Bellingham–Day 3, Friday, September 15, 2017

Getting close to wrapping up my third day stranded in Bellingham. Stranded is, of course, not the correct word; while things didn’t exactly go the way they were planned, being in Bellingham for three days have turned out to be the perfect way to spend my time. Funny how things work out like that! This is a great place to be, and it is currently occupying a very high position on my list of “Cities that I would love to live in.” Local folks don’t like to hear that, though, as they don’t want any floods of California folks turning up here…


A bizarre scene set on acres of undistured gravel

Today was devoted to putting on some miles on my feet. For the past couple of months I have not been doing the amount of walking that I need to do to get my feet working right. I have been in the process of awakening muscles controlling my feet that had gone dormant from disuse. I have woken them up, but at this point they are the muscles that are last to fire and first to tire.


On the waterfront

That means that the beginning of walks is kind of sketchy until those guys start to fire, and it is necessary to push through some discomfort. Once all systems are go everything is fine until they tire out. What I need to do at this point is give them the right kind of exercise to strengthen them, and for me that exercise is walking up long, steep hills, something I call trudging. Not quite hiking, but close!


This is an awesome store!

The problem with Long Beach is that trudging opportunities are not close at hand. Yesterday I did a mini trudge, so today was devoted to a more ambitious test. I started out in downtown Bellingham with a visit to the co-op for food and coffee.


Heading up High Street

Then it was down to the waterfront alongside the railroad track. Went past an aggregation of 6 or 7 real hobos who had a neat little camp set up in a sheltered place between the sidewalk and the street. From there turned around and then just kept walking until I reached the summit of Sehome Hill, elevation 624 feet, and then back down the other end of the hill to a place where I could catch a bus back downtown.


On the aptly named Douglas Fir Trail

The walking involved was a bit over 6 miles, and the elevation gain about 600 feet. It’s a start, but not quite up to my proper trudge standards. My ideal kind of exercise walk is 10K and 1000 feet of elevation gain, so this was close, and I have already seen a profound difference in the functioning of my feet from yesterdays climbing.


Last two miles were on the bus

Back to the bigger picture. My time in Bellingham is coming to an end. The current plan is for Kerry to ride down here with one of his running partners, Wing, arriving about 7:30. The three of us will then head down to a bivouac in the vicinity of Mt. Rainier so Kerry and Wing will be able to make an early start on the first leg of the two-day Wonderland Trail circumnavigating that peak.



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