Bellingham Road Trip

Post by blogger | September 17, 2008      
Washington backcountry skiing.
We’re headed up to Bellingham, Washington with our son Louie for his college move. I was helping the guy install new fender flares on his XJ, and thinking that’s my kind of college prep.

We’re bringing our skis to try for some of that legendary Northwest “turns all year” stuff we hear so much about. We’ll see how wet and scrappy that plan is (grin). Will also stop by the Ski Journal offices in Bellingham and report from there, as well as check out the general ambiance of what’s said to be the best town on the planet. More later, gotta get out the door!

Washington backcountry skiing.
Another view of the XJ, the kid really has set it up nicely. Proud dad.

(Off topic, but check out the size adjustable ski boot!)


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19 Responses to “Bellingham Road Trip”

  1. Pierce September 17th, 2008 8:20 am

    Sick XJ! How come that ride hasn’t been on the blog? I want details.

  2. Lou September 17th, 2008 8:37 am

    Pierce, that XJ is a 97 Sport, and was my daily driver up till about 2 years ago when I got the Silverado. So I gave the XJ to Louie. It’s got 230,000 miles on it and still going great, though we’ve done quite a few repairs over the past years. It rides on 31s that Louie just upgraded (Big O Bigfoots), all fenders trimmed, YJ flairs on front, Louie-built flares on rear, custom high-clearance rocker guards, custom bumpers, ACOS adjustable coil spring spacers and custom add-a-leaf for a 2″ lift, bar pin eliminators on rear shock mounts, Rancho adjustable shocks at rear, aftermarket lower control arms, all poly bushings, custom exhaust, aftermarket headers and throttle body spacer, custom rack bars with Yakima box, Rock Crawler rims with wide stance offset, Powerstop rotors and pads, hole in rear seat for skis fitting easily with seat back up, custom access hatch over fuel pump (don’t ask), and a stereo with aux jack. It’s a cool rig I’d still be psyched to drive myself.

  3. Nick September 17th, 2008 8:56 am

    Wow….. that thing is SUH-WEET!!!!!!!

  4. Drew September 17th, 2008 9:09 am

    Hi Lou: I always get gear envy perusing your site. Alas, I am one of your “mechanically challanged” readers and wish that I had some of the skills you and your son possess.

    Off topic question: Regarding the Fritschi “back seat” feeling, how would you suggest measuring the ramp of all my binding set-ups? I want to follow your advice and synch them for the up-coming season.

    Have a great roadie!

  5. ray September 17th, 2008 9:10 am

    nice ride, louie. enjoy your time at university and learn a lot! peace

  6. BillL September 17th, 2008 9:38 am

    I just spent 4 days in Bellingham. I didn’t have time after work to head to the hills but the waterfront provided some fun.

    I found a good bakery with fresh, warm, moist, soft scones, several types of “cinnamon” rolls, many types of fresh bread. Located right downtown on the north side of Railroad between Holly and Magnolia.

    I didn’t find a good cheap local seafood place, mostly because I was living on a corporate expense account. Anthony’s was very good (I still don’t know which end of the fish “halibut cheeks” come from) as was the Harborside Rest and Lounge at the Bellweather (try the $16 tunafish sandwich, medium rare please). Neither of these places are within the college student budget.

    Not a coffee snob so starbucks was sufficient.

    The XJ will be “exciting” on Chuckanut drive.

  7. steve pulford September 17th, 2008 10:07 am

    I would love to see how you did the hole thru the rear seat trick. Could you post a picture and/or details?

    I just gave my old XJ to my younger brother. 255k miles, and it runs and looks great.

    Good luck in the great NW Louie!

  8. Randonnee September 17th, 2008 10:50 am

    Some nice stuff there around Bellingham. I have done only a few trips in the mountains there- it is far from my home on the east slope.

