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Hannegan Road

October 19, 2011

An unexpected sunny day should never be wasted... (Orin O'Neill photos)

The weather gods were smiling on Western Washington Saturday—instead of the cloudy drizzle we must normally endure in the fall, the sun shone brightly and the temperature was (sort of) warm. And the GTS hadn’t been on a lengthy ride for a while.

Hannegan Road begins where Woburn Street ends, at an intersection on Sunset Drive. Make the left, and a gentle downhill S-curve brings you to the valley floor and a straight shot north to Lynden.

Industrial thing

There’s a fair amount of light industry just north of Sunset. I’m not quite sure what that massive green thing produces (there were piles of rocks and dirt surrounding it), but it’s impressive as all get out.

Hannegan Speedway sign

An industrial area is a good place to build a race track, since the neighbors aren’t likely to complain about the noise. Hannegan Speedway has a small dirt oval and a motocross track; they host sprint car races in addition to a variety of motorcycle events. No scooter racing, however.

Handy Shots

As I’ve said, this being Western Washington, drive-thru espresso stands are everywhere. I’m pretty sure the baristas at this one are fully-clothed.

Country Estate : P

You don’t have to go far for the green street signs of the city to give way to yellow ones, which means you’re in the county. While houses in the county often have a much more, shall we say, improvised look, the McMansion is not an unusual sight.

Contented cows

Not far past the McMansions you’ll find verdant pasture, and livestock grazing contentedly. If there are feedlots in Whatcom or Skagit County, I sure don’t know where they are. It takes little effort to be a locavore in Bellingham; even beef and dairy products come from just up (or down) the road.

A llama

Livestock are not limited to cattle, either. A herd of llamas was grazing near a house with a driveway protected by an iron gate. I can’t think of what llamas produce for human consumption, off the top of my head. Alpacas, which are cousins to llamas, have nice fur that gets made into expensive sweaters and blankets.

Mount Baker, distant

One has to wonder whether the critters in the field are able to appreciate a view like the one above. Mount Baker looked a lot bigger when I stopped to take the picture, but I don’t know if it’s because of the impossibly wide-angle lenses fitted to most digital cameras or an optical illusion that occurs at certain levels of heat and humidity, resulting in mountains that seem much closer than they are.

Whatever. I think everyone’s glad it was Mount Saint Helens that erupted, and not Mount Baker.

Hannegan Road runs parallel to the Guide before coming to an end at Front Street in Lynden and has considerably less traffic, which means it could be a more pleasant route to the Aldergrove border crossing in British Columbia. Unless your destination is Lynden, which mine was. I’ll tell you about that next time. Favicon

  1. October 19, 2011 3:15 am

    What a beautiful day! I’m afraid that our nice weather is all but used up.

    The coffee is one strange thing about the West Coast. I thought I understood it while I was there (may have been my caffeine-jilted brain working at half capacity) but now that I live in Europe I know I don’t get it. In Germany, as in many other places on the continent, you can get great coffee from a vending machine. It will even grind your beans on the spot. Pop in a Euro, get good coffee, be on your way. There is no compulsive obsession or ceremony behind it – just good coffee everywhere. I would love to get one of those machines and put it in a campus cafeteria or lounge. You could make money hand over fist.

    Behind Bars – Motorcycles and Life

  2. October 19, 2011 2:18 pm

    Brady, I know exactly what you mean. When I traveled in France and Italy, I got totally spoiled by the coffee there… upon returning, everything in North America tasted like dirt dissolved in hot water.

    A while back, the local Starbucks was offering samples of some new ‘premium’ coffee they’d introduced. After taking a sip, I was asked to describe the taste. “Burnt,” I said. Could I think of another word, they asked, somewhat nervously. Nope, “burnt” is the only word that honestly describes it. I could taste carbon.

    You’ll notice SBUX has introduced a “blond roast” coffee; I guess that’s the only way they can continue to avoid admitting their beans are seriously over-roasted. You are correct in observing that Starbucks and others must fetishize coffee to a certain extent—how else are they going to get people to pay four bucks a cup for it?

  3. Jack Riepe permalink
    October 20, 2011 5:45 am

    Dear Orin:

    The really nice aspect of living where you do is the ease of rural access from your location. I can’t think I’d get any work done if I could escape so easily to snow-capped or country locations. Although I am moving this week to another state — not the one previously announced — and I am curious to see how that will turn out.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  4. Rob Thomas permalink
    October 22, 2011 12:47 am

    Great pics!! We drive that road a lot, be careful as the speed seems to change every few miles. Picked a up a $160.00 coupon in July for going 5 mph over.

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