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Mount Rushmore PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Friday, 15 August 2014 10:43

The famous four, Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln, left to right

(The famous four, Washington, Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln, left to right)

There are few more iconic, quintessentially American sights or locations than the four-headed presidential hydra of Mount Rushmore. Yes, it’s a long way from anywhere unless you live in South Dakota to start with, but it’s a place that I think every American should visit at least once in their lifetime. This was my second visit and my wife’s first. My first time at Rushmore was more than twenty years ago during a cross-country road trip with my son. I remember we stopped, hung out for an hour or so, took our photos and left. This time we had a much longer, more leisurely visit, spent time examining all the different aspects of the memorial, and soaked in pretty much everything this American mecca has to offer, with both a daytime and nighttime visit.

Avenue of the flags of all fifty states

(Avenue of the flags of all fifty states)

Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mount Rushmore

(Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mount Rushmore)

 
The Bite Of Seattle PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Tuesday, 29 July 2014 07:03

The crowd settles in

(The crowd settles in)

What exactly, you ask, is the Bite of Seattle? Although the name conjures visions of some 1950’s sci-fi film with a giant octopus devouring half the city, no, that isn’t it. Neither is it a tale of yuppy Northwest vampires sinking their fangs into tourists (hmm, I think I see a screenplay materializing here.) No sirree, the Bite of Seattle is, simply put, one of the nation’s largest food festivals, a three day eating extravaganza held annually on the third weekend in July.

International Fountain in the middle of it all

(International Fountain in the middle of it all)

What began as a modest event in 1982 on the shores of Green Lake featuring about twenty-five food booths, has now evolved into a sprawling, complex, multi-faceted affair covering most of Seattle Center grounds. It’s a simple idea, really. What could bring together a couple of hundred thousand people to one crowded place all united in one common goal? The answer is obvious: FOOD! Everybody has to eat and as anyone with the gift of sight can attest, your average oversized American loves to (over)eat.

What to eat first? Too many choices!

(What to eat first? Too many choices!)

 
Hiking in Washington #5: Chinook Pass and the Naches Peak Loop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Monday, 30 June 2014 09:53

Mt. Rainier from Highway 410 near the Sunrise turnoff

(Mt. Rainier from Highway 410 near the Sunrise turnoff)

Much like my last article on hiking in Washington – #4, Crystal Lakes Trail – Naches Peak is another of those easily accessible, sometimes overcrowded but absolute must-do hikes in the general vicinity of Mt. Rainier National Park (MRNP).

Getting there is easy enough on Highway 410 around the east side of MRNP. Go past the entrance road to Sunrise and continue up to Chinook Pass, doing your best not to plunge off the curvy, no-shoulder, sheer dropoff highway to a horrible death as you ogle the stunning views of Mt. Rainier. Better to just pull off the road at one of the wide spots, get out and take your photos along with every one else, then jump back in your car, put on your blinders and head up the last few miles to Chinook Pass.

View from Highway 410 almost to top of Chinook Pass - keep your eyes on the road, if you can

(View from Highway 410 almost to top of Chinook Pass - keep your eyes on the road, if you can)

Chinook Pass is a destination worth traveling to in itself. At 5,400 feet in elevation it is traditionally the last of Washington’s high mountain passes to reopen in the spring. This year it was almost ready for traffic in the middle of May when another round of late spring snow delayed the opening until Memorial Day weekend. Usually by some time in October it will be snowed under and closed again until the following spring. Sometimes it seems a little crazy to spend so much time, manpower and effort to maintain a highway which is only in use four months of the year.

East side of Chinook Pass, Naches Peak on the left

(East side of Chinook Pass, Naches Peak on the left)

 
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