I have many fond memories of traveling in Washington State. I have toured much of this beautiful state at various times, including Mt. Rainier, Olympic National Park, and the San Juan Islands as well as the cities of Seattle, Spokane, and Pullman. From its spectacular volcanoes to its thick green forests and exciting cities, Washington has a great deal to offer.
The part of Washington in which I have spent the most time are the San Juan Islands, located in Puget Sound in the northwestern corner of the state. In particular, I spent five summers at Camp Norwester in Lopez Island, where my sister and I attended summer camp. This was a beautiful overnight camp, designed in the spirit of the Kwakiutl Indians, the local Native American tribe. Bill Holm, an expert on the art of this tribe, designed several Kwakiutl buildings and artifacts, most notably a large longhouse, about 60 feet long and 30 feet wide, which we often used for camp get-togethers. There were even Kwakiutl costumes, which the staff would wear and perform tribal dances.
Seattle is one of my favorite cities. This city has some excellent seafood restaurants as well as beautiful views of the surrounding area. One of the most fun places to visit is Pike Place Market. Here you’ll find local vendors selling everything under the sun, from assorted meats, fruits, and vegetables to art and antiques to gifts and accessories. In particular, the Pike Place Fish Market is world-famous for its vendors who throw 20-pound salmons to each other. Another place in Seattle I love to visit is the Space Needle. Built as part of the 1962 World’s Fair, this 600-foot tall futuristic building has a wonderful observatory near the top, where one can enjoy spectacular views of the city as well as the surrounding area.
The mountains in Washington State are also spectacular. Washington boasts some of the tallest and most significant mountains in the country, including Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount Baker, Mount St. Helens, and the Olympic Mountains. When I was about ten, my parents took my sister and me to Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks, where we enjoyed several amazing hikes. I also had the privilege of seeing Mount Saint Helens in 1984, just four years after its historic eruption. The mouth of this volcano was still active, spewing out large plumes of smoke.
Washington State is one of the most beautiful and exciting places to visit in the country, and I feel privileged to have made frequent visits there.