I promised an update when the rain started, which happened on October 21, 2022 in Bellingham. Here is an update from the summer:

This was my second full Bellingham summer since Sarah, Milo, Gus, and I moved here in April 2021. I am grateful for all the time I was able to spend on the Bay and in the woods. The natural beauty here continues to leave me in awe.

Bellingham Bay sunset

Sunset over Lummi and Orcas Islands on Bellingham Bay

We took a prolonged backpacking trip on the Olympic Penninsula, climbing the Hoh River basin and up over a high pass in the Olympic Mountains. We spent 4 nights in the tent with lots of epic views, bear sightings, and total immersion in nature.

Selfie at Hoh Lake

Selfie at Hoh Lake

Hoh River Basic

Hoh River Basin

Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach

We also took an epic hike through the Enchantments outside of Leavenworth, Washington. This popular-yet-grueling hike consisted of a 20-mile one-way route up an over a mountain pass with over a mile of vertical gain.

Bellingham sunset

Aasgard Pass

I started a new software engineering job at Unreasonable Group, a fellowship for growth-stage climate entrepreneurs. So far, I've been really enjoying building relationships with my new co-workers, learning a new codebase, and soaking up lots of inspiration from all the innovative work our community is tackling. This summer, we started holding our first in-person programs since the pandemic, including one program in the Cheltenham UK and another in the Hudson River Valley in New York.

Unreasonable Impact

Unreasonable Impact, New York

Aside from adventures and life changes, I have been enjoying my local routines. A new coffee shop opened and I quickly got on a first name basis with everyone there. The local coding community has been holding in-person gatherings again. Everything in town in bikeable. The farmers market and dockside seafood markets are open and thriving. I also finally settled down in a new co-working space that allows me to get out of the house more frequently.

Bellingham fall street

Fall setting in

Milo and Gus are as buddy-tastic as ever. Thanks to the proximity of the workspace, I'm able to ride or walk home to share lunch and a walk most days.

Gus and Milo

Gus (left), Milo (right)

Unfortunately, we spent about 6 weeks blanketed in wilfire smoke from fires in the U.S. and Canadian North Cascades. Most days were just a mild haze, while other days were more apocolyptic. Without devolving into a preachy rant about caring for the environment, these days inspire me to be a better steward.

Wildfire smoke

Wildfire smoke in the afternoon

I spent a lot of time exploring the Salish Sea by foot, bike, and boat. If you haven't heard of the Salish Sea, here is a map I saw at the Salish Sea Sanctuary office that helped me understand the geography of this region.

Salish Sea map

Map of the Salish Sea

I continued taking sailing classes at the Community Boating Center. This year was primarily focused on the smallest class of sailboats: dinghies. I wasn't expecting to love dinghy sailing as much as I did. Sailing in tiny boats is a physical and extremely intimate interaction with nature's forces. I also enjoy the very real possibility of ending up in the water, as I practiced here in a capsize drill.

Dingy sailing

Capsize drill in RS Quest

Sailing wasn't my only means of getting out on the water. As a chiller alternative, I also enoyed several relaxing paddles on the Bay.

Evening kayak

Kayaking in Bellingham

In addition to water adventures, I spent some quality time in the bike saddle riding around the Lummi Penninsula. Riding around the penninsula is great because of the diversity of terrain and the sweeping views of the Salish Sea.

Lummi Shore Road

View from Lummi Shore Road

In late July, I made my annual pilgrimage back to Wisconsin, visiting with some old friends in Madison and Marshfield. Each year, we rent a cabin and play music. This year we landed in a log cabin in central Wisconsin's rolling farm fields.

Marshfield, Wisconsin

Sunset in Marshfield, Wisconsin

Music setup

Music setup in the cabin

As an experiment, I purchased a Light Phone. The general idea is to feel life without an interruptive, addictive piece of technology in my pocket. The result of the experiment is (a) I enjoy not always carrying a smart phone, and (b) there are some times where the smart phone is nice. In general, I find my iPhone necessary for traveling and useful when I'm spending less time in front of the computer. Otherwise though, the Light Phone is great for periods where I'm coding at my computer a lot and can manage my digital communications with my computer. Thankfully, it's easy to swap my SIM card back and forth between my phones. I've been splitting my usage between iPhone and Light Phone at about 50/50.

Light Phone

Light Phone (quarter for scale)

Also in the "back to the future" category, I set up my old iMac with Linux and a nice mechanical keyboard. While I still use my M1 Mac for most programming heavy lifting, I find that spending about 25% of my time on Linux makes me a more resilient, patient, and well-rounded developer.

Linux

Linux on an old iMac with Das Keyboard

I have been learning Next.js (if you are reading this, you're on a Next.js website). While Ruby is and will remain my first and primary programming language, I wanted to dive a little deeper into UI design and React. As it turns out, Next provides a great framework for front-end JavaScript without getting too embroiled in configuration hell. Thanks to Next's simple API approach, I can easily consume Rails APIs as needed. More on this to come, but for now I can vouch that Next is fun stuff!

Next.js

Last but not least, here are some books and music I've been consuming lately.