Breadth of Bellingham magic

9/4/22

I’ve been here in Bellingham two full days now. What a variety of experiences!

For the first 24 hours or so, I enjoyed some one-on-one time with my longtime friend Alek. We bicycled into downtown to visit Bellingham’s all vegan grocery store and café, V Go’s, where we chatted with Alek’s friend Nate—the store’s co-owner—while dining on delicious cilantro-lime burritos. I picked up a few treats at the store for future hosts, as well.

Afterward we biked back to the house, enjoying the city art along the way, and then strolled out to the neighborhood footpath with a ladder, to gather some peak-ripeness blackberries! (They have now been turned into a compote topping for a vegan cheesecake.)

Then yesterday evening, Alek’s wife Zoe returned from her trip to Spokane, and we all enjoyed a homemade pizza dinner together, followed by a wonderful couple of hours of singing together while Alek (a very gifted singer-songwriter in his own right—check out his music page!) accompanied us on the guitar.

This morning, I joined Alek on a Zoom call with his friends for a “manifestation meditation” meetup. I was honored that he invited me to join in on this virtual gathering the group has been doing for years. I enjoyed meeting his friends Bob and Rachel there, and we had a powerful group session over a two-hour span.

After that, I hopped on my bike to go meet a longtime Facebook friend, Kristin Noreen. I “met” Kristin at some point before I embarked on my journey, when our mutual friend introduced us on Facebook, because Kristin had published a very gripping book about her experience recovering from a near-fatal bicycle crash. (A distracted motorist plowed into her, while she was biking legally and as safely as reasonably possible.) I immediately bought a copy of the book (which I recommend—you can find it here) and devoured it, despite my usual struggles with reading books. Her story was painful but deeply inspirational.

We have been Facebook friends ever since, and she has been following my journey on this blog.

She lives quite close to Alek and Zoe, so I was able to easily bike over and visit her at her charming tiny house.

It was fun to take the “tour” (did you know there is such a thing as a washer-dryer combo, in just one compact machine? Wow! And she also has a “guest bedroom” in the tiny house!) and we sat and chatted over some snacks and beverages. She also showed me the opulent vegetable garden plot she shares with a few neighbors.

I bicycled back to Alek and Zoe’s place, managing to avoid the rain that threatened.

What a rich time I have had here in Bellingham. Tomorrow I’ll be bicycling 25 miles north, just across the Canadian border to my Warmshowers hosts in a town called Surrey.

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