087 Geology Underfoot - A Unique Guidebook
Dave Tucker wrote Geology Underfoot in Western Washington a couple years ago and I recently discovered it. The book plays out as a hiking guide to various styles of geological sites that are easily accessible from the Cascades to the Coast. Dave also takes gives the reader plenty of different theories and some history on each chapter or site.
I asked about certain spots that were captivating to me, but I first asked Dave what some of his favorite sites are. He jokingly points out quite a few. First he brings up the Seattle walking building tour of rocks from around the world. Johnston Ridge on Mount St Helens and Beacon Rock are some of the other spots he brings up.
The first site I wanted to ask Dave about is the Secret of the Mima Mounds just south of Olympia Washington. There are no true answers to the reason for the mounds. The chapter encourages people to explore the Mima Mounds Natural Preserve and ponder over some of the different theories he provides.
Cape Disappointment has a history of coastal geological processes. The mouth of the Columbia River here is constantly changing. The sediment is distributed far north of the mouth and the drastic change can be greatly seen when comparing photos taken by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Dave brings up the fact that geology always wins despite an abundance of human intervention.
Dave describes the history of the Tale of Two Forests and the Ape Caves on the south side of Mount St Helens. about 1,500 years ago lava surrounded downed trees, creating tubes suitable for kids to crawl through today along the ADA path at Trail of Two Forests. The trail on top of the Ape Caves, less than a mile away, has a ton of evidence, sitting above the basaltic lava flow tubes.
Mount Rainier itself has been well covered in other book, so Dave decided to focus on the receding Nisqually Glacier and Burrows Mountain and the giant mudflow caused by a collapse 5000 years ago and the lava flows predating the mountain itself.
Whidbey Island is home to Double Bluff which is a perfect place to view multiple glaciation periods. Mammoth bones have also been found here on this beach walk. This is another reason to visit Double Bluff in Langely, Washington.
Dave explains why Hurricane Ridge and the Olympics are a mess for Geologists to try and unwind. Many discussions and debates have been held to try and figure out why marine rocks are scattered so high in the mountains. Go and see for yourself, using the different theories that Dave gives in his book.
Highway 20 at Washington Pass and the popular hike Blue Lake there. Dave talks about the granite boulders there that are turning into sand and how rare this is to see. The sand itself is not good for making sand castles though!
Mount Baker Highway takes drivers to Heather Meadows and here Dave talks about the Fire and Ice Trail which is one of our favorite family walks in summertime. The interpretive signs talk about "Valley in the Sky" and Geology Underfoot points out that the theory given to hikers there may be out of date.
Go out and find the book at your local book store!
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Check out Whiskey Fever: https://www.reverbnation.com/whiskeyfever The song used in the intro is 'Tall Grass' from their album Gonna Wake Up This Whole Town.