August 23, 2011

Impress Your Friends with Random Trivia, Vol. 4: Washington State Edition

It seems like these days it’s hard to find native Washingtonians living in Washington. For non-native Washingtonians residing in this state, you may find it easy to fit in to the culture of Washington with your casual attire, eco-friendly lifestyle and love of the outdoors.  But what happens when you’re at a party and the conversation turns to the natural and cultural history of our fair state? (I know.  It happens all the time.) Fear not.  You can impress your fellow party-goers with these interesting tidbits about the 42nd state in the Union. To help you become a know-it-all, the Burke Blog brings you the next installment of:

Prior to 1916 Lake Washington was 10 feet higher than present.  That was the year the Lake Washington Ship Canal (listed on the National Register of Historic Places along with the Ballard Locks), was completed, which dramatically changed the hydrology of many Seattle area wetlands resulting in the Black River to dry up. 

The Valley of the Rainforest Giants, located in the Quinault Valley, is home to some of the world’s largest trees.  Measuring over 170 feet tall and nearly 20 feet in diameter, the largest western red cedar tree (Thuja plicata) in the world calls this valley home.

At 1,486 feet deep, Lake Chelan is the third deepest lake in the United States behind Crater Lake in Oregon and Lake Tahoe in California.

The Puget Sound region experiences huge variations in rainfall thanks to our multiple rain shadow effects (the blocking of rain producing weather patterns by mountains).  Sequim lies in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains resulting in 10 – 15 inches of rain each year while Seattle receives 38 inches of rain annually. 

The Olympic National Park, home to Olympic marmots (Washington States’ official endemic mammal), mountain goats, and Roosevelt Elk, is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve.

Did you already know all that?  Then you may have what it takes to win Burke Trivia Night at the College Inn Pub, which are held on the first Thursday of every month.  Can’t wait until then?  You’re in luck because the museum is hosting a special edition this Thursday, August 25 with Washington Wilderness Coalition. Test your knowledge of public lands including parks, national forests, roadless areas, wilderness, wild rivers and much more!

Posted by: Karin Moughamer, Communications