A Walk through Fairhaven and Western Washington University

Call me sentimental. But last week’s road trip to Bellingham was a walk back in time.

It started when we headed north from Seattle,  passing through the daffodils of the beautiful Skagit Valley. (Tulips are up next in the Valley and that needs another trip .  But I digress.)

From the daffodils we stopped in La Conner for lunch and then continued to our destination, Bellingham,

via the scenic route,  Chuckanut Drive,  which winds for 30 miles or so along the coast next to the Salish Sea,

where you’ll find oysters for sale along the way and oyster beds in the beaches below. No I don’t eat them.

You’ll also be treated to views of the San Juan Islands  – reachable only by boat or plane so that also needs another trip.

Chuckanut Drive led us to Fairhaven, a historic district in Bellingham that I frequented during my college days – a short walk from one of the many places I lived — and where we spent the next two nights at the delightful Fairhaven Village Inn.

I love Fairhaven – a compact section of old Bellingham with quaint shops and restaurants –

and Village Books, my favorite bookstore where you can browse three floors of new and used books,  pick up quirky gifts and have a bowl of African Peanut soup at the adjoining Colophon Café.

You can walk anywhere for dinner and when you head back to your hotel you might even catch a sunset over Bellingham Bay, like we did. 🙂

For more of the bay you can take the South Bay Trail for a refreshing walk along the waterfront, and maybe stop by Woods Coffee.

Bob did just that the next morning while I slept in.  I was saving all my steps for the walk on campus – Western Washington University – where I spent most of my college years during the last century.   The campus is intimate, with woods on one side and views of the bay on the other.  Red Square is still the centerpiece surrounded with buildings like Miller Hall where I enjoyed many of my liberal arts classes.

Best of all the campus is full of sculptures and artwork like the Stairs to Nowhere, which I did not climb

and the Log Ramps which I did.

There was the steel wall sculpture , Wright’s Triangle, that we walked through, and where you can see Sehome Hill behind,

and the brilliant red one, For Handel,  high above the Bay.

I remembered them all.

And there was new artwork as well, including these little fellows, hard at work,

and this one not.

It was a wonderful walk  from one end of the campus to the other and when it was over we were ready to head downtown for lunch and more adventures.

But I will save that for another time.

Thanks for coming along.

Shared with Jo’s Monday Walks.

~ Susanne

24 Comments on “A Walk through Fairhaven and Western Washington University

  1. That’s a lovely place to have attended university.
    I do like oysters, so would have had some. 🙂
    That double-decker bus is an old English one, painted in the colours of a county. It is unlikely to have ever been used in London.Did you know that Bellingham is also a district in south-east London? I wonder if early settlers named it? http://hidden-london.com/gazetteer/bellingham/
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Thanks Pete. though the city has grown much has remained the same; the historic Fairhaven district is still compact and charming and WWU is still my favorite campus.

      Thanks for the link. I didn’t know there was a Bellingham in London, too!

      Three towns merged in 1903 to form the city of Bellingham: Whatcom, Sehome and Fairhaven. Whatcom was a European settlement on Bellingham Bay in the 1850s; According to Wikipedia, Bellingham Bay was named for Sir William Bellingham, controller of the storekeeper’s account for the Royal Navy at the time that the Vancouver Expedition visited the bay in June 1792. So definitely some British influences.

  2. How picturesque-and green! It’s still brown here, so I appreciate that. The affection for your old stomping grounds is clear. ♥️

  3. That is an especially lovely picture of you on the steps. My good friend in college was from Bellingham. I seem to remember people driving back and forth from B.C. for shopping.

    • So glad you enjoyed the pictures! 🙂 You must have been there around the same time I was. I recognized much of the art but there were many new pieces as well. It’s such a beautiful campus! 🙂

  4. A little trip down memory lane there. I lived in Bellingham for a couple of years and used to cycle through the university campus on my way to work. I found it odd, at that time, that there wasn’t great access to the water even though the city is built right on the bay. The railway line and paper mill formed a barrier with the paper mill periodically releasing burps of chlorine gas into the downtown! I suspect it’s more accessible now with the mill gone. I liked Fairhaven a lot too and am glad to hear Village Books and the Colophon Cafe are still going strong.

    • Yes indeed. I remember the fragrance of Georgia Pacific too! The mill closed long ago so no more strange odor. ☺They’ve really made a wonderful walk along the waterfront from Fairhaven. Very pleasant.

  5. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Zoo, zoo, Zoomarine! | restlessjo

  6. Pingback: A Walk through Bellingham fueled by Rockets – Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

  7. What a wonderful photo tour of one of my favorite cities! And what fortunate timing -you had sunny blue skies!

  8. Love your photos! Left me wanting to see it for myself. The last two are especially adorable. ❤️

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