Before we get going down some back-country roads, let me disagree with one of the quotes that Tina used in her post this week. Liberty is not a privilege, it is one of your God-given Rights. Let’s return to those unforgettable words of the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Please, readers, never forget that your Liberty is “unalienable”, meaning that it cannot be taken away from you. So, now that we have some of that wonderful Liberty, let’s get to those back-roads!
Last weekend, my husband and I got in our car and drove about three hours south to visit Mount St. Helens. We drove down Washington Highway 504, east toward the volcano. The highway crosses a number of new bridges which had to be constructed due to the devastation caused by the volcano’s eruption on May 18, 1980. The most spectacular of them is the Hoffstadt Bridge, which crosses a deep canyon. There is a viewpoint just before the bridge, and you can see this beautiful monument to human ingenuity.
All the forests you can see just to the right of the bridge were re-planted after the 1980 eruption, by the Weyerhauser Company. Signs posted along the road say they will be harvested in 2028. That is investing for the long term. I also took some cool video at the volcano site. Here are some links.
If you go due east, you cross the Cascade Mountains into Eastern Washington. On a trip to the Columbia Gorge, we stopped at a rest area, where we could see a winding road, through the “shrub-steppe” terrain. It may look bleak to you, but I just love this kind of terrain, with rolling hills covered with low-growing vegetation.
In 2013, we drove from our home all the way to Las Vegas. On the way, we stopped at a viewpoint in eastern Idaho, in the Snake River Gorge.
I am always awestruck by the power of flowing water; how it can carve canyons through solid rock, if given enough time.
The city of Walla Walla is in the eastern Washington wine country, and we try to get over there as often as we can. Near their airport, there is a neighborhood with many roads and old buildings from World War II, that have been repurposed as winery tasting rooms. They have named the streets after aerospace companies! One of these is Hubby’s former employer.
In September of 2017, we drove to Montana for a Ricochet meetup with people from all over the country. Unfortunately, the entire drive over was miserable, due to the wildfires in British Columbia and all over the West. We did not see blue sky for over a week. The place we stayed was in the town of Bigfork. Here’s what we saw when we looked out our window.
When it was time to leave, the air had cleared up so we could see scenery not shrouded in smoke! Taking state highways, we drove around Flathead Lake, and down to the Clark Fork River, near the town of Paradise, Montana.
We have gone to Arizona multiple times for Hillsdale College seminars, and it’s different every time.
This is a high pass, near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, at 7,000 feet! I took this from inside the car.
Another time, we drove from Phoenix up to Prescott, to visit a friend. The view from the highway really didn’t look too much like Arizona to us. We were impressed.
Closer to home, we do love our frequent trips to the beautiful Skagit Valley, which has some of the most fertile soil in America. I also love barns, and the valley has many, no two alike.
Finally, to the Olympic Peninsula in Port Townsend. The town has a myriad of back roads, including the one where we stayed to attend the Port Townsend Jazz Festival. Across the road were two very different buildings, which were both a little unusual. Well, chalk that up to the high number of hippies who populate the area.
It looks like both buildings are still in use.
Thanks for accompanying me on this jaunt through the West and its many back roads!
Link to Beth’s Original Post.