Exploring the Ukulear Options

Bring Your Own Ukulele-001

Until a couple of months ago I had never really played a ukulele. Now it’s one of my favorite instruments to pick up and just noodle. I’ve also been enjoying playing in groups. I bought my first ukulele so that I could join my friends at Bring Your Own Instrument on ukulele night, but I wanted to see what other groups were out there. Over the last couple weeks I’ve visited three other active ukulele groups to see what they are like. Continue reading “Exploring the Ukulear Options”

Amtrak Cascades Trek – Part 3, Vancouver to Mount Vernon

Amtrak Cascades to Vancouver-150

Laura and I had taken the Amtrak Cascades from Mount Vernon to Vancouver for a day trip. We spent most of (actually, all of) our day in Vancouver at the Telus Science Museum. It was now time to head back home. Since I had already described the particulars of the trip in Part 1, I’ll focus mostly on photography in this post. Continue reading “Amtrak Cascades Trek – Part 3, Vancouver to Mount Vernon”

Amtrak Cascades Trek – Part 1, Mount Vernon to Vancouver

Amtrak Cascades to Vancouver-44

For years I’ve observed the railroad tracks that hug the base of Chuckanut Mountain. The line crosses the Samish Flats from Mount Vernon then curves along the coast right at the waterline. From the tracks you can see across Samish Bay toward the San Juan Islands. Even more intriguing to me was the fact that Amtrak runs along these rails. I knew this was something we had to do while we were out here, and we got that chance this past Tuesday. Continue reading “Amtrak Cascades Trek – Part 1, Mount Vernon to Vancouver”

La Conner Guitar Festival

La Conner Guitar Festival-93

This past weekend was an event which I had been anticipating for several months. This was the weekend of the La Conner Guitar Festival. Unlike the Bellingham Folk Festival back in January, the focus was more on the instruments than the music. Specifically, it was a luthier event. I now own three guitars, so I wasn’t looking to acquire a new one, but I was still looking forward to attending. Continue reading “La Conner Guitar Festival”

Paddling Lake Samish

Lake Samish Paddling-2

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to…paddle.

…to paraphrase Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

I live on an island. You’d think I could just drop a boat in and take off anywhere, but it’s not that easy. The tides, wind, etc., etc., have to be just right. Plus there’s the issue of a steep cliff right in front of us with no easy access for hauling a kayak. If I’m going to put a boat in the water, I still have to load it onto the car and drive it to some access point. This past Tuesday I really wanted to get out for a longer trip but the tides were just not going to work out. I decided to try one of the local lakes instead, so I headed up to Lake Samish. Continue reading “Paddling Lake Samish”

Thrift Stores and Farmers Markets

Bellingham Farmers Market-021

I miss a good, old-fashioned Southern flea market, the kind where you can find anything from fishing lures to knives to rusty tools to outdated medicines to questionable Confederate adoration. There’s just nothing like that up here. The western term is “swap meet”, but I haven’t even been able to find one of those. At least in this corner of the state swap meets are infrequent and are nothing like those in the South. I was eager to find some alternative. Continue reading “Thrift Stores and Farmers Markets”