An expo for everyone
What: Recreation Northwest EXPO
Where: Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave.
Cost: Entry is free
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
In a poster promoting the Recreation Northwest Expo, a furry trio resembling a family of Sasquatch are shown from behind, musing on an array of outdoor accoutrements hanging on the wall in front of them—a bicycle, a bundle of rock climbing rope, snowshoes, skis and a kayak paddle.
I’m guessing what onlookers are meant to infer from the stance of the bipedal humanoids is that they’re having a difficult time deciding what sort of outdoor activity they want to expend their energy on.
As conundrums go, it’s one residents of and visitors to this region are lucky to have. It’s also a good reason to attend the annual expo being put on by Recreation Northwest Sat., Feb. 24 at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. The event not only celebrates the bounty of ways to recreate in the region, but also acts as a way to suss out just what is that interests you when it comes to exploring the copious trails, mountains and bodies of water that surround us.
The process of figuring that out is twofold. First is through the plethora of exhibitors at the event. They include those sharing their latest gear and equipment (NuCanoe, Rad Power Bikes, Square One Maps, Trail Insight, Trayvax, and more); local and regional retailers (Earl’s Bike Shop, Fairhaven Runners, LFS Marine, Red Wing Shoes, REI, Yeager’s Sporting Goods); and adventure guides (American Alpine Institute, Baker Mountain Guides, Dragonfly Kayak Tours, Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures, NOLS).
Additionally, you can meet with reps from outdoors-focused clubs (Community Boating Center, Greater Bellingham Running Club, Nooksack Nordic Ski Club, Whatcom Rowing Association, Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, etc.), stewards and educators (American Rivers, North Cascades Institute, Recreation Northwest (natch), Washington Trails Association, Whatcom Land Trust, Outdoors for All), race reps (Ski to Sea, Tour de Whatcom, Bellingham Traverse, Bellingham Bay Marathon, Chuckanut Classic, Bellingham Parks and Recreation), and those with insights about destinations, health and fitness, and media.
The second facet of the event will include demos and speakers. Starting at 12:30pm, 30-minute demonstrations will focus on everything from stretching for lifetime flexibility, to taking a closer look at cross-country skis, testing a fancy rowing machine, ski and snowboard maintenance basics, hiking how-to’s, injury prevention, and learning more about wild foraging from a kayak.
You can also take photos with Smokey the Bear, test-ride e-bikes, meet outdoor writers and purchase their books, peruse used boats that are for sale, stop by the Boundary Bay Brewery beer corner to quench your thirst, or grab a bite to eat at StrEAT Food Cafe.
Along the way, perhaps you’ll run into a trio of befuddled Sasquatch who still haven’t decided whether they’ll be spending the rest of their weekend climbing Mt. Baker, kayaking in Bellingham Bay, or mountain biking on Galbraith. Be sure and inform them that if they play their cards right, they can do all three.
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