It's summertime, and the living truly is easy

    I can’t remember who sang the song with the lyrics in the headline above, but wow, was he right.
   Is there anyone alive in Whatcom County who can honestly say our summer has not been glorious? But even now, this early, I can already tell that the cool breezes and nip in the night air means that another perfect summer in the Pacific Northwest is nearing an end.
   But what a summer it’s been.
   Witness just a chunk of my family’s samplings of what a Whatcom summer can entail:
   • When a friend of my wife’s from grad school visited last month, we packed the kids into the minivan and hopped on the Whatcom Chief for a great dinner at the Beach Store Cafe on Lummi Island. I can still taste my burger, it was that good — but even better were the views from our window seat looking across Hale’s Passage at the magnificent summit of our local volcano. Our friend was blown away — and who could blame her? The magnificent snowy cone of Komo Kulshan turned pink in the alpenglow as the sun set, and the night was crystal clear. Incredible.
   • On a sunny Sunday morning in August, having had enough of yardwork the day before, I once again packed the younguns into the minivan, grabbed my mother, and headed up to Artist Point.
   The drive was magnificent (with the kids kept happy watching "A Bug’s Life" on the DVD player), and Artist Point, as always, was one of the most beautiful paved locations anywhere in the world. Shuksan loomed in all its glory, but there was still too much snow for the kids to hike up there (but that made the 50+ sledders happy), so we went down a bit and walked around the Chain Lakes trail, listening for the peeping of marmots and surrounded by the massive walls of Table Mountain and Mt. Herman.
   We ate a great picnic lunch, with my kids overjoyed at the chance to feed chunks of their PB&Js to the local fauna, from puffy-cheeked chipmunks to gray jays. And what trip up to the snow would be complete without an ice-cream cone at Graham’s in Glacier on the way back? The only downer of the trip was noticing that Alpenglow Farms, on the highway between Glacier and Maple Falls, was no longer in business. Their raspberry fudge was worth the drive.
   • On a recent paddle in Bellingham Bay with her kayaking cronies, my wife and two of her friends were surrounded by a gaggle? swarm? pride? herd? of seals, all poking their heads up next to their kayaks and gazing at them interestedly with their warm, liquid eyes before swimming off. It was a real Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom kind of moment. I hope your summer was as fun as ours!

John Thompson is publisher and editor of The Bellingham Business Journal. He can be reached by calling 647-8805, or via e-mail at


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