Bellingham is awesome....but then again I may be a little bias . If you do end up stopping in Bellingham PM me a little bit before with what you are interested in and what you want to do. There is some good remote camping ~1hr east of Bellingham and of lot of other good outdoorsy type stuff to do. If my wife doesn't get pissed you may be able to park your van in our driveway for a couple days.Just read through your whole thread and am totally jealous. Great photos from that phone you have. I absolutely love the canyon lands in that neck of the woods. Its been years since I've been there, but I can't wait to go back.
Do yourself a favor and stop in Bellingham, WA on your way up to the border. There is a great little bar called the Green Frog Cafe that is (last time I was there) dog friendly, live music every night (bluegrass most of the time), and an outstanding beer selection. They don't even carry the usuals (bud, bud light, coors, etc.). There is also tons of cool places that you can find to camp out for free.
Now, off to find a van big enough for the wife and I and our 2 daughters. Maybe the dogs too. Should I just buy a bus?