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A Petrified Forest on the DRY side of Washington

Discussion in 'Landscapes, Architecture, and Cityscapes' started by Minuteman3, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. Took the family for a one day excursion to the very "dry" side of Washington State. Since most of the rainfall is wrung out as the clouds pass over the mountains, the Eastern portion of the state has a considerably more arid weather pattern. Today, we saw that first hand.

    We visited the Ginko Petrified Forest State Park. It's very near the Columbia River as it cuts through the state.

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    The "forest" is about a 10 minute drive off I-90 at the Vantage exit. To make a long story short, time and a lot of geologic activity caused trees in this area to become rock-like. They are amazing to look at and so well preserved that experts can even identify what kind of tree they are.

    View attachment 104806

    Unfortunately, the "trees" need to be protected from visitors. Each one that is visible has a brick enclosure around it with a grate on top. Even though I understand the reasoning, we did not like this at all. There must be a better way.


    My wife and son had a look at some of the smaller rocks that are scattered everywhere courtesy of time and the last ice age!!

    View attachment 104807

    Near the visitor center are some ancient rock drawings.

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    On the way back to the "wet" side, we went up a hill that offered quite a view of this part of Eastern Washington.

    View attachment 104809

    We chose to come back over the mountains via Chinook Pass which gave us views like these. Unfortunately, Mt Rainier itself was shrouded in clouds.


    As we came back into town, my wife and I both mentioned that although we had been gone less than a day, it seemed like we had been on a several day vacation!!


    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2007
  2. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Intresting series. Not at all what I expected any part of Washington state to look like.
  3. The eastern half of the state is about as different from the west as night and day ... continental climate (E) vs coastal (W), generally conservative (E) vs really liberal politics (W), rural (E) vs urban (W) population density, farming as a vocation (E) vs manufacturing and high-tech (W), etc.

    (Generalities all, of course. There are always exceptions!!).

    Sometimes it gets so bad there is talk of dividing the state in two at the crest of the Cascade mountains!! Never goes anywhere, of course, but it is an indicator of just how different the two regions are.

    It's one of the reasons we love living here so much ... it's diversity.


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