    The San Juan Islands are out in the Sound west of B’ham and quite
    beautiful- the wife and I sea kayaked some of the San Juan Islands before my daughter was born. I have skied Mt Shuksan and Mt Baker, and the ski area (wet and gnarly), all one time. Did some climbs on the west side of the north
    Cascades on Challenger, Triumph, Spickard- spectacular! Lot of beauty there.

    Of course, there is a lot of info online, even some ski trip postings this month.

  9. Dongshow September 17th, 2008 11:33 am

    my little cousin Jim will be starting school there in a few weeks. Bellingham is a great town, enjoy the trip!

  10. Tony B September 17th, 2008 12:46 pm

    Try the Cajun food place next to the Wild Buffalo. That place is the bomb!!! Also, Casa K Pasa is a popular burrito place found on the strip. Then of course you can’t go wrong with Boundary Bay Brewery if you like hops.

    Baker was pretty good on Saturday. Not a problem skiing from the summit in a day via Coleman Deming. We started at about 7:30, summited at 3:30 and was at the car by 7pm.

    Lets us know on your way home if you wanna kick it with the locals (Skykilo, Hummels, me, et all.) in Seattle. If you need anything, give me a shout.


  11. Lou September 17th, 2008 2:35 pm

    Thanks for the comments guys, the three of us are excited to check the quaint mountain town out, and check the mountain out as well!

    I’m blgging from the front seat of our Versa, XJ is ahead looking good. We’ll see if the old mill makes it another 1,000. Amazing the longevity of some vehicles these days.

  12. Cam September 17th, 2008 3:40 pm

    sorry Lou, but Nelson BC is the best town on the planet 😉

  13. Lou September 17th, 2008 3:46 pm

    Isn’t Nelson more snowmobile friendly or something like that?

  14. Colin September 17th, 2008 3:46 pm


    I had (have) a lifted XJ in college. Perfect car for a college kid. I have a ’96 with 180k and it’s been awesome, with minimal repairs (rides like a brick with my RE 4.5″ kit on it, but whatever). Have fun on the trip.

  15. C Dawson September 17th, 2008 6:08 pm

    Hey Guys, enjoy the trip.
    And wish Louie well on his journey into the next chapter.
    We are taking our daughter (Jenah) up to school this weekend, also, though the road trip is only about 60 miles each way. Kind of a bitter-sweet moment. Nice to see her growing up, sad to see her leave the nest.
    And he wouldn’t be a Colorado boy going off to school without that rig!!

  16. Jason Hummel September 17th, 2008 6:10 pm

    Awesome, I went to WWU. Liked it lot. Good mtn biking, skiing, kayaking and such. I remember my drive up to bham in a beater explorer with everything I owned. Good times. Fun place. Bad thing is, when it snows it rains a LOT in the city, but oh well, whatcha gonna do? Best just to hope it’s powder in the mountains 🙂

    Per skiing…

    Middle of next week looks like it may be nice. There’s hope this friday too. The weather really begins to get finicky this time of year. Hopefully it is kind enough to let you get up on Baker, probably the easiest and best ski right now FWIW. The snow is about as slim as it gets but still fun!

  17. John Dough September 17th, 2008 7:22 pm

    I’m jealous of your kid. Make sure you guys check out the american alpine club there in fairhaven

  18. Pierce September 18th, 2008 8:30 am

    OMG, are those speedholes in the front license plate?!?!? Brilliant! I love my 92. I’ve only got a 2.5″ OME lift and 31’s, and I’ve wheeled just about every gnarly road in Colorado from Lee Hill to Black Bear, passing many more expensive rigs on the way. They are great trucks. Anyway, best of luck to you Louie. Have fun and take advantage of all the fun (and educational) options available in college these days.

  19. Lou September 18th, 2008 9:44 am

    I have to take responsibility for defacing that license plate, just to keep other individuals involved out of trouble (g). They’re more like vent holes since it’s mounted over the upper part of the radiator, but they do cause a slight increase in speed due to the reduced weight of the plate.

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