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Thursday, September 12, 2013


Columbia NWR
This is my first visit to the state of Washington and I was surprised by all the sage brush on the eastern side of the state it needs irrigation water from the Grand Coulee Dam to make it possible to grow potatoes, mint, hay and etc.  The timber begins at Yakima Valley and there we see more fruit trees.  I didn't realize the Columbia  river was so big when we crossed the bride I thought we were crossing a lake.

We felt like we were roughing it for the week we stayed in Packwood, WA which is just outside the Parks Rainer and St. Helens.  We had no phone, internet and only 30 amp service which means watching which appliances we can use, like the water heater or the microwave, air conditioner or the water heater, and having no phone and internet drove Ken crazy.  We did have cable TV so we could watch Duck Dynasty and all those crazy programs.    There also was no McDonald's or a Walmart but we planned for that, there was a Subway 30 miles away and Ken could use his phone there.  We had a family of elk that would wonder through the park once a day and we could see Mt. Rainer if we walked to the corner of the park.  Our first day was rainy, heavy rain in the evening so we had to move in our leaky slide.  Sat. the sun came out and it was beautiful the rest of our stay, even a little too warm for this time of year.  Sat. we headed up to Sunrise Pt. in Rainer, it was beautiful we even found several little birds, juncos, sparrows, evening grosbeaks and Clarks Nutcrackers and our first bear for the trip.
 Day two we head in from the west side, hoping to see the Paradise area but the parking lot is full so we decide to try it another day.  We find a parking spot at Narada Falls and we walk down to take photos of it, the lighting is perfect but I can't fit it all in my photo, I don't have a wide enough lens.
We have a reservation to ride the Mt Rainer Steam Train that afternoon so we head to Elbe.  The train is late in arriving from it's earlier ride as someone got a bee sting and needed attention, the bees are thick and everywhere at this time of year. The ride is two hours and it takes us to it's museum and station in Mineral where we see several other working steam engines and their work station.
On day three we drive up to Windy Point in Mt. St. Helen National Memorial Park.  After 30 years most of the mountain side is still recovering but in some areas the park service has replanted some trees and Spirit Lake that was right in direct line of the explosion has recovered naturally. it was a beautiful resort lake surrounded by spruce trees there are still no trees now but the lake itself has recovered and now filled with fish again.
On day four  we go back to the Paradise area and have no problem getting a parking place, we take a short walk to see Mrytle Falls and a bit beyond to get photos.  The visitor center is now open and we take a look but no penny smasher, so we go back to the car and enjoy our Lunchables before taking another walk along Nisqually Trail.  It takes us to wonderful views of the glacier and we can see the hardy people up hiking on the glacier.
On our last day in the area we go back to Sunrise to do some birding but it is windy so the birds keep low in the bushes and trees.  The temp reaches 93 and breaks the record, so no microwaving that evening and we try the local burger shop, and have $10 burgers and fries, they were very good.
We are now in Sequim, WA and have phone, internet and 50 amps  at Rainbow's End RV, it's a lovely area so visit again to find out what we see around the Olympic Peninsula.

1 comment:

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