Friday, February 10, 2012

Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham Washington

Spencer Jack in Bellingham's
Whatcom Falls Park
Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham is one of my favorite parks in Washington.

Whatcom Falls Park covers 241 acres. Inside the park are 4 waterfalls. The waterfalls are on Whatcom Creek which drains from Lake Whatcom to Bellingham Bay.

After heavy rains, when the Northwest goes into flood mode, the falls in Whatcom Falls Park can turn very powerful.

In Whatcom Falls Park you will find many miles of very well maintained hiking trails which cover a variety of terrain. Inside the park there is a fishing pond and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife runs a fish hatchery.

Whirlpool Falls, found on the Whirlpool Loop Trail, is my favorite of the Whatcom Falls Park waterfalls. Whirlpool Falls is a sort of grotto, with cliffs, a falls which sort of acts like a slide, plus a very popular swimming hole.

On June 10, 1999 the Olympic Pipeline blew up, with a massive explosion, which resulted in a lot of damage to forested land inside Whatcom Falls Park.

Spencer Jack with Whatcom Falls behind him
Part of the area damaged was Whirpool Falls.

For several years following the pipeline explosion disaster the city outlawed swimming at Whirpool Falls.

But. s

Swimmers repeatedly ignored and destroyed fences and signs designed to keep them out of Whirpool Falls. Eventually the city gave up controlling access and removed all barriers.

Of late my nephew has been taking my great nephew, Spencer Jack, for hikes on the trails of Whatcom Falls Park and sending me pictures.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Larrabee State Park On Washington's Chuckanut Drive

Spencer Jack at Larrabee State Park
That is my great nephew, Spencer Jack, on the rocky beach of Larrabee State Park.

Larrabee State Park is the oldest state park in Washington, starting with 20 acres in 1915, from land donated by the Larrabee family, with the park named after Charles Xavier Larrabee.

You can reach Larrabee State Park via the extremely scenic Chuckanut Drive.

You drive Chuckanut Drive from the north from Bellingham, from the south from the Skagit Valley.

Larrabee State Park is located near the border between Whatcom and Skagit Counties.

From its early beginnings Larrabee State Park has grown to be one of the largest state parks in Washington, covering 2,683 acres, going from sea level to an elevation of 1,940, on the west side of Chuckanut Mountain.

At Larrabee you will find a boat launch, 67 picnic sites, over 9 miles of hiking trails, 53 tent campsites, 26 trailer hook-up sites and 8 walk-in campsites. If you get the right permits, at Larrabee, you can go fishing, crabbing and clamming. You can also go scuba diving and rock climbing.

Heading east of the beach there are a couple trails that take you up Chuckanut Mountain, one is an old logging road that leads from a parking lot which is also the access point to Teddy Bear Cove. The other trail up Chuckanut Mountain is a hiking trail whose trail head you will find on the east side of Chuckanut Drive, about halfway between the north and south park entries.

The trails up Chuckanut Mountain eventually take you to 3 lookouts where you get expansive views of the San Juan Islands and Rosario Strait. The final trail destination is often Fragrance and Lost Lakes, which you can hike around, fish in, or camp on the lakes' shore.

If you are feeling very energetic you can continue on past Fragrance and Lost Lakes and hike the old logging road to the top of Chuckanut Mountain.

I've ridden my bike to the top of Chuckanut Mountain, via the vehicle access, then coasted the old logging road, at high speed, all the way back to Chuckanut Drive. A few years ago I dropped off Spencer Jack's uncle Joey at the top of Chuckanut Mountain, so he could take the fast bike ride down the mountain.

I believe Joey's bike ride is the last time I have been to the top of Chuckanut Mountain.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Giant Flying Saucers Spotted Hovering Over Mount Rainier

One of my sisters in Washington's home has a good view of Mount Rainier. Yesterday my sister sent me pictures of what look like giant Flying Saucers hovering over Mount Rainier.

I suspect these are not actual Flying Saucers, but are, instead, a cloud formation caused my moisture laden air passing over the frigid top of Mount Rainier.


These could be Flying Saucers.

Mount Rainier has had a long history linking the Mountain with UFOs.

The first UFO/Flying Saucer incident of the post World War II area occurred at Mount Rainier and set off Flying Saucer/UFO hysteria which continues, off and on, to this day, over a half a century later.

On June 24, 1947 Kenneth Arnold was flying a private plane near Mount Rainier when he spotted 9 flying objects moving very, very fast. Others on the ground saw the same thing.

Similar incidents occurred in following weeks in various locations in America.

You can read all about it in Wikipedia's Kenneth Arnold UFO Sighting article.