High Above Whatcom County on the Oyster Dome

  Sunset view in Larrabee State Park, courtesy of the Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission.

Sunset view in Larrabee State Park, courtesy of the Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission.

Every day I count myself lucky to have a job I love, but yesterday's hike truly brought that home: I had the good fortune to visit with a supporter of our organization who has also become a dear friend, all while enjoying the gorgeous scenery of her neighborhood trails. Win-win-win!

Yesterday, Ellen and I climbed the Oyster Dome Trail, which ascends about 2,000 feet to a rocky overlook... which alas, was blocked in by fog. But not to worry! Every step of the way is gorgeous Pacific Northwest forest, dense with trees, moss and lichen; it is well worth the hike regardless of the weather.

  A view from the top on a clearer day;  photo by Michael Camilleri

A view from the top on a clearer day; photo by Michael Camilleri

Oyster Dome is one of many trails within the Larrabee State Park, which was the first state park established in Washington. It came into being thanks to a gift of land by area businessman Charles Larrabee in 1914. He died shortly thereafter so his widow, Frances Larrabee, was the one who ensured that the land transfer and conversion to a state park happened, in 1915. Hooray for philanthropy: the park is gorgeous, and offers vistas over the Samish Bay, out to the San Juan Islands. Had the Larrabee family not chosen to make this generous gift to the people of Washington -- to all of us, really -- who knows what otherwise might have become of this vibrant forest?

  View from a clearing partway up the Oyster Dome trail.  Photo by Peter Stevens.

View from a clearing partway up the Oyster Dome trail. Photo by Peter Stevens.

The hike crosses a few streams, and wends its way through moss-covered trees and craggy rocks. Bird song punctuates each turn. With about 2,000 feet of climbing, it's a bit of a workout, but the trail isn't particularly technical and the moist earth makes it gentle underfoot. Definitely worth checking out, if your travels should bring you to Bellingham, Washington.

Happy travels, friends, and see you on the trail!