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Monday, 31 October, 2005

Impressions Of Washington
(with comments)

State number 7 of 50: Washington.

My major impressions of Washington have been formed by my visits to Seattle. Unfortunately, when I think of Washington I think of Microsoft and Starbucks. When I lived in Oregon, I traveled up the coast of Washington. Beautiful country. When I lived in Montana, Spokane was the nearest "big city" and I visited there several times. Unfortunately, those memories are overpowered by more recent Seattle memories. I could live in Washington, but not in the Seattle area.

* * *

What I learned about Connecticut: The coast is nice, and some parts of the state are like "classic New England." The western part is like a suburb of New York. Bill Griffith lives in Connecticut, and no one in the state has ever heard of me.


  1. By Annette Makinitupasigo. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @08:15am:
    Yeah, there's the Seattle metro area and then there's the rest of the state.

    http://www.callihan.com/seattle/pophist.htm

    http://www.callihan.com/seattle/history.htm

    (Skip the T-shirt ads)
  2. By Thom. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @08:15am:
    The Cascade Mountains bisect the state more than just physically.

    The eastern side is mostly conservative and fairly religous (Pat Robertson won the state primary in 1988). The Republican Party of Washington State in 1992 outlawed witchcraft and yoga classes.

    The western side is mostly liberal and fairly tolerant. Several activists (many from out of town) protested the WTO conference in Seattle and were a hit success.

    State natural disasters include earthquakes, coastal flooding, and volcanoes, along with the occasional drought.
  3. By Rance. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @08:33am:
    I've been to Port Angeles once to visit some relatives. The country was very nice. Small mountains, big trees, lot's of berries, black bear and deer.

    The End...
  4. By Birdie. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @08:37am:
    We drove through Washington west to east in my '65 VeeDub van, going home from Vancouver, B.C. My impression was lush greeness for miles, and then desert. Oh, and apples.
  5. By Marilyn. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @09:00am:
    J-Walk--I thought you let the randomizer choose the photos? I love BatBoy for Halloween!
  6. By Sarah. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @09:03am:
    I've never been, but my brother was stationed there for a while when he was in the navy, and I remember my dad flying out to visit. Also I think it rains a lot. That is all I know about Washington.
  7. By dude. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @09:17am:
    Great memories of a trip to Moses Lake ( eastern WA ) as my first work trip ever. This was a summer job when I was in college. The trip was to paint transformers green ( seems there wasn't enough green paint on them ) . We got to road trip on the weekends. We went to Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia. As an engineer, it was like arriving at Mecca. Also got to see my first Rodeo.
  8. By wally the duck. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @09:18am:
    I've only visited the eastern/ southeastern parts and they were quite a surprise to me. I did not expect the semi-dryness and endless wheat fields of the southeast.
  9. By Beans. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @09:24am:
    Seattle airport very nice. Very clean.
  10. By Righteously Indignant. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @09:25am:
    I'd like to see Washington someday. Lotta neat pop culture stuff there. Northern Exposure, one of my favorite shows ever, was filmed in Roslyn. Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle (also home of the much-hyped grunge scene of the early '90s, which I was totally into). Kurt Cobain came from Aberdeen and sang about his experiences growing up and living in WA in many of his songs. There's more but my brain's on the fritz right now.

    I also dig rainy, grey weather so I think I'd like it there.

    Went to the store
    And found something great
    That sampled the song
    Of Washington state.
  11. By beegee. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @09:45am:
    I lived in Seattle from April to August one year (1985 I think) and it didn't rain once. Every day was sunny and cloudless. I played guitar at Pikes Market and didn't make a dollar. I can't judge the city though because it was me that didn't agree with me at the time.

    I went back 6 years later to work on a project at Microsoft for a few weeks and it rained every day. "This is more like it", I thought.
  12. By Julian. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @10:35am:
    “Seattle ranks behind a lot of cities when it comes to annual rainfall totals. Chicago, Houston, New York City, and Miami, among others, all get more rain per year than Seattle's 37 inches.” “Seattle ranks in the top 5 nationally 226 cloudy days per year behind Anchorage, Forks, Astoria and Olympia. We're in the top 20 with 140 days of measurable rain.”

    Seattleites are friendly & polite but not inviting:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/pacificnw/2005/0213/cover.html

    Washington wine ranks 2nd in premium wine production in the US.

    Twin Peaks was filmed on location around the Seattle area, specifically in the North Bend area, including Snoqualmie and Great Falls.
  13. By meagunn. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @11:03am:
    Seattle is quite interesting from a vagabond's perspective. I stayed at the Green Tortiose hostel several years ago, and had some nice experiences there. It was next to a needle exchange, but that didn't cause any problems, and we got the best window washing I've ever seen from someone there (2000 miles of bug guts made spotless. Impressive.).

