It's not a trail story if there isn't a dog involved. Many people expect to see a different pup with us wherever we go since we are constantly dog-sitting, and this particular one was a winner. Sawyer the sweet little border collie that loves trails as much as we do was our companion for the weekend. We couldn't have asked for a better fuzzball to keep us company.
Justin had much anticipation for this race weekend (as did I before I was injured), but things went askew when we both got sick on Thursday night. I guess that's what happens when your body is need of a vacation! Nonetheless, Justin had a great attitude and was going to race no matter what. While Justin hammered away at a muddy 13 mile course that brought him a 4th place finish, I jogged a measly 3 miles around the lake with Sawyer. Justin was certainly happy to finish this race and move on to other events encompassing the weekend. I was proud of him for finishing!
One of the most exciting pieces of the race was watching local Maria Dalzot take the big win for the women. It was such a thrill to see an amazing athlete from the trail community have a strong performance over the road runners in the field. Nice work, Maria!
After the race we went to the after party and mingled with other runners while stuffing ourselves with pub food. As much as it kills me not to be competing at the moment I still love surrounding myself with runners and the trail community (I guess that's a big duh); it keeps a positive light to my training, no matter how minimal it happens to be at the moment.
The next morning we met with a great group of people that Tad and Maria pulled together to explore the Chuckanut trails. It was a great way to start our Sunday morning and set a relaxing tone. We had a perfectly sunny day that lit up all the changing colors on the trails. Bellingham Bay was pretty spectacular and we caught a good glimpse of Canada at the top.
After our Chuckanut high we hopped in the car to make a few stops on our way back to Seattle. Mt Vernon is an obvious gem along I-5. If you haven't been there make sure to plan a pitt stop on your next road trip! While growing up, my family would take trips to the Methow and we would always stop at Calico Cupboards in Mt Vernon. This hip cafe has a rustic flare with top notch comfort food and about 15 decadent desserts to choose from in their display case. The homely store connected to the backside of the cafe makes things that much cozier while you snack on your cinnamon roll and sip on your coffee.
We indulged in half the menu and barely made it out of the cafe.
Afterward we made one last stop at Gordon Skagit's Farm to pick apples and meander through the pumpkin patch. I want to say this was mostly for the dog to romp around but I can't deny that I had to please my inner child. We sipped on apple cider and soaked up the spirit of fall while wandering through the apple orchard.
As whimsy as the whole weekend was I loved every minute of it! I'm certain that we'll be back in Bellingham before Christmas to get our Chuckanut fix. I felt like we barely scratched the surface of what Bellingham has to offer and I can only imagine the expansion of the Chuckanut trails that we are yet to discover. Small town charm always wins me over!
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.