Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Washington State: Northern Exposure to Ginkgo Petrified Forest

Cicely's Gift Shop, Roslyn, WA

Our first official stop on our year long trip throughout the US and Canada was the town of Roslyn, WA. For fans of the hugely popular 90's TV show, Northern Exposure, the locale is a television mecca. Set in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska, the show was actually filmed in Roslyn, a much more climatically hospitable place for its stars and film crew. The town transformed itself into a tiny, rustic Alaskan village for the show and wisely decided to keep the look to attract tourists. We stopped there to stretch our legs, get a coffee and chat with the locals. 

Simone & Luis in front of the Roslyn Cafe (aka Roslyn's Cafe)

Bob, who works in the gift shop, told us that, even years after the show wrapped, they still receive thousands of visitors each year from countries all over the world, where it continues to enjoy rerun popularity. It's known variously around the world as Wild North, Welcome to Alaska, Life in the North, Why Alaska?, A Doctor Among Bears, Stop Alaska, At the End of the World and The Sweet Life in Alaska and remains one of the most watched TV shows ever produced.    

    Luis at Ginkgo Petrified Forest, State Park, Vantage, WA

Next stop, Ginkgo Petrified Forest, State Park in Vantage, WA, a 7,470 acre park on the Wanapum Reservoir on the Columbia River. More than 50 species of petrified trees dating from 15.5 million years ago as well as more than 300 ancient well-preserved petroglyphs carved into the petrified wood and river rocks created by members of the Wanapum tribe are housed and protected within the park's borders. The petrified wood is so important that it was named as Washington State's official gem in 1975.  The Wanapum (meaning "river people") tribe refused ti fight European settlers and consequently never signed a peace treaty with them, meaning that today, they have no official right to their ancestors' land, although they have been rolled into the collective Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. 

   Wanapum petroglyphs, Ginkgo Petrified Forest, State Park, Vantage, WA

Next stop: Soap Lake, WA. 


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