though - we’re heading back to Portland in just a week  now.

Southbound on Oat Cole Road.
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We’re following Sumas Mountain south to its end at the Nooksack River.
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An unusual back yard sculpture garden.
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Fruit stands operating on the honor system are a common sighting here.
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After a mile or so of highway riding around Deming we veer off onto strangely named Truck Road. Strange because it’s such a quiet road, with scarcely even a car passing us, much less a truck.
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The Nooksack River, from Truck Road. We’re just downstream from the confluence of the middle and north forks.
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On Mosquito Lake Road, the empty back way between Deming and Acme. The Nooksack is just off to the right, in the trees at the base of the nearest hills.
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Herringbone barn, Mosquito Lake Road.
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Bruce LellmanIt was a lot of extra work to cut all the siding boards at an angle. Impressive barn builder - labor of love.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanYes, definitely a cut above.
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2 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonYou are so witty!
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2 weeks ago
These hay bales are safe from us, with that watchdog on duty. We might have dashed out and snatched one up otherwise.
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Rusty truck dump, Mosquito Lake Road. There must have been twenty or more here, squirreled away in the weeds and blackberries.
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On Mosquito Lake Road.
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Foxglove and rusty truck, Mosquito Lake Road.
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The Mosquito Lake Road bridge across the Middle Fork.
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On the Middle Fork of the Nooksack, running free for the first time in 60 years.
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Built in 1915, this bridge originally crossed the river on Guide Meridian Road, just south of Lynden. It was replaced and relocated here in 1951. For those that care about such things, it’s a Pennsylvania truss design, and the longest remaining pin-connected Highway truss span in Washington. Whatever that means.
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Jacquie GaudetA pin-connected truss is sort of like what you might have built with a Meccano set if you had one. Each element is connected by pins at each end and is in either tension or compression but not bending. A classic truss in engineer-speak.
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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetThat’s interesting, but so is Meccano. I’ve never heard of that brand, but I grew up with an Erector Set. I see they’re all one company now. We’re Meccano sets sold in Canada?
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1 week ago
Lunch spot on the Middle Fork, below the Mosquito Lake Road Bridge. The dam site is still upriver a few miles, along unpaved Middle Fork Road. The dam’s gone now anyway, so there’s not much point biking all that gravel to see it.
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Patrick O'HaraGreat to year that you have made a decision. I am excited for both of you. Thanks for keeping us all updated on your "bicycle life". Looking forward to following along. Thanks Scott. Hoping all goes flawlessly on your next adventure.
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2 weeks ago
Tricia GrahamGlad to hear you have made the decision - must say we feel a bit envious. If we go anywhere we face 14 days isolation on our return home. Hope you can still vote in November.
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2 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanYou better vote!! However your votes and mine are irrelevant in a solidly blue state such as Oregon because of the way the electoral college works (doesn't work) having given us our current President and the one who started two wars earlier this century. Sorry, a pet peeve of mine - our electoral system. It has nothing to do with cycling.
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2 weeks ago
Suzanne GibsonYoohoo! You got your tickets and are going on a big trip again! I bet you can't wait to get started! That's really exciting. If you get tired of the Balkans you might want to pop over to Munich for a little visit.

Remember to pack some warm clothes, it might get a little chilly in the winter months in Greece and they don't always have good heating - but you are experienced travelers and know that.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonYes, we would like to visit Munich! Thanks for the invitation. Please contact your friends at the EU HQ and pave the way for us to cross three international borders to get there. We’ll start researching the best late-Autumn route through the Alps in the meantime.

Thanks for the reminder to pack for winter weather. Easy to forget in the heat of the moment.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Tricia GrahamYou feel envious? WE feel envious of you! If we had a sane leader and a country that felt safe to travel in we’d probably be staying home ourselves waiting for a vaccine.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Patrick O'HaraThanks, Patrick. Hopefully this will all go well, but if not at least we can entertain our friends with updates from our self-quarantine quarters.
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanYou’re right about the electoral college - our vote is inconsequential in anything but local issues. There’s no way on earth that our voting or not will change the national outcome. Earl Blumenauer is a shoo-in for Congress (does he even have an opponent?), Jeff Merkley will roll over that mad Q-Anon supporter from Albany, and if Oregon doesn’t go blue this year then all hope is lost anyway.
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2 weeks ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonWhen a vote, any vote, is inconsequential it's not a democracy.
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2 weeks ago
Ron Suchanek "Think fast, use good judgement, make your best call, and get on with it - that’s how I see it anyway."
I completely agree, and well-stated.
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1 week ago