Sweet Northwest Town Echoes Old World

posted in: Pacific Northwest, Washington | 7

Ever felt like you got caught in a time warp? Whirled into a yester-year wind mill or stumbled onto Memory Lane?

“Toto, I have a feeling we might be in Holland…”

I felt like that when Snugs and I wandered into the town of Lynden, Washington last week. We were celebrating our 36th anniversary hiking and exploring Whatcom County in the northwest corner of the Evergreen State.

We didn’t know this town even existed until the nice folks at our hotel in Bellingham, about two hours north of Seattle, mentioned it.

Lynden wall mural.

So we zipped up the road a few miles north to the second largest city in Whatcom County. Lynden is about five miles south of the Canadian border.

It felt like I had just fallen into a pool of memory. I could almost hear my grandmother’s rich Dutch accent. See her bright tulip beds rippling in vibrant color. Or smell her Rode Kool Met Appeltjes (red cabbage and apples) sizzling on the stove. Taste her fabulous Draadjesvlees (slow-braised beef) and hearty Erwtensoep (traditional Dutch split pea soup).

How cute is this?

My maternal grandmother was from Holland. (You can read more about that at Hard Night: Growing Up in the Land of Endless Summer and The Small Things: What ‘The Waltons’ Taught Me About Writing & More.) So roaming the streets of this sweet little Dutch-themed town felt like I was tip-toeing down memory lane.

Proud of its Dutch heritage!

It was late in the day when we arrived. We were tired. the town was quiet.

How cool is this?

But what a treat, right down to the graceful leafy canopies of trees lining streets near downtown. We asked the locals what they were. No one knew. But I recognized them (I think). I remember them from my last visit to grandma’s house in Michigan. In 1967.

Dutch elms in Lynden, WA?

They’re Dutch elms. Go figure.

Indeed, Lynden’s Dutch heritage is on display everywhere. This town is So. Darn. Cute. It features wind mills, colorful wall murals, Dutch bakeries and restaurants, verbiage, tulips, and all things Hollandish.

A walk down Lynden’s Main Street is like stepping back into the Old Country. I half-expected a little Dutch boy to appear around the next corner, holding the sea back with his finger in a dike.

It’s been a long time. Remind me to thank those nice folks at the hotel in Bellingham.

7 Responses

    • HikerBabe

      Thanks! It was the tail end of a long day. But we were glad to discover this place! ☺

    • HikerBabe

      Thanks for commenting Jessica! My grandmother’s maiden name was deBoer. The windmills are so cool!

  1. Margaret

    Thank you for the wonderful tour! I love the murals (a few I believe, are upside down), but especially liked the picture of the quiet street.. I am glad you had a wonderful trip down memory lane and were able to share it with us.

    • HikerBabe

      You’re welcome. Glad you enjoyed it! The wall mural pics display perfectly on my desktop and tablet. Are some upside down on your phone? Hmmm…

  2. Sherri Preston

    This looks like such a great town to visit. I love exploring new areas especially when the town has rustic qualities to it. The Dutch Bakery looks amazing and a great place to go on Mothers Day.