Sunday, May 31, 2009

Flying into Concrete

Concrete, Washington, that is. Recently, our good friend David came to visit us in Bellingham. Looking at his charts, he found a small airport with an unusual name, Concrete. Unfortunately, when David arrived, so did a weather system, so he and Wayne never got to fly into Concrete.

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Yesterday, Mom and I "flew" to Concrete in Bertha (her Buick). From Bellingham, we headed south on I-5 to Highway 20 at Burlington. The North Cascades Highway first takes you through Sedro Wooley and then winds along the wide Skagit River.

The name evolved from Minnehaha in 1888, to Baker in 1890, to Cement City and finally the city was incorporated as Concrete in 1909. The name pays homage to the large deposits of limestone and clay that were and are sought after by cement companies.

The Concrete Heritage Museum preserves the history of this unique region. They even provide guided tours in the Sockeye Express on Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Saturday is market day in Concrete. Follow the signs to the Senior Center and you will find a variety of booths selling crafts, woodwork, plants and other locally produced items. They even have a wandering fiddler for your entertainment.

Concrete is the regional center for education. A unique new high school literally bridges Superior Road. The old abandoned high school overlooks playing fields that now form a city park. It must have been the center for community activities in its heyday.

Of course, you can fly into the Concrete Airport. The 2600 foot runway is in excellent condition. Because it's located between hills in a river valley be cautious of weather and wind conditions. Parking is primarily on the grass. Walk about a half mile and you are at the city center. Each July there's a fly-in (camping encouraged) in conjunction with the Cement City Street Fair. This year the dates are July 24-26.

To make our trip a circle route, we backtracked to Highway 9 in Sedro Wooley. You drive past rural homes on large lots to Park Road just past Wickersham. This road skirts Whatcom Lake all the way back to Bellingham.

So if you are looking for a quick weekend adventure, fly (or drive) into Concrete. And I assure you, it won't hurt. - Margy

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a fun drive. I am sure your Mom enjoyed it.I haven't been to Concrete in years Maybe I will put on my to do list.