A Return to the West Coast and Oregon

  in  USA
I live in an area of Minnesota that is as flat as a pancake. My most memorable vacation in recent years took me over the Rocky Mountains, and then the Cascades, to the west coast. I saw the old railroad trestle, now rebuilt, where I had traveled as a child, now seeming to cling precariously to the sides of mountains. I had traveled here before, but had not taken note of the majesty of the landscape. I experienced snow in June in Butte, Montana and then the scariness of Lookout Pass, on the border with Idaho. A side trip took me to the Crow Reservation and the site of Custer’s last stand, and the interpretive center there. I could smell sage when I got out of the car to visit a rock shop, and realized for the first time that eastern Washington is a desert. I stopped at another shop at Ellensburg for the express purpose of viewing their famous, lovely blue agate. And I stopped at Roslyn to buy souvenirs for my neighbors who are Northern Exposure fans. All the while, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the city of Seattle beckoned. That trip took me to Snoqualmie Falls, where I climbed to the bottom and all the way up again, to the antique shops of Snohomish, on a ferry to Vashon Island, and to the University of Washington where I took in a dance recital and a science exhibit. I got to hear Andre Watts in concert with the Seattle Symphony, and attended a lecture at Hugo House, a writers’ center. I attended church at Crown Hill and shopped for Scandinavian gifts in Ballard. Another side trip took me down the Pacific coast to Eugene, Oregon. As a result of that vacation, I now know what a marionberry is, and I know that blackberries can be a nuisance, the eradication of which is an industry all by itself. It was a fun trip.