The Main Battle Tank in the Woods

After a failed attempt to make it up to Stevens Pass, WA (see previous post, ‘a very lucky break’), I headed out once again. Being that it is mid-November I wasn’t too sure on the conditions up at the elevation of Stevens Pass. Snow? Ice? Merely rain? Yes to all three, as it turns out. Nothing too challenging though.

Arriving at the Iron Horse trail area I pulled off the road and began the descent down to my objective: A M60A3 Main Battle Tank used by Washington Department of Transportation as a means to control avalanches. WA DOT has three of these tanks that they use for this purpose, as well as some howitzers. That’s some pretty impressive hardware for a Transportation department.

While I slowly made my way down the forest road I happened upon a mountain lion in the road, which quickly disappeared into the trees. All I really saw was it’s rump and tail; and nothing at all could be seen once I made my way to the place in the road where it scampered off. I felt privileged to catch even a glimpse of such a beast.

Once at the park that housed the M60A3 I snapped a few photos.

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The M60A3 Main Battle Tank was as impressive as the last time I saw one. I was trained on this tank (19E) as a crewmember while in the Army so it was really interesting to see another one up close, after all these years. A fitting eve to Veterans Day.

I had planned on exploring the surrounding park as it is the site of the Wellington avalanche of March 1st 1910,  whereby ninety-six people lost their lives, but time runs short while in the mountains in late fall. I’m sure I’ll go back to explore the site more thoroughly once the warm weather returns.

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Returning homewards I decided on skipping as much of the highway traffic as I could…so I took SR 203 south from Monroe, WA.

Cutting through alluvial plains farmland this was a contrasted difference from the craggy mountains I had just left behind. The sun was setting and that golden glow of the evening was casting dappled shadows across the road. Farms of all sorts are on both sides of road.

In the small farming community of Duvall, WA I had an odd experience as I made my way through the small downtown: a rooster was slowly meandering across the road, holding up traffic. Everyone seemed more than patient and willing to wait as the rooster decided what motivated it to make it to the other side. He was still making up his mind when I lost sight of him in my rear-view mirror.

I stopped by Snoqualmie Falls but it was kicking up quite a bit of mist so it was difficult to make out. Regardless, the rumble in your feet that one feels from the pounding falls was worth the stop.

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