You know that the Pacific Northwest is absolutely amazing – from soaring mountains and countless waterfalls to beautiful bays, lakes, streams and a ruggedly spectacular coastline. But what about those things you probably don’t know about the Northwest?
For example, in Washington State, it’s a felony to harass Sasquatch, AKA Big Foot, just in case you run into him and decide to you want to try and take him home. If you’re hoping to spot him (or her), the best places are the remote wilderness areas of the Northern Cascades and the Olympic National Forest. Lots of places to hide. Of course, you’re a lot more likely to find a deer than just about anything else.
Here’s a few more things you probably didn’t know –
- There’s an entire town at the bottom of Lake Washington. According to divers, the 33-square-mile lake is littered with the wrecks of several hundred boats and ships, dozens of airplanes, a bridge, an ancient forest, an 1870s train of coal cars., and, an entire Native American settlement covered in mud at the bottom.
- Father’s Day was founded in Washington State in 1910. And, Washington is the only state named after a president.
- Did you think a seahawk was a real bird? The mascot for Seattle’s NFL team was made up – there is no such thing as a seahawk.
- Seattle actually gets less rainfall per year than New York, Miami, and D.C.
- Ever heard the saying “Don’t take any wooden nickels?” It actually comes from Bend, Oregon. The wooden nickels were created during the depression era.
- Do you think “The Simpsons” TV show is based in Springfield, Illinois? If so, you were wrong. It’s Springfield, Oregon.
- One-fourth of all America’s llamas live in Oregon.
- Portland, Oregon was almost called Boston. Its name was selected by a coin toss – not sure if Portland was heads or tails, but if it had gone the other way, it would have been the NBA team might have been the Boston Trail Blazers. in 1845, Francis W. Pettygrove from Portland, Maine and Asa Lovejoy, a Boston lawyer, both wanted to name it after their home towns. They flipped a coin to decide and Pettygrove won. Obviously.
- Portland is home to the smallest park in the world. The Mill’s End Park is just two feet in diameter.
- In the spring it’s possible to snowboard Mount Hood in the morning, water ski in downtown Portland in the afternoon, and then head to Seaside to surf in the early evening hours.
- There are more hot springs in Idaho than any other state with a whopping 340 of them, and 130 are at the ideal temperature for a dip.
- Idaho is home to the tallest sand dune in America, located just outside the city of Mountain Home. And, you can slide down the nearly 500-foot dune on a sandboard.
- At 7,993 feet deep, Idaho’s Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America. In comparison, the Grand Canyon is just 6,000 feet deep.
K.C. Dermody is the author of hundreds of travel articles both online and in print as well as the author of the “Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland.” She has traveled throughout the world and has a passion for imparting what she has learned from her experiences to others, but always appreciates coming home to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.