Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sandals in January and Whales in the Bay?!?! The Pacific Northwest is Crazy!

The other day, while riding home from work, I happened to notice some navy blue in the sky and below that, some true blue, and below that, a small strip of light from somewhere off in the Pacific where the sun was still up.

The significance of this is that this was the first time since mid-October that my commute home didn't take place under pitch-black skies. Another bit of significance related to this is that I've been living in Bellingham long enough for one season to leave, and another season to ever-so-subtlely show its bright little head. And all this whole while, I've left you loyal blahg leaders in the, well, dark.

This leaves me with trying to figure out a way to organize the past, shoot...four months, into a coherent little story. And this has been a very full four months, indeed--from arriving one rainy Thursday and asking Kyle at the Hub where I should go to buy a rain coat (his answer: "You moved here without a raincoat? You're a fucking idiot") to knowing exactly where to go to get an after work beer on a Tuesday, giving trail directions to folks more local than I, and where to walk to in my new raincoat to sit and drink cup after cup of coffee on a dark Sunday afternoon. I've even already put on an Alleycat (the Scratch and Sniff, won by, funnily enough, Bobby and Joe, two old friends from Seattle, neither of whom had any idea the other was now living in Bellingham til they both showed up at the race and decided they ought to be teammates.) In other words, this place is starting to feel rather a bit like home. Or as home as a place can feel to a shiftless young adult.

And this is somewhat weird, Adam Winton said this wouldn't happen, and a very large part of me is fighting it, is yearning for a return to Appalachia--but it's sort of difficult not to get distracted (and comfortable) here.

Bellingham is, to use a word I have successfully introduced into the locals' lexicon, the Jam. If only I could transport a handful of my homies from, uh...home, and certain large swathes of Pisgah National Forest (namely, Squirrel Gap) I would have no complaints whatsoever. Except maybe for the rain, and my job, and the overabundance of college kids, and true-bred hipsters (east have no idea! west coast hipsters are to east coast hipsters as grizzlies are to panda bears, no joke) and some of the Pacific Northwestern xenophobic tendencies...but I digress. I meant to be talking about why it's awesome here.

The hipsters here do not joke around.

And that I'm going to do in several thousand words, each thousand condensed into one photo courtesy of Google Image Search and my Samsung Camera phone (if I can figure this out.)
Here goes:

This is where to go to eat popcorn and laugh.

the bright blue skies in the background.

This is the inside of Caps, with two typical patrons.

Brother Zach, Victory Lap on his sailboat,
just before selling it and heading back to Ashetown

Art Shuster revolutionized my life, and so,
I named a trail after him on Galbraith.

My singlespeed and some mossy woods. Swoon.

Anyway, I just spent beyond my attention span's limit trying to find pictures that did this place justice, but I couldn't do it. The riding here is too fun, the hiking here is too phenomenal, the coffee here is too strong, the beer here is too abundant...A thousand words or a handful of shitty photos, it doesn't matter. Bellingham is a pretty cool place. Won't be staying here long, though, I don't think...but more on that later. I gotta go ride.