Posts filed under ‘Washington State’

Arbor Day: Washington

Western Hemlocks
(Photo by DC SL)
Happy Arbor Day, Washington!

I am a mere eleven months older than my sister, Carolyn. And as children I was a bit… bossy. I would delegate out the roles during playtime, making sure the choice parts were delegated to yours truly. I’ll be Yogi Bear, you be Boo Boo. I’ll be Cinderella, you be Prince Charming. My authority even extended to the tricky topic of love.

One evening after watching an episode of Dukes of Hazzard, I declared my undying love for beautiful and lovely Bo Duke. To my dismay, my sister agreed. She also fancied Bo Duke.

“You CAN’T like him!” I snapped, “He has blond hair and I have blond hair. You have to like Luke Duke.”*

And before I knew it, my sister had a devoted crush on goofy and gross Luke Duke. How crazy is that? I mean, the man obviously had cooties.

Both poised at the top of our nation’s west coast, Oregon and Washington are kinda like siblings. Oregon, as a state, has about 30 years on the younger Washington and apparently has the same amount of influence as I did as a child. In 1946, an Oregon newspaper made fun of Washington for not having a state tree. The Portland Oregonian suggested one:

The Western Hemlock.

Oh there were other trees in the running, like the Western Red Cedar, but in 1947 when Washington made its State Tree official, they picked:

The Western Hemlock.

Luckily for Washington, the Western Hemlock is a great tree. It is the largest member of the hemlock family. Its cambium and needles are edible and it is an important timber product.

Much more palatable than that awful Luke Duke.

To find out when your state celebrates Arbor Day, check out Arbor Day Dates Across America at

*Thanks to the Hair Color Flip Flop, I do believe my sister is now free to admire Bo Duke.

April 8, 2009 at 10:13 am 8 comments

Rollerblading – State #19

Circa 1999, I called out a particular inept Microsoft Support Technician and criticized his approach to troubleshooting a customer’s server.  Basically, he sent the customer a new DLL to install and once that update paralized their machine THEN he decided to ask what OS version they were using.  After our altercation, someone from Microsoft left me a stern voicemail and told me that they were “appalled” at my tone and that they would be contacting my manager.  That call never came and as far as I know Microsoft and I are back on professional terms.  If there is still bad blood between me and the corporate giant, at least they did not block me from rollerblading in their hometown! 

Rollerblading State #19 was secured on the beautiful Sammamish River Trail in Redmond, Washington.  The weekend rain stopped just in time for a morning skate before my travels took me to Canada. 

View from one of the bridges along the trail

View from Sammamish River Trail

It was one of the few skates where I had company (Delaware and Colorado are the other two)!  A high-school classmate of mine, Alex, rode his trike and my brand new co-worker, Katie, walked on foot. 

My companions, Alex and Katie

As if the surrounding scenery was not enough to look at, local artwork accompanies the trail.  Most of it is very interesting.  But, it’s safe to say Alex is not a fan of the “Bluebird” piece.

“It is the single stupidest thing I have ever seen.”

To put his statement in perspective– I went to high school with Alex.  I can attest he’s seen some pretty stupid things in his day (some performed by ME).  And yet, this item stands out. 

The single stupidest thing Alex has ever seen

A sculpture Alex did not declare as stupid (and one of my favorites to boot).

What lucky state will get the honor to be my 20th?  Signs point to either Mississippi or Indiana.  Both loom as possible trips for November!

Until then, enjoy more photos of Rollerblading State #19 on my Flickr account.

October 28, 2007 at 10:47 pm 4 comments

Twin Falls

On Saturday, I got to do my first hike in the Pacific Northwest!  And to make the experience official, we made the journey in the area’s famous rainy weather. 

We went to Twin Falls which is about 30 minutes from Seattle.  The hike was modest– a three mile round trip and a 500 foot elevation gain.  The scenery was just gorgeous.  I could be a bit biased– my favorite color is green and the hike provided a lot of it.  I was particularly taken with all the moss and ferns coating the trees.  Add that to beautiful waterfalls, mist and great company– the journey was enchanting.

And GeekHiker– I think I saw one of those nurse trees you spoke of! 

Moss and ferns coat the trunk of a tree

The falls from the observation deck

Evergreen ridgelines, some fog and a tree with moss.  Lots of GREEN!

Ferns and moss cover tree branches

A seasonal leaf caught in some mossy branches

More pictures from our Twin Falls Hike and my visit to Seattle can be found on my Flickr site.

October 22, 2007 at 12:27 am 8 comments

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