The following is a guest post from Debbie, a life long resident of Washington State. A homeschooling Grandmother, wife, and blogger at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.
I always have to chuckle when I tell people I live in Washington State, many times I will receive comments like, “Oh you live in the rainy State.” While yes, Western Washington does receive it’s fair share of rain and then some, there are unique areas of the State that see far less rain. One of the beautiful parts of living in Washington State is there is a little bit of everything from rain forests on the West side, to deserts in the Central parts, and beautiful mountains surrounding and throughout the State.
The above pictures serves to help show the different regions of the State of Washington. I will be going into a little more detail about each region, but first let me tell you a few things about it’s history and some general fun facts.
Washington State is named after President Washington and is the only State named for a President. Many explorers found themselves in Washington, many of the first by Water arrived in Southwest Washington, such as Captain Gray, as well as by land like Lewis and Clark. Many fur trappers explored the State along with many Missionaries. Washington State is very rich in resources, from timber, fishing, orchards, to fertile wheat fields.
The largest city is Seattle on the West Side of the State, the second largest is Spokane that is on East Side of the State. Olympia the capitol is nestled in the Southwest side of the State. The State is actually divided between the Central and Western by the Cascade Mountains which is home to many Volcanoes, including two well known, Mount Rainier, the tallest Mountains in Washington State, and Mount St. Helens known for it’s 1980 eruption.
Western Washington is known for Seattle, the site of the World fair in 1962, also home to many sports teams from the Seattle Seahawks, and The Mariners. Seattle is known for it’s tall sky scrapers and of course the Space Needle, along with Pikes Market. The area is known for Microsoft and Boeing. There is a vast Freeway system from all directions connecting Seattle to all the surrounding areas along with a very busy ferry system for water transportation. Seattle continues to be on the cutting edge for technology, which has been a huge source of it’s economy. It is a beautiful city with a view of Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound. Yes, this is the rainy side of the State and is in the top 5 for the rainiest U.S. Cities.
Once you cross over the Cascade Mountains you drop into the area known as Central Washington. Protected by the shadow of the Cascade Mountains, Central Washington is more desert like. Dry and very hot, though very humid. Central Washington is known for it’s fruit orchards, and has some of the largest Washington State wineries. The area is also well known for the huge part it played pre WWII and post war eras. Hanford is located here in Central Washington and is well known for the efforts pre war in the discovery of Nuclear Power here in the U.S. Post war the construction of Cooley Dam and the frontier of hydropower, on the Columbia River was one of the largest projects that helped boost the economy of Washington State and put her back on her feet after the great depression. Kennewick the second larges city in Central Washington is home to the Hydro-plane races, nestled on the Columbia River draws in hundreds of spectators every year.
Eastern Washington is home of the Second largest City in Washington State, Spokane. Spokane is very well known for the World Fair of 1974, which turned the slums of downtown Spokane known for it’s railroad yards into a beautiful green park nestled on the banks of the Spokane River and her beautiful Falls. Spokane takes a lot of pride in it’s rich history, and has tried very hard to build around that history. Eastern Washington is very well known for it’s distinct four seasons from plenty of lakes for swimming and fishing through the hot dry Summers, to numerous ski resorts for Winter sports. While for years Spokane attempted to fight against growth for fear it would lose it’s historical style, has burst at the seams with growth. Eastern Washington is rich in farming, with the Palouse in the South, known for it’s wheat crops to hunting in the rich mountains North.
For as diverse as the weather patterns, of the different sections of Washington, there is also a very diverse culture. With the Seattle area, always reaching for the new and best in architectural, technology, night life, fine arts, and a more liberal way of looking at issues, we have a very conservative mind set in Eastern Washington, Who have gone to long lengths to remodel the history, continuing to keep that old time feel in everything. Beautiful marble staircases and walls, beautiful pieces of art from the past continue to reign over the newness.