Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Happy Thanksgiving From A Pair Of Poodles Has Me Homesick For Washington

Ruby, Theo & David With Kristin
Getting Ready To Ski
This morning I saw that Tacoma's best known Adventure Poodles, Blue & Max, had written their annual Happy Thanksgiving blogging.

Apparently, on or about Thanksgiving, Blue & Max sent my nephews, David and Theo and niece, Ruby, up somewhere in the Cascade Mountains with their secondary caretakers, Michele & Kristin, for some fun in the snow.

It looks like the snow location may be the Snoqualmie Pass summit zone. There are several ski areas in this location. The Snoqualmie Pass summit zone is a fairly short distance east of Seattle and Tacoma, on Interstate 90.

Among the things I miss about Washington, that I don't have in Texas, is the extremely varied topography within very short distances.

In my current location the topography is pretty much the same in any direction for 100s of miles. There are no snow covered mountains in this parched part of the planet.

Where I lived in Washington, in the Skagit Valley town of Mount Vernon, I could drive about 10 miles to the east and be up in the mountains. Or go 10 miles to the west and be on a Puget Sound beach. Or in the tourist town of La Conner.

In Washington I could get up on a Saturday morning in November and choose to go cross country skiing, or go have a weenie roast picnic on a beach, or hop a ferry 20 miles from my abode, in Anacortes, and head out to the San Juan Islands, which is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, and thus is a reliable escape from rain, if you feel in need of escaping the gray dripping.

View From My Bedroom Window Of My
Van & Car Covered By Snow
The Puget Sound lowlands do not get a lot of snow. Some winters pass with no snow. There was one snow storm in the 1990s that was the deepest snow I ever saw in the Puget Sound lowland zone. I was pretty much trapped in my house for a week. I could not drive anywhere, but I could cross country ski to the grocery store.

When the thaw finally came I had all sorts of problems. Water was backing up on the flat roofs. Two drain pipes broke off. It was a mess.

Go here to visit me in Washington. Scroll down and you will come to more photos of the most snow I ever saw piled up in my location in Mount Vernon.

In Western Washington when you want a really major change of scenery you can drive one of the passes over the Cascade Mountains to a starkly different type of topography than the evergreen western side of the mountains. East of the mountains the hills have no trees growing on them, except for the 1000s of acres of fruit orchards.

In Eastern Washington you have a climate much more like Texas. Very HOT in the summer.

There is a big river than runs through Eastern Washington, called the Columbia, with several big dams, like Grand Coulee. Because of the big river and the reservoirs behind the dams, much of the desert of Eastern Washington has been turned into land upon which all sorts of things grow. One of the side benefits of Grand Coulee Dam was the appearance of lakes in various coulees (Washington Indian-speak for canyons), like Sun Lake. Sun Lake State Park was one of my favorite places to go in summer in my younger years.

Dry Falls, by Sun Lake, is the location of what at one point in time was the biggest waterfall the world has ever known. The melting of the last Ice Age and its massive flooding is what made the coulees of Eastern Washington.

Can you tell I'm feeling a bit homesick for Washington? It has been over 3 years since I've been back. That is the longest I've been away from Washington in my long life. I'm thinking I will likely be going to Arizona and Washington soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As we were driving up - yes to the Summit - I was thinking how thankful I am to live somewhere with such geographic diversity. We could have chosen a ferry ride, a trip to the snow, or even the ocean. We are very lucky here.

-Secondary Caretaker