    Mt. St. Helens is spooky at night. It's possible to park a car at the campgrounds and sleep there free of charge. When the sun rose it looked like an Ewok village. It's also possible to drive along the coast and watch the dolphins swim from the car. There are coastal rainforests, just like in Oregon, but in all it was drier in WA than, say, in Illinois.
  14. By rsm2296. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @11:38am:
    Mental picture of Washington: forests, mountains, ocean.
    Actual experience driving through Washington: An awful lot of dust & sagebrush, supplemented by little bits of the above.
  15. By Barry. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @12:04pm:
    I've been to Washington twice (Puyallup area) visiting friends and loved it, mostly for the hiking. Both times I spent some time hiking on Mt. Ranier -- great scenery. Mt. Ranier is the 5th highest peak (excluding Alaska), but is especially impressive because it stands alone. I hiked above the tree line, but hiking to the top is for serious hikers only (you need a permit and training on how to climb out of a crevasse to climb above 10K feet). Best time to hike is late August or early September -- it takes a long time for the 120 feet of snow to melt. I went to the beach one day -- there was no one else around as far as the eye could see. Apparently that's typical according to my friends who live there.
  16. By Vanilla Gorilla. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @12:04pm:
    I lived in Walla Walla for a year. It is the dry side. Southeast corner. Huge Sweet onions and a magnificent bounty of asparagus. This was a big deal for me being a lover of asparagus. The real culture shock for me was the huge population of Seventh Day Adventists. They take their religon very seriously. Worship is on Saturday and everthing is shut down. They even braodcast the sermon on the local radio station. The other large presence in the town was the Walla Walla State Penn. We used to drive up to Spokane on the weekends to party and when you drove back to "Wally World" you could see the glow of the prison from miles away.
  17. By Deb. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @12:17pm:
    Road the train through Washington twice, once on a northern route into Seattle and then down to Portland, and then a southern route along the Columbia River. I remember the northern route as desolate and the southern route as very spectatular scenery along the river.

    Been to Mt. St. Helens. Prior to driving there, I read where the mountain has 200+ cloudy days per year. "Wait, that means we have little chance of seeing what's left of the top." Fate intervened and we got a glorious view of the mountain in clear sunshine. Very impressive. It was March and not all the roads were open due to 3 feet of snow.
  18. By Chris J.. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @12:20pm:
    I grew up in a small moutain town in the Santa Cruz mountains. In my mind, I'm a small town boy. Now I live in West Seattle and enjoy the being close to a large city. There is a lot to do in the city and it's very easy to escape and get as islolated as a person needs to.
    Getting around can be difficult at times with traffic, but that happens in places where people want to live.
  19. By Guy. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @02:06pm:
    Was in Washington once, in 1978, for a job I held briefly.
    That might as well have been another lifetime, don't remember much except I think there was an ice skating rink - first time I ever tried it, failed miserably.
  20. By Kadey. Comment posted 31-Oct-2005 @05:52pm:
    If you ever come up to Washington again, try the Kitsap peninsula. I live in a town called Silverdale, which is about an hour away from Seattle. We live right on the water and get gorgeous views of the mountains. There's a lot of culture on the peninsula, from Norweigan-rooted Poulsbo to the Navy town of Bremerton, and we're neither too close nor too far from the big city.

    There's also lots of Native American reservations and casinos. And everyone here likes salmon. :)
  21. By Cosmos. Comment posted 01-Nov-2005 @03:44pm:
    I used to live in Neah Bay, an honest-to-god Indian village. The natives were almost all fishermen. The few white families living there were from a local radar installation run by the Air Force. We were always welcome to the celebrations of these wonderful people. I was fortunate to attend an Indian wedding that lasted at least 12 hours with ceremonial dances by dancers dressed as wolves, deer, elk and eagles. Even though I was just like 5 or 6 years old, I sat transfixed for hours watching and listening to their 1,000 years old chants and drum beats.

    They used to make the coolest totum poles with beautiful hand carvings and painted so colorfully. So many memories.

    I vow to return and see what has become of this magical place. Now that I'll be retiring this year (at age 57) I'm going to make that trip.

    Thanks J-walk for this cool idea about putting each state up for comment.
  22. By JC_Planet. Comment posted 02-Nov-2005 @08:19am:
    I've only been to Seattle and the Olympic Pennisula area of Washington. So, I can't really add anymore to what people have already stated. Seattle is a nice city with a very scenic setting. In fact everything that I saw in that area was great. It was sunny too. I would definitely go back again if the opportunity came up!
  23. By Tom. Comment posted 06-Nov-2005 @09:10am:
    I'd have to rate Washington as one of my favorite states that I've lived in. IMHO, it beats Alaska. Washington has given me fond memories of hiking, camping, scenic drives, apple festivals, friendly people and Bigfoot.
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