Day 7.

Day 7 - Bellingham, WA

Run - Lake Padden, Bellingham, WA; Fun Run at Fairhaven Runners and Walkers

From the eyes of Nico.

I had no idea I would be so exhausted.

When we were planning our route over a year ago, I endlessly resisted Sadie’s desire to take two nights in Bellingham, Washington. I thought it was ludicrous to take one of our few doubles so early into the trip, especially knowing that we would have to take two nights shortly after in Montana in order to make the immense driving distances work. I will happily and willingly admit that I was all sorts of wrong in my assumptions and expectations.

What other expectations have and haven’t been met in our first week on the road? Here’s my list:

-       Even if we only raised one-quarter of our operating expenses goal, I would still spend a couple grand on the car wrap. Having the car look as beautiful as it does has been more instrumental in our interactions with others than even I expected. Every day so far we have had people come up to us at trailheads or in parking lots and ask us what The Running Road Trip is or what we are doing. The goal of this project is connecting to and conversing with as many people as possible, and the wrap has undoubtedly been the most helpful tool for doing so.

-       Running the selected trails will not always work out quite how I expected it to. I don’t think we have had a single trail run that has gone how I thought it would, except for maybe our Utah run. We have managed to get lost, backtrack unnecessarily, and completely improvise due to trail closures. Yet, we have still managed to get everywhere on time, so I guess at the end of the day we are still doing reasonably well.

-       People are generous. Like really really generous. From strangers providing us with free lodging in their Airbnbs to random people giving us laundry money to event hosts handing us the mic when we ask them for it, people are really into what we are doing, and more than willing to help in whatever way they can. Example: today we joined Fairhaven Runners and Walkers for their “Run To Welcome Back Summer.” While running, we met someone who had been following us thus far simply because she was interested and impressed with what we were doing. To have someone want to take a picture with you simply because of what you are trying to accomplish is an odd feeling, but also a weirdly enjoyable and addictive one, one that makes you want to work even harder and achieve even more.

-       No state has nothing. I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed every state that we have passed through. Wyoming is (and really always has been) a top five state for me. Nothing compares to getting lost in the intricacies of the Wyoming sky while cruising across the high plateaus that define the state. Idaho is more than just potato country, and running through the rainforest in Bellingham is one of the most peaceful things I have ever done. Yes, we have only been traveling the West so far, and we still have to deal with what many believe to be boringly flat country in the middle of the US, but I am excited for that. I expect us to enjoy Nebraska and Iowa as much as we have Oregon and Washington. Now, I may end up being wrong, but I am pretty confident that we will all find something equally amazing in every state we visit.


Stats of the day:

Miles driven: 19

Miles ran: 31.4

Elevation gained (feet): 2890

Rainforests visited: 1

Americans providing unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s: > 15 million