The vast differences in terrain in Western and Eastern Washington is something to behold. The mountain range that houses Mount Ranier acts like a wall and prevents the moisture from the Pacific from reaching the eastern portion of the state. This leaves the east arid and desert like. The rivers provide the only water to the region and have carved canyons throughout the landscape. Not to say it is inhabitable, but it is a different way of life.
My first goal in Washington was to visit the gravesite of Chief Joseph (see the previous page). On my way there I stopped at Colfax, Spokane and the Grand Coulee Dam and Ginko Petrified Forest State Park. From there I drove down to Wild Horse canyon and then west toward Seattle. Once I scouted the Seattle area and confirmed my reservation for Juneau, I drove down to Olympia and then went to Mount Ranier National Park.
Like most of the states I have visited there were many places I would have liked to see, but time would not allow. I hope you will enjoy the photos I did get while there.


The North Cascades Range



Washington skies

A funnel in the distance

I stopped to watch

It was approaching and getting larger
As the mini tornado approached I was reminded of those I observed while stationed in Oklahoma and west Texas. This one was, however coming straight to my position, so I decided that I should be leaving. As I drove away it soon dissipated.

Part of the Seattle skyline

Art exhibit in Bellevue City Park

This exhibit of masks and other

totem-like sculptures was also in Bellevue

A metal sculpture

And another

And a stone sculpture

Sideview mirror shot

The sun through the trees

Ginko State Park

These are some of the petrified trees collected for viewing. But the park itself is a vast area of 7500 acres seen in the background of these photos. Once a lush forest, the ginko trees were encased in molten lava. This is the only known place where petrified wood of the ginko trees are found. These trees date back 15 million years.

My first view of Mount Ranier

More of the North Cascades

A glacial peak

The Capitol Building

A memorial to the pioneers

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Seattle Skyline

Safeco Field from the tracks
Let me say a word here about the traffic in Seattle. I've criticized travel in other parts of the country, so why not here. The drivers in the Seattle area were not the problem. Having lived in Florida, where the roads are usually five years behind the population needs, for 26 years, I'm familiar with the problems involved in building enough highways to handle the traffic. I'd say that Seattle is about 20 years behind the need. I observed much repair work, but little building of new roads. I was on portions of I-5 in all three states, it services, and experienced nothing like what I found in the Seattle area. There were eight lanes of traffic on four lanes of highway. And it did not matter what time of day it was. I-5 south in the Seattle area is a gravel pit. In over 12,000 miles of driving I found only one road in worse condition. And that little story will come at the right time.

A Bluejay

Alder Dam- the Nisqually Project

Washington sunset

This one from I-90 near Yakima

From I-90

And the last

Two deer

One buck

Click photo to go to Grand Coulee Dam

Click photo to go to Mount Ranier

Music is "Quiet"
An Original composition by Bruce DeBoer

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