Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Five Natural Wonders of the World You Must See in Washington Before You Die

I recently thumbed through a book titled 1001 Natural Wonders of the World You Must See Before You Die.

I was not too shocked to learn I have not seen very many of the World's Natural Wonders. I've seen 50 of them. That leaves 951 left to see.

Of the 50 Natural Wonders of the World that I have seen, 5 are in Washington.

Some of the Washington choices seemed goofy to me. Of course Mount Rainier and Mt. St. Helens make sense to be on a list of the World's Natural Wonders.

But, the Upper Skagit River Valley? Yes, it's scenic. I used to live in the Lower Skagit River Valley. It's also scenic. Much of the Upper Skagit River is rendered unnatural due to dams.

The other 2 must sees in Washington are The Grand Coulee and Dry Falls. The book claims that Dry Falls is at the center of the Grand Coulee. Now my memory of Washington may be fading, but isn't The Grand Coulee, for the most part, under the Lake Roosevelt reservoir that is formed by Grand Coulee Dam?

Dry Falls is at the terminus of an entirely different Coulee, one that begins at Soap Lake. Maybe I am totally off with my Washington geography memory.

The Columbia Gorge is on the list of the World's Natural Wonders that you need to see. But, the book sticks the Gorge in Oregon. Other Oregon Natural Wonders are Crater Lake and Mount Hood.

Beacon Rock, on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge, is not on the list. I believe Beacon Rock is the world's 2nd biggest rock monolith, after Mount Gibraltar.

The Olympic Rain Forests are not on the list. Nor is the Olympic National Park section on the Pacific Coast.

Neither Mount Baker, in Washington, or Mount Shasta in California is on the list. But, Mount Lassen, in California, is.

Neither Craters of the Moon, in Idaho, or Lava Beds National Monument, in California, is on the list. But Natural Bridges Caverns in Texas is. Having been to all 3, I would put the moon craters and lava beds on a list of Natural Wonders and leave the alleged Texas wonder off the list.


Anonymous said...

Regarding natural wonders in Washington: The book has it right--Grand Coulee Dam is not in Grand Coulee, but stands at the head of Grand Coulee, which is at a higher elevation and stretches to the south. Dry Falls is in Grand Coulee and is taken to mark the division between the upper and lower sections of the coulee. As for the Columbia Gorge, the book would have done better if it had stated that the Gorge forms a large section of the border between Washington and Oregon.

Durango Northwest said...

Thanks for the info, Anonymous. All these years, I did not know Grand Coulee Dam was not in the Grand Coulee!

Steve A said...

I think you are wrong about Beacon Rock. According to , the Stawamus Chief is the second largest granite monolith in the world.

Perhaps Washington got confused and thought their 800 foot rock was bigger than the 750 METER BC one.

Durango Northwest said...

Steve A, from Wikipedia, regarding Beacon Rock and its controversial size...

Beacon Rock has been variously claimed to be the second largest free standing monolith in the northern hemisphere, or in the world, just behind the Rock of Gibraltar… or Stone Mountain… or Mount Augustus, the latter two being very much larger than either of the first two. The assertion depends on how one defines the term "monolith". For example, America's own Devils Tower National Monument is rather larger than Beacon Rock, but is considered an igneous intrusion rather than necessarily a "single rock".

kelly said...

I am confused how does one tell the difference between a monolith and an igneous intusion?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's because Washington doesn't know the difference between feet and meters. :)