|Mt. St. Helen's sliced off look|
|Day 24 of the 2011 Regular Session|
|the Washington State Legislative Building|
|the State Seal|
Washington was carved out of the western territory ceded by Britain in 1846 and became the forty-second state in 1889. The beautiful Legislative Building houses the State Legislature where 48 senators and 98 members of the House from 49 legislative districts work. The executive branch is headed by a governor who has a corner office there. On campus also stands the Temple of Justice which houses the State Supreme Court.
|Olympic Mountains from the State Capitol|
At the north end of the state government complex, one can look northwest and gasp at a picturesque scene in nature, the majestic peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Then further south towards Tenino, are wonderful works of man. The first is the almost 200 fine sculptures in Monarch Sculpture Park, a 10 acre park where there are also a 1-acre maze of hedges, a butterfly haven, and a lagoon. The second is the International Wolf Haven which provides lifetime sanctuary to 150 rescued wolves.
|the entrance to Monarch Sculpture Park|
|International Wolf Haven|
|Mt. Rainier from the south|
|Bigfoot at Kid Vvalley|
11 years later, Mt. Pinatubo also erupted in the Philippines. Although it was half the size of Mt. St. Helens, this eruption is the second most destructive in the world in the twentieth century. It shot 1 megaton more but did so much higher up into the atmosphere, affecting other countries and destroying more parts of the country.
|the crater of Mt. St. Helens coming up from the highway|
Apart from the sliced off look of Mt. St. Helen’s and the still muddy Toutle River in the valley below, after 30 years, you see everywhere else bright new young trees and lush vegetation growing, testament to the life that continues to thrive even after such a destructive force of nature. And, 235 years after the US declared its independence from Britain, democracy still reigns supreme in the halls of government.
It was a winter day well spent! And we cannot wait for next weekend’s scheduled visits to Tacoma, Seattle, Roslyn, and Snoqualmie, Washington