We’ve been RVing up a storm since taking delivery of the new rig. We will, eventually, devise a nifty name for our camper, but for now the muse has not struck (stricken?, straked? Grammarians this is your chance!). This is our third campout in as many weeks, and it should just about be enough to get all the bugs and kinks worked out.
We camped this time in Bay View State Park, on Padilla Bay in the North Salish Sea, with a stunning view of the Tesoro Oil Refinery. Actually, it isn’t too bad, there are lots of great vistas to all sides of it, and a very pleasant body of water between us to enjoy. There was a nice, but rocky, beach attached to the park that afforded us with a nice morning walk, and some Sea Glass hunting.
There is a really nice covered picnic area also, with benches and tables where we found an old Canadian gentleman who was making his breakfast on a camp stove, and just enjoying the day, eh?
Historical Note: Last November, flying back from San Francisco after a family Thanksgiving, we met a very pleasant guy named Daren. He had recently moved to Lummi (rhymes with yummy) Island, which is near Bellingham, and was in the process of taming a 5 acre parcel of mountainside so that he could build a Tiny House to live in.
Wendy kept in touch with him via Facebook, and since Bay View is reasonably close to Bellingham (at least a lot closer than our home), we decided that Sunday would be a good time to take advantage of his offer to “come on up and visit if you’re in the neighborhood”. We had only seen Lummi Island from the water side, having circumnavigated it many years ago during one of our summer trips to Orcas Island. So off we went to see the INSIDE of the island. And Wendy will pretty much go anywhere to see a Tiny House. A 40 minute drive to Bellingham, 10 minutes down a 2 lane road across the Indian reservation, and we arrived at Gooseberry, where the small car ferry waited to take us on a 6 minute crossing.
Lummi has about 800 full time residents. The only tourist activities are biking, hiking, and kayaking. Unless your idea of tourism is fancy dining, in which case you can make a reservation at The Willows, the most expensive restaurant in the Northwest; average price per person for dinner is around $400.
There are plenty of very wealthy folks on Lummi, but Daren assures us none of them will pay Piracy Rates to eat at The Willows.
On arrival, Daren met us at The Islander, the very small, and only, market on the island, quite close to the ferry landing. Proximity to the ferry landing is a good thing, because there aren’t any public restrooms at The Islander, one in need must walk across the street to the loo at the ferry landing. After a great tour of the island, which didn’t take very long, Daren took us up to see his property, and his almost finished Tiny House. You can see Vancouver downtown, skyscrapers and all, from his front yard.
Daren has been clearing this property for a year, and has barely made a dent. There are berry bushes everywhere, but also found in abundance is Stinging Nettle. Daren turned us onto the fact that he regularly makes soup out of it, and it’s delish! Wendy couldn’t resist, so we loaded up a grocery bag with tender tops to take with. Important Note: always – ALWAYS – wear gloves when handling this stuff! We found a recipe on Google, and made some for dinner Monday night. It’s very, very good, kind of like a spinach-leek soup with a side benefit of having all kinds of medicinal benefits for indigestion, arthritis, and migraines.
We ate lunch at Sause Burger, next door to The Islander. Same deal with the restroom, a short hike across the street. Sause Burger is owned by Herb, and we were fortunate that it was open when we were visiting. Sometimes it’s open for a few hours 3 days a week. Sometimes not. And it’s closed most of the winter. But it’s worth a try if you get to Lummi, the food is excellent and the host is charming. Bring your appetite! Daren and I each had a house specialty, the Solomon Burger. It is the brainchild of some Islander named, go figure, Solomon. And I can only think that Solomon must spend a great deal of his day thinking about food. The burger, made with ½ pound of Wagyu beef (and seemingly everything else in the kitchen) was, no kidding, 6” tall when served. It took 40 minutes to eat. Wow! It is served on a Breadfarm bun, and if you have never been to The Breadfarm in Edison, make a date and go. You can have a nice brunch just down the street at Tweets Café, another fabulous foodie spot. We, of course, not only took Daren a house warming gift of a ½ loaf of Stone Ground Wheat (after all it IS a tiny house), but took the other ½ of that and a Ciabatta loaf home ourselves. Yumm!
Back “home” at Bay View, we camped in Site 28 in The Meadows, one of 2 areas with utilities that can accommodate RVs. The other RV area is “up front” in the park, with views of the bay. There are also a couple of areas just for smaller vehicles and tent camping. It is all very well taken care of, and even looks to be under some expansion and upgrading. All the RV sites have 50 and 30 amp power, water hookups, a fire pit, and a picnic table. This time, I figured out how to use our new Progressive power surge protector to sniff out the power and tell me if it was good or not before I hooked up the rig.
I’m obviously liking some of the technology improvements that have become popular since we last owned an RV, especially my new Hitch Camera! Backing and hitching suddenly got much easier.
In the Meadow, all the sites are cut back into the forest around a large central grass area. Most of them, #28 included, aren’t very deep and it made for a challenge to get the rig backed in near to the utilities without driving too far out into the swamped grass area. Thank God for 4 wheel drive.
As we always do, we scouted all the other sites, and next time we’ll shoot for #24, which was nice and deep, on a corner with a great approach for backing in, and a campfire area that is tucked away from the road for a little evening privacy.
As always, H E R E “ S T I P P Y!