Whatcom Falls Park - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

July 11, 2020

Whatcom Falls Park

Another day with a mixed weather report, predicting showers beginning sometime in the afternoon.  We decide to go our own way today, with Rachael biking and me finally getting around to taking a walk through Whatcom Falls Park that Rachael has been raving about.  Our bikes are still in the car from the drive out to Ferndale yesterday, so we unload the Straggler for her before I head downtown to Caffe Adagio for coffee and to complete yesterday’s journal.

An hour later, I get a call from Rachael.  She’s ready to leave for her ride, but finds that we forgot to unload her helmet and gloves with the bike.  Caffe Adagio is only a block off her route, so she swings by the coffee shop on her way out of town.  I watch her roll off, bound again for Birch Bay - a route she likes and knows well enough by now that she’s comfortable biking there on her own.

Back home again, I pick up on the Croatia project.  Our goal is to complete reservations for the entire planned itinerary before the weekend is out so that we can submit it to the Croatian government.  It’s a cooperative effort.  I created the itinerary, but Rachael is taking the lead on selecting accommodations.  Working exclusively through Booking.com, she picks out one or two candidates for each planned stay that I then review and agree to or propose alternatives.  We’re making excellent progress, and by the end of the day we’ll be booked through about the first two thirds of the tour and on track to complete the list tomorrow morning.

Since we have a finalized itinerary, we might as well share it with you.  And, if we get rejected, we can look back at it someday and think back wistfully on how we kept our spirits up for a few days before yet another dashed dream was crushed by the orange monster from hell.

Two months in Croatia, biking from Zagreb to Split: September 3 - November 2nd. At the end, we’ll take the train or rent a car to return to Zagreb. Doesn’t reflect the many day rides that should more than double the length of the tour.
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I’m just wrapping up when Rachael returns, looking fit, fresh and famished after her 47 mile out and back.  We briefly touch base and hand off the Croatia project and then I drive to Whatcom Falls Park for a leisurely afternoon exploration.  

Rachael is right.  It’s a wonderful small park to have tucked into the middle of the city.  It’s surprisingly diverse, with something for everyone: fishing ponds; waterfalls; ducks and deer; easily accessible walking or cycling paths, and cruder paths that are a bit of a scramble.  In places it feels like you’re walking through a rain forest.  It feels like a place you could come back to time and again and keep finding something new.

In Whatcom Falls Park. There are trails and paths suitable here for all ages and ranges of mobility.
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In Whatcom Falls Park.
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There is a broad diversity of vegetation here, including vine and red maples that I imagine are spectacular in the autumn.
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Some places are more accessible than others, although when I descended these I passed a woman carrying her bike going the other way.
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For the more adventurous, some paths are a bit of a scramble.
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On the bridge at Whatcom Falls, built in 1939-40 as a WPA project. In spite of what it looks like here, wearing of masks was nearly universal when in proximity to others.
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Whatcom Falls. This is the big one, but there are also three smaller falls along the creek also.
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The wier impounding the small children’s fishing pond (for ages 14 and under).
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At the dishing pond, admiring the ducks.
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Here’s one now. Super speculum!
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Jen GrumbyI'm sure the duck was waiting for just the right moment to flash that flashy wing!
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3 weeks ago
The Oregon junco, the western variant of the dark-eyed junco.
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A subject suitable for a Rembrandt: Oregon junco contemplating the bust of a duck.
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Jen GrumbyA junco that dreams of big ducks
Probably also likes trucks
A Tacoma? A Ram?
"He don't give a damn!",
Said chicken in 2 or less clucks.
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyChicken? There’s no chicken here. Just ducks and juncos.
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3 weeks ago
Abandoned trestle, Whatcom Falls Park.
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A bit upstream from the children’s fishing pond, it looks like fisher-folks of all ages may cast their lines.
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At its north end, Whatcom Falls Park ends at Bloedel Donovan Park and Lake Whatcom, the source of Whatcom Creek.
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A rose gall. A new discovery for me, I really like knowing what this is now. Now that I’m aware of it, I see it all the time.
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I forget. What’s this again?
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Bill ShaneyfeltMight be Pacific ninebark.

https://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection/taxon.php?Taxon=Physocarpus%20capitatus
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like it, alright. Its odd name comes from the fact that its papery bark peels off in long, thin layers, so I’ll look for that the next time I see this.
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3 weeks ago
Pretty sure about the mammal here, but I didn’t look closely enough at the flowers behind.
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Bill ShaneyfeltCinquefoil. There are a lot of species in the area.

https://wildflowersearch.org/search?oldstate=petals%3Afive%3Bgmc%3A48.794%2C-122.482%3Bcat%3AW%3Bcolor%3Ayellow%3Blocation%3A4230+Ankar+Park+Dr%2C+Bellingham%2C+WA+98226%2C+USA%3Belev%3A175%3Bgms%3A8%3B&buttonName=none&hab=&Elev=&Submit=Submit+Values&PlantName=cinquefoil
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3 weeks ago
Immature hazelnuts.
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Alders? Birches? Not sure. I didn’t look closely enough. Mostly I was focused on how diverse the vegetation is here.
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In Whatcom Falls Park.
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Ride stats today: Rachael: 47, 1,500’

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