Thursday, November 3, 2011

Helena to Olympia, Washington

Mon, Oct. 31st - Fri, Nov. 4th

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! We had a change of plans and stayed the whole month in Helena to help out, after the kids unexpectedly got a call to pick up a four day old baby girl at the hospital for foster care. When we finally left on Halloween, this beautiful rainbow appeared as we left town. Hopefully, it is an omen of a good trip to come.

Another pretty view after giving the RV a workout getting over McDonald Pass.

Another workout for the RV at the Idaho border getting over Lookout Pass and then the 4th of July Pass, before driving by Lake Coeur d' Alene, 38 miles long and one of the prettiest places we have been. We did a little hiking there with friends last year.

Getting ready to cross the Columbia River in Washington. Then 10 miles uphill out of the river basin toward Ellensburg where we spent the night at the Flying J. Over the Snowqualmie Pass and on to Olympia the next morning.

We camped at Olympia Campground in Tumwater, very pretty.

A couple views of beautiful Tumwater Falls Park, where the Des Chutes River ends it's journey from the Cascade Range in an 82 foot tumble into Capitol Lake at the southerly end of Puget Sound. Beautiful hiking trails on both sides of the river. The maple leaves are huge!

The first American settlement in Washington was here in 1845 where the falls was used for grist mills, saw mills, shipping and the Olympia Brewing Company (one of the largest employers in the area for almost 100 years). The first and oldest home in the area, built in 1860 by Bing Crosby's grandparents, is a museum in the park.

View of the marina on Puget Sound with the state capitol building in the background.

A little closer view shows the Occupy Wall Street protestors camped on the opposite side of Capitol Lake from the Capitol grounds. There was loud party music playing in the evening as we drove by and banners that said "Olympia Commune" and "Solidarity Worldwide".

Built in the 1920s, the Capitol is surrounded by five buildings and the Governor's Mansion. The grounds are strikingly different than the southern states we have been in, that are over run with statues and monuments to war heroes, women's sufferage, prohibition, civil rights, fire fighters, you name it. They had only four war monuments for WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam and one for law enforcement officers.

The brick and sandstone dome rises 287 feet to the top of the cupola and is one of the tallest masonry domes in the world. There are 42 steps up the front because it was the 42nd state to join the union. There are no steps on the other three sides. You walk in at ground level and there is a huge stairway on the inside at all four entrances leading up to the main rotunda area.

Inside there are over 400 pieces from Tiffany's in New York, including this ornate 5 ton chandelier with 200 light bulbs hanging from a 101 foot chain, in the dome that is 175 feet from the rotunda floor.

A view of Capitol Lake from the Capitol grounds, with Puget Sound in the background.

A closer view of the marina on Puget Sound.

Heading for Portland on Friday.

Happy Sailing,


No comments:

Post a Comment