Outdoors

Green Gold

New offerings from Square One Maps

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

When a beefy, hand-folded envelope from Square One Maps arrived in our mailbox recently, I suspected a special treat of the highest cartographical order had been bestowed upon me.

Happily, my hunch proved to be only partially correct.

Upon opening said correspondence, I was pleased to discover I’d underestimated both the quality and quantity of its contents by a considerable degree.

Square One hadn’t just sent me a single map to review, they’d sent four of them.

Initially, the unanticipated abundance of topographically representative material overwhelmed me and for a few agonizing minutes I couldn’t decide which map in the most recent edition of their “Bellingham Parks” series to crack open first.

Since the thickest map seemed to offer the quickest, most-inclusive payoff, I chose that one.

Within a few seconds of expectant unfolding, half the dining table was draped beneath an aqua-colored, waterproof diagrammatic of the entire city of Bellingham rendered forth at a scale just large enough to reveal all pertinent outdoor recreational amenities with definitive relief and geographic detail.

At a very early age, I learned to read a map like a book.  And the story Square One’s Bellingham Parks map has to tell is one each and every resident of our fair burg is inextricably part of.

Our bicycle-friendly street grid reveals it and so do our proliferate greenways—the contoured projections of a community forged by hard work and industry increasingly woven together by foot power and self-imposed open space.

Our trails are green. Our parks are green. Our shorelines are green. And the denominations of green we cherish hold immeasurably more value than legal tender will ever allow.

Because we choose to abide by the most redemptive shades of green the planet has to offer, the lives of everyone who lives here are rendered uncommonly rich and rewarding, not merely luxurious.

Ours is a fortune rooted tangibly and philosophically upon the intrinsic benefits of natural terrain.

The story my Square One map told me piqued my curiosity to explore a singular stretch of our greenways network that had heretofore managed to elude the patter of my boots.

Within an hour, I’d folded up the map, sealed it into an improvised transparent pouch (the maps are printed on waterproof paper, but there’s no harm in taking adequate measures to help extend their usable lifespan, is there?) and conveyed myself to the uppermost vestiges of West Racine Street for an inspirational Sunday afternoon hike into lofty parts unknown.

Samish Crest Trail contours fairly genteelly among the semi-forested summit of a 900-foot ridge that both parallels and helps gives rise to a much more heavily traveled and mostly paved-over prominence known locally as Yew Street Hill.

It was an invigorating trip through informative terrain. Even though the sun never bothered peeking through the clouds, new views kept opening up that instilled an even deeper appreciation for the cherished land we inhabit.

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Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

10:00am|Skagit Valley

Free Appliance Pick-up

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bellingham Beer Week

10:00am|Throughout Bellingham

The Lewis & Clark Expedition

10:00am|Mount Baker Theatre

Artist Demo

6:00pm| Bellingham Public Library

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