Four Days, Three Men, One Destination, Washington State
On February 22nd, 2011, My older brother Garrison, my buddy Alan and I departed from Manheim, Pennsylvania to travel across the country to Port Hadlock/Port Townsend, Washington State. We left around 6:00am in the morning and drove the entire day to our first destination, Marion, Illinois, where Garrison resides with his wife, Terran and her family. We arrived in Illinois that evening and spent the next two nights at Garrison’s house.
During the day on Wednesday (still in Illinois the day before we departed for the next leg), we ran some errands and went to the local mall. That evening, Alan, Garrison and I lead worship at Heartland Christian Fellowship Church. Afterward the whole church went to Steak n’ Shake for our last meal in Illinois, before we left early the next morning! 🙂
Garrison stayed behind in Illinois, but Alan and I continue our journey toward Washington. We ventured through Missouri, Kansas, and Eastern Colorado. We hit some major winter snow storms through the end of Missouri and through Kansas! By the time we reached Eastern Colorado it was around 11:00pm and we had been traveling for over 17 hours (through snow, accidents, etc.)! It was very cold in Colorado and a snow storm was moving through just North of us. We experience a few minor problems with my truck… My MIL Malfunction Indicator Light had turned on and my truck would shut off at low rpm’s! Thank the Lord, the next morning when I went about to fix the problem, our hotel was only ONE MILE from a Chrysler dealership, who took my truck and fixed it within an hour and a half! Definitely not a coincidence, God was there! 🙂 My throttle chamber ended up being clogged and air could not pass through enough, so the engine would choke and shut off, which explain why it did fine cruisin’ 80mph, but would shut off without givin’ it some gas! Don’t tell my mom 😉
Were were North of Colorado Springs when we left on Friday morning to start traveling upward to the Idaho area. So far on the trip, we were traveling on Route 70, which we stayed on until we were in Utah. But, before we got to Utah, we had to pass through the Rockies! When we were past Denver, we started seeing these awesome landforms, covered in snow! Unfortunately, this was when we hit another snow storm, which we were driving South to avoid. But, it was hitting the Rocky area on Rt 70 and we didn’t want to go any further North. So, we were hitting snow, but we also added 6 hours of “going nowhere” time by staying on Rt. 70 through Colorado, rather than cut up to another, Northern route. The hardest part was driving on a 6% grade, with a lot of traffic and trucks, temperatures in the 20’s and icy conditions.. We finally made it through and continue to enjoy the surrounding mountains, although it was still pretty foggy. When we were in Utah, the terrain changed from the evergreen, snow covered, Rocky mountain caps to the dry, open, desert area and sandy-tan looking mountain forms. Utah had some really awesome sites! There were more awesome sites and landmarks further South from us, but unfortunately we didn’t get to loop down and see them. But, what we did see was awesome!
We traveled through Utah for the day and passed the Salt Lake City after dark. Guess what? We hit another snow storm! Oh, and this one was a legitament blizzard! Around 8:00pm we started hitting heavy snow and could barely see in front of us. We knew we were driving into some snow, but did not expect that much! One thing I forgot to mention was that we were both sick and were coughing a lot. The night before I had a high fever and chills, so to travel the next day was tough! We were trying to make it through the storm to find a hotel. The closest one was 120 miles away! After hours of driving, we made it! We were both run down and needing rest. I still had a fever, off and on and was trying to recover from this as well of get some decent rest for the next leg! Our stopping point was near Twin Falls, Idaho.
The next morning we calculated that we had about 11 hours to travel from Southern Idaho, to Port Hadlock, Washington! We left around 9:00am and traveled on Route 84, through North Eastern Oregon, up into Washington and Route 90. There were some pretty open, simple areas heading through Idaho. But, once we hit Washington, things were really getting beautiful! We ended up taking Rt. 90 up a little, then cutting West on Rt. 12, through Mount Raineer and above Mt. St. Helens Monument! These areas were heavily forested, and GREEN! There were so many evergreens, with the predominant species, Douglas fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii. I don’t have too many pictures of Washington states forests (yet) because it was getting dark. We hit a snow storm, once again. This time, the road were not very bad. But, we still had to proceed with caution. I certainly plan to make it back down to the Mount Raineer area to check out the flora and fauna in the spring and summer! I did see a herd of about two dozen Elk sp. when we were driving, just before dark!
By 10:00pm Saturday night, we arrived at our destination in port Hadlock. After we passed through some National Forests, and up into the Olympic Peninsula, we were ready to be there. The peninsula is also heavily forested, mostly with Douglas fir, Pine and Cedar species. The Port Townsend and Hadlock areas are beautiful! Everywhere you go water is nearby, with giant mountains in the distance! The main mountain ranges nearby is the Olympic National Forest, Mt. Baker, and Mt. Raineer. Most places are only a very short walk to the beach. Chimacum beach is only a 10 minute walk from my house and is just the start to a really cool walking loop you can take along the shore and up into a river outlet, and back to my apartment!
I am very excited to work in this area, meet lots of cool people, and learn lots of plants working for Matt Berberich! It’s really cool that we had the same primary education at Longwood Gardens and are able to relate significantly in that area. I will definitely be posting pictures of jobs that we do, plants that we see and use, and other adventures that I go on in this beautiful area! So, please watch for my next post!