Washington State of Mind

Spokane riverfront
Spokane riverfront

Washington State is so much more than Seattle.

We’ve discovered that over the past couple of days as we drove west from Spokane to the Pacific.

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Rose Garden at Manito Park, Spokane

I’d visited Seattle several times but had never ventured beyond the city to sample the state’s many other attractions.

In Spokane, we visited Riverfront Park, traversing several bridges across waterfalls that ripple through the heart of the city. We viewed the historic Looff Carousel and took a trip on the SkyRide cable car. Then we visited Manito Park, a magnificent botanical center with a Japanese garden, a rose garden and other attractions.

Grand Coulee DamNext we visited the Grand Coulee Dam, which lived up to its reputation as an engineering wonder. The visitor center did a nice job of explaining how the dam was built and of addressing the competing pressures it faces to provide irrigation, flood control, fisheries, electricity, recreation and other needs.

Pybus Public Market, WenatcheeThen it was on to Wenatchee, where we stopped at the Pybus Public Market, and to nearby Leavenworth, whose main street and shopping area are modeled on a Bavarian village.

Leavenworth, WashingtonLeavenworth was like a piece of Germany inserted into the Pacific Northwest — weird, to be sure, but nonetheless colorful and engaging. From there, we traversed Stevens Pass and braved the evening rush hour traffic to Seattle, where we are staying with friends in their wonderful condominium near the Space Needle, overlooking the city.

imageThroughout our journey, we passed wheat fields, canyons, cobalt blue lakes and other sites that reminded us anew how diverse our country is — and how beautiful.

Back in Cleveland, when we were at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Champa and I watched a video of Billy Joel singing “New York State of Mind” along with Bruce Springsteen. It’s his love song to New York State, which is often overshadowed by its famous city. As we drove towards Seattle, I found myself thinking of that song, which perhaps applies here as well. In my own case, at least, I had never looked beyond Seattle to consider the state it’s in, even though the state shares its name with the city where I worked for more than two decades.

As Billy Joel might put it, I now know what I’m needing and I don’t want to waste more time. I’m in a Washington state of mind

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One thought on “Washington State of Mind”

  1. So glad you got to explore WA state. It has a lot to offer, indeed and its quite a different world on the other side of the mountains! Safe travels to you both!

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