The first time I heard about LaConner, Washington, was about a year ago. A friend had spent some time there and said that it was a ‘cool’ town. I”ve always viewed ‘word of mouth’ testimonials to be the most accurate, as opposed to advertisements or commercials.
So when I got this week’s walk schedule from the Northwest Tulip Trekkers Volkssport Club in Bellingham and noticed the Thursday walk was in LaConner, I got excited.
I’ve belonged to this club since December 2017 but have never been to any of their walks, so this was going to be my first – and they say that you’ll always remember your first! I still remember my first kiss, broken heart and my first broken bone.
So on Thursday morning, I left the house at 8:00 AM and headed for the USA border, which is about a 15-minute drive. From there it’s about a forty minute drive to Burlington, WA, and then you take Hwy 20 west for about 15 minutes to LaConner. While driving through Bellingham, I noticed that the air wasn’t as smokey as it was in the Lower Mainland, so my throat will be thankful. I’ve been doing a lot of coughing since the smoke took over British Columbia, several days ago. And by the time I reached the marina at LaConner, the air seemed more breathable than either BC’s Lower Mainland or Bellingham!
I know several of the members of this club because they often come to British Columbia to walk with our Volkssport Clubs. I recognized Tom and his wife Sue right away, and as we were shaking hands, I was tempted to tell him how much David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame, resembles him! Next, to the Eagles, they were my favorite band of the sixties. But I didn’t tell him – even though I would have meant it as a compliment – I didn’t.
Tom and Sue explained that several people had canceled plans to walk because of the lingering effects of the smoke. They introduced me to Alice, and we four began our walk.
The picture (above) conceals something very special – almost magical. If you were walking or driving by – you wouldn’t even notice. But Tom led us to a place between the two buildings and this is what he revealed. Click this link: Surprise!
The first one I ever broke was my collarbone. I did it falling out of a tree when I was very young. And today, the Little Danny in me wanted to climb this Beech tree so bad – but an inner voice told me to grow up and act my age!
We continued walking down the main street – with the many shops, restaurants, and a beautiful waterfront walkway. Tom and Sue explained the history of the town and how it’s founder had named the city after his wife’s name (Louisa) and his name (Conner). Many of the buildings date from the 1880’s. Here is a memorial to Louisa Conner on the hill overlooking the town:
Click this link: Louisa memorial
We then headed to the beach park and this colossal salmon that gave me a bit of a thrill.
The photo is what the salmon sculpture looks like from the street, but when you walk up to its mouth, you notice something extraordinary inside the salmon’s mouth!
Click this link: Inside salmon’s mouth
Well, now I can say that I’ve been ‘salmoned’ which could pass as a version of Newfoundland’s famous ‘kissing a cod’s mouth’ during the ‘screeching-in’ ceremony. I still have my screeched-in certificate from the ’90’s, while I was working in Atlantic Canada.
Regular readers of my blog know how much I love bridges. The bridge in LaConner is a beauty!
Click this link: LaConner Bridge
And as we made our way through the town, Tom and Sue had one more surprise for me. It was along Fourth Street – standing all alone – another giant tree to climb! As we walked closer, I couldn’t believe my eyes – the most massive Oak tree that I’ve ever seen.
Here is a video clip of the tree up close:
Click this link: Giant Oak Tree
Tom suggested that I climb it, and he’d take a picture of me, but I was happy to touch it. But one day, I’m going to climb that tree – but I’ll need someone to take my picture…
In closing, this was one of my favorite walks, and I feel that I’ve made three awesome friends! It doesn’t matter if you’re walking in the pouring rain or trying to plow your way through snow drifts – when you’re walking with exceptional people – you tend to smile a lot. And a day later, I’m still smiling from ear-to-ear! Thanks, Alice, Sue, and Tom!
Dedicated to friends, Tom, and Sue Wallace
Today’s tune (from Danny’s library of purchased music)