Summer Adventures: The mud, the woods & the movies

The dog days of summer are upon us and whether your preferences run to mountain biking, flopping around in mud, or drinking locally-produced beer while watching amazing adventure films, the next few weeks have some cool opportunities to revel in the season.

Mountain Biking Madness

Capitol Forest 2Located just west of Olympia, WA., Capitol Forest is an epic mountain biking destination. Find out for yourself when Friends of Capitol Forest (FOCF) present the seventh annual Capitol Forest Classic, featuring the Northwest All Mountain Championships on August 10 and 11. Make a weekend of it and immerse yourself in the Pacific Northwest’s premier mountain bike festival! Featuring two epic race courses of 100% singletrack, the XC course will challenge riders at all levels, and the Super D course will leave riders grinning from ear to ear. All-Mountain titles will be awarded on Sunday. There’s free on-site camping, kids race, awards, raffle, and BBQ both days. More info here.

 Dirty Prancing

DSC_0075-2When our friends at Whatcom Events introduced Muds to Suds last year we had great expectations. After all, these are the folks who bring Ski to Sea – the Pacific Northwest’s premier adventure race – to life each year. Last year’s event did not disappoint. All 1400 spots sold out and yes, the mud flew. Like last year, this year’s Muds to Suds on August 24 and 25 at Hovander Park in Ferndale, WA. will be among the most spectator- and kid-friendly mud races in the country. And of course, in keeping with the modus operandi of Whatcom Events, the community will benefit from the event in a big way – in this case, the Whatcom County Boys and Girls Club.

Unlike hard-core epics like Tough Mudder, Muds to Suds is a more relaxed, family-oriented event with an emphasis on fun for all (including spectators). This year you can camp on site Saturday night and in keeping with the family fun ethos, there will be a bonfire and S’mores. As was the case last year, you will have the opportunity to donate your muddy shoes to Green Sneakers, an organization that distributes footwear to those in need.

The race itself features 22 obstacles and dressing up is encouraged. And as usual, they’ve thought of everything: Free massages will be available to all racers after the event. More info here.

Lights, Cameras, Adventure!

5point2This summer, 5Point Film Festival has partnered with the American Alpine Club to host a series of one-night adventure film events throughout the Northwest. This is the first year 5Point Film is taking their act on the road, and their first stop is – guess where? – the City of Subdued Excitement. That’s right: 5Point’s “On the Road” event in Bellingham is scheduled for Thursday, August 29, at the Depot Market Square, with the doors opening at 5 p.m.

The event will showcase selected short films from the 5Point Film Festival, which took place this spring in Carbondale, Colorado, and will also feature entries from local Bellingham-area filmmakers. A recreation fair in the square will give attendees the opportunity to engage with many of the recreation-oriented businesses, guiding services and non-profits that call Bellingham home. There will also be food vendors, beverages (including beer from the Kulshan Brewery), games, and a raffle/auction fundraiser.5point

The event is BYOLC (bring your own lawn chair or blanket) for seating in front of the 20-foot inflatable movie screen.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students with ID and free for kids under 18. Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com (beginning August 8), as well as on-site the day of the event.

Proceeds from the event will stay in the Northwest and help the American Alpine Club continue its stewardship and advocacy work in the area.

Aesthetic Adventures

bellwether jazzLooking for adventures of the cultural variety? There is no shortage of late-summer opportunities to experience the idiosyncratic artistic ambience of the Pacific Northwest. The Bellwether Arts Market will once again be occupying Tom Glenn Commons every Sunday in August. A collaborative effort by Allied Arts of Whatcom County and the Port of Bellingham, the waterfront will be alive with locally-produced art, live performances and family-friendly creative activities.

And speaking of the waterfront, let’s not forget the Bellwether Jazz Festival on September 7.  Produced by The Jazz Project, this annual event has become de rigueur for music lovers from around the region.

ChuckanutCentury2013

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