How to Sound Like an Idiot in Washington State

June 8, 2011 at 1:00 am 8 comments

As Ryan and I drove from Bellevue, Washington down to Tumwater to see the American chestnuts, we started to spy some large mountains on the horizon.

“Ooh,” I said dreamily as I tend to do in the vicinity of mountains, “I wonder which one is Rainier.”

I was expecting something like the mountains in Southwest Virginia, where it took me years (and a lot of counsel from Tony Airaghi) to pick up on the small differences of the various peaks. Such is not the case with Rainier. The very next bend Ryan and I went around, it became exceedingly obvious which mountain was Rainier.

Mount Rainier from Seattle
Gee… Which Mountain is Rainier? (Photo by Seattle.roamer)

It absolutely dominates all around it… and it’s a beauty!

Entry filed under: Travel, Washington State.

American Chestnuts in Tumwater, Washington Seattle’s Science Fiction “Museum”

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kristina Rosenbaum  |  June 8, 2011 at 2:17 am

    That’s so cute! I once hosted a wine party at my restaurant, and I did a lot more reading about wine than talking about wine. I was talking with a woman I didn’t know about a wine we carried, and I told her it was from the WILLA-mitt Valley. She looked at me as only some pretentious older woman who has showed up for a night of free wine can, looked down her nose, and said, “My dear, I believe it’s pronounced wil-LAM-met.”

    Now I live in the Willamette Valley. 😀 When you’re from the East Coast, it’s pretty easy to sound like an idiot when you’re dealing with West Coast geography. Don’t get me started on how started I was when I realized how to properly pronounce La Jolla (mind you, I’m reasonably fluent in Spanish, so it was quite embarrassing!)

  • 2. gasstationdave  |  June 8, 2011 at 3:17 am

    TGAW, please also keep in mind that any idiotic question you may pose is still anywhere from head -n- shoulders to stratospheres above a lot of other well-thought out, neatly composed, highly researched questions some other folks will ever dream of asking!


  • 3. geekhiker  |  June 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Heh – good thing you didn’t have a local in the car with you!

  • 4. Seattle.roamer  |  June 9, 2011 at 11:15 am

    LOL Your story figuring out which one is Mt Rainier was great. Mount Rainier can be deceiving; it so often hides in the clouds and then one day it is just there dominating the skyline. I visited Seattle several times before I figured out there were mountains visible to the east and west.

    I hope some day you are driving down Rainier Avenue South in south Seattle on a clear day and figure out why (1) it is off grid and angles to the southeast, and (2) why it is called Rainier Avenue. Sometimes it is obvious, but often it is not.

  • 5. Family Hike – Meadowlark Botanic Gardens | TGAW  |  April 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    […] a few years ago visiting Washington State, when I sounded like an idiot speculating which mountain was Mount Rainier? Well guess what, I’m perfectly capable of sounding like an idiot back here at home as well. […]

  • 6. Seattle.roamer  |  March 11, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I’m the photographer of the shot Vicky used and I never shared my “Mount Rainier? what Mount Rainier?” Story.

    We moved into the rental house right next door to the one from which the photo above was taken. It was a typical June day. June is a cloudy month; the rains give it an extra try before departing for the summer sometime in early July. My wife who had grown up in Seattle assured me the house had a great view right out the picture window of the livingroom (it is about 50′ to the right of this picture).
    It was so cloudy for the 1st week or so, I didn’t know where The Mountain was. And then the sky cleared.

    Dang that house has a nice livingroom view.

    • 7. tgaw  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:12 am

      Oh Wow! Thank you so much for stopping by and posting!!! It sounds like you have a view to die for!

      Your story reminds me a bit of visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. The view at Clingman’s Dome was markedly different depending on the fog.

    • 8. tgaw  |  March 12, 2015 at 9:13 am

      Oh and thank you again for licensing your photo Creative Commons!


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