June-July in Birch Bay Area

Monday, July 12, 2021 10:42 PM

Oh where has the time gone.  One minute we are in Leavenworth and then I look and we’ve had a week in Monroe, a week in Mt Vernon, a week in Ferndale, and 2 weeks in Birch Bay!

The trip from Leavenworth to Monroe was marked with low clouds, snow on the ground and then into rain as we pulled into Monroe.   This picture is of the ski area at the top of Stevens Pass.  There was a little bit of rain, but it was snowing at the top of the mountains.  

The rain continued down into Monroe.  We stayed at the Evergreen Fairgrounds RV Park.  Water and 30 am power on gravel-grass sites.  Nothing fancy, but we didn’t want fancy, we wanted a place to stay so we could visit with my sister Margaret!   So after getting in and setting up, we went to see her - it was so great to REALLY hug someone again!

The rain came and went every day and when the wind picked up we got a small leak into our closet slide.   So, getting some caulking, Dave went up on the ladder and sealed along the area we determined probably had the leak.  After letting it set up overnight, he went up on the ladder again and used some of the Flex Tape spray over the same area.  Then we crossed our fingers and left the slide out during the next couple of days with rain - no leaks.     

During the week we were with Margaret, along with washing clothes, we went into Woodinville to do some wine tasteing.  First stop was Januik Winery.  We had taken mom to this winery and remembered that we had gotten a Petit Verdot there.  It wasn’t on the tasting menu, but when we asked about it, they went and opened a bottle for us to taste.  Not only did we like it, but Margaret did too - and she’s not into big reds.   So they ended up selling 3 bottles of the Petit Verdot, plus a couple bottles of the rose they were giving as starters that day!  Next we headed for Maryhill Winery, but got confused in the parking lot, so ended up going to Alexandria Nicole Cell Winery - and that was a great wrong turn!  Good wine that we will enjoy both this summer and the coming winter.

After a week there, we headed for the Mt. Vernon Thousand Trails park.   It is one that we had never been to, so decided to spend a week there.  It stopped raining, and we had a 50 amp site, but not the ability to get satellite.  BUT, the cell service was good enough so that we could stream videos that we wanted to watch!    We visited some small cafes just starting to open again and generally drove around the valley so I could notice all the changes that have occured.

Next stop was Ferndale, with a stay at the Cedars Resort.  It was sold this year, so instead of staying using one of our membership programs, we had to pay retail price.   It was $50/night for the week.  It is a nice park, but the costs are really getting out of sight.  I suppose for people who only do a week or two for vacation, it isn’t so bad, but for people who spend several months on the road, the costs are starting to make us wonder if it is time to hang up the keys.  This picture was taken on the way to Ferndale from Bellingham - Mt. Baker just peaking above the hills.



After setting up, it was one to the Ed-Alleen Dairy for ice cream cones.   We had been waiting for 2 years to get another one.  Luckily they also have a store in Blaine, so we were able to get cones in both towns.  

While Ferndale looks the same as it did two years ago, with some new businesses opening up, the same can’t be said for Birch Bay and Blaine.  Birch Bay is practically deserted as far as businesses go.  None of the places for breakfast were open, several restaurants are completely out of business, and the rantal condos didn’t look like they had many units occupied.

We were also in Ferndale the end of June when the temperatures in the area went through the roof.  In Ferndale it reach 104°.   When we left Ferndale 2 days later, at 10:30 in the morning, it was 90 in the park.  20 minutes later we were in Birch Bay at the Thousand Trails park, and the temperature was 82!  Being closer to the water helps keep temperatures down.



Blaine also looked pretty bleak.  Since it is the first town when you come across the border, it has really been impacted by the border closing.   A lot of businesses are gone, just boarded businesses.   We did eat twice at the Alaska Wild Fish and Chips Co. Food Truck at the Blaine Marina.  Nice to sit out eating Fish and Chips (or Shrimp or Halibut) and look out at the boats in the Marina.  Didn’t see a lot of boats going in and out while we were there over 4th of July.   


We knew that the Thousand Trails park wouldn’t be as full as usual because no Canadians can cross the border.  But were surprised that there were empty sites even on the 4th of July.  Have never seen that before when we have stayed here.   We have some pictures of our time in Ferndale and Blaine here.


 

David set both Figment and Baby Yoda up in the front window and people would comment as they walked by.  We sent emails and Twitter messages to Space X recommending that Figment also be taken on one of their flights as their Zero G indicator.   While Baby Yoda has flown we were dismayed that they didn’t fly Figment on the next flight!


Heading back down to the Seattle area for the next couple of weeks.  We have really been enjoying the nice weather - and no rain for the past 4 weeks is really something, knock on wood.   I don’t know how long this will last, but the weather all over the country is really crazy this year.