I’ve been studying up on the geology of my new state. Some basic Wikipedia stuff, but also this summary of the last thirty-seven million years of the Pacific Northwest. This is far headier and (potentially) more dangerous stuff than the gentle rolling topography of the Eastern US, where I grew up and enjoyed camping trips and hikes as a young person.
The science is cool, but one also needs musical inspiration, like one of Alan Hovhaness’ better late symphonies.
What most folks in the East don’t understand about your new state is how much of it is arid/semi-arid. But for the miracle of the Grand Coulee and other dams, over half the state would appear much drier:
The mountain ranges (both of them) cast quite a rain shadow. Going from Yakima to Mount Rainier is something.
When you see the lush fields of wheat (perhaps flax-colored by the time you are there) in the eastern part of the state, it’s almost all courtesy of irrigation.
PS: the interior desert goes up into British Columbia. That may shock even more Americans.
I spend 3 years (1963-66)at a radar site in Othello, WA …. halfway between Moses Lake and ???
It was highly agriculturalized because of the Grand Coulee development. There still was enough arid and semi-arid grounds left to satisfy the most rapid of purists.
It’s a very varied state and Todd and his family will love it!
For your journey across the western Plains:
There’s a thread of silk through this whole thing, often with the sound of the steady trek of the Bactrian camels. The opening theme, of nighttime travel across Turkestan, is succeeded by the wilting heat of daytime, and the sounds, then woven together in perfect counterpoint.
Then, for an American theme, you could hardly do worse than: