Outdoors

Recreation Roundup

An all-season outdoor expo

Attend

What: Recreation NW Expo

Where: Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave.

Cost: Entry is free

Info: http://www.recreationnorthwest.org

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

As I write these words from my perch on the sixth floor of the Herald Building, it’s early February and our corner of the world is blanketed in approximately six inches of still-accumulating snow. 

Despite the winter weather, Bellinghamsters are still out and about in full force. So far today, I’ve witnessed a number of bicycle commuters riding down State Street, joggers making their way along the Depot Market Square alley that leads directly to the Interurban Trail and Boulevard Park, and a trio of women who appeared to be having a speed-sliding contest on the slick sidewalk. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, given the option, a sizable contingent of humans in this city would prefer to use a 28-degree snow day to be outside rather than staying indoors to make soup, binge-watch episodes of Game of Thrones, and pack for a Hawaiian getaway. (Full disclosure: those are my plans, and the reason I’m writing this missive so far in advance.) 

If you count yourself among those who choose to pursue a year-round roster of outdoor activities in the north corner, you’ll likely want to make plans to attend the Recreation Northwest EXPO taking place Sat., Feb. 25 at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.

In addition to finding out more about Recreation Northwest’s annual events, such as the Bellingham Traverse and Quest Adventure Races, those who attend the free shindig will also be able to discover who and what is behind Ski to Sea, Tour de Whatcom, the BBMX Winter Trail Run Series, the Bellingham Bay Marathon, Mt. Baker Bike Club’s Chuckanut Classic, the Lake Whatcom Triathlon, and beyond.

But that’s far from all. Among the 70 exhibitors, those interested in running, biking, sailing, paddling and hiking will find both local and regional recreation and stewardship opportunities from the likes of the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, Washington Trails Association, the Community Boating Center, Conservation Northwest, the North Cascades Institute, the Pacific Northwest Trail Association, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, and Bellingham and Whatcom County’s Parks and Recreation departments.

Additionally, you’ll find gear and equipment to help you on your adventure quests, information about tours, coaches that can offer advice on how to get in shape for those outings, and demos from Backcountry Essentials, Gear Aid, Mt. Baker Mountain Guides, REI, and more.

Many attending the annual event will have specific goals when it comes to their areas of interest, but it might also be the perfect time to explore outside of your comfort zone.

Perhaps, after looking into Swift Industries’ presentation about bicycle camping, you’ll realize it fits your lifestyle, or you’ll pick up a few tips about snowshoeing in the Mt. Baker backcountry and rush to try it before the season ends. And even if the late-winter day brings more snow, it’s more than likely you’ll still be there.

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