Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We left the State of Washington, zipped through Portland, two nights in Rogue River, where I have property but no signal. Then, we lost 2nd and 3rd gear on the motor home and spent a hot day having the transmission governor replaced in Yreka, CA. A signal in Yreka and no time to blog. Finally made it to Redding by 9:00 a.m.
Dipping back, I found much to admire in Washington:
My impression is that Washington really encourages and respects their Indian populations.
Roads, for the most part, are well taken care of. Traffic engineers around Seattle came to the game late and had little space to work with, so, I make concessions for the congestion there.
On gas pumps you are likely to see a sign that reads: CUSTOMERS WITH DISABILITIES HONK HORN ONCE TO HAVE PUMP REMOTELY ACTIVATED. HONK TWICE AND AN ATTENDANT WILL ASSIST YOU WITH PUMPING.
They have WiFi in their rest areas along I-5.
I never saw anyone drunk. People don't seem to drink as much here. (It may be because you can't buy booze anywhere but the state store, or because we didn't spend much time in cities.
The trees, the climate, the clean fresh air, lakes, rivers, and recreational opportunities. Bountiful nature.
Washingtonians know how to make good beer, good burgers, and they are friendly.
There is sales tax, which is smart, because your tourist industry is helping to pay for your roads, parks and museums, but no income tax.
Parks and museums are well kept and clean and seem to glisten with people pride
I like that Tacoma Power built a toad tunnel to help Western toads, (a species at risk,) navigate through a boat launch area.
What's not to like? Well, I'm getting to that.
When you are RVing you are defined as a camper and shuffled off to parks and camp sites that are rural in nature, away from big city recycling centers. With a couple million RV's on the road, that is a lot of reusable's going down the tubes.
Some parks recycle beverage bottles and aluminum cans. Most aren't recycling at all.
One park that recycled last year, was not recycling this year. When I asked, I found out that the county turned over all waste management to a private company. The park now pays double for garbage pickup and would have had to pay another for recyclables. They canceled.
Some counties charge a hefty fee to dump a load of recycle or garbage. So, here we are with our couple grocery bags of mixed recyclables and we'd have to pay a $13 fee the same as a guy with a whole trailer load of garbage?
Elsewhere we were able to walk in our recyclables to a remote location, but no convenient places around town like gas stations, parks, visitor centers and places where travelers gather.
In counties where the fees are high, cans and litter are everywhere. Dead cars, trash burning, piles of rubbish in yards and so on, uglifying the area and corrupting the air.
Okay, this may be a short sited view, but if the state mandates that counties reduce their landfill, they will sure as hell get a serious recycling program going. A lot can be done to encourage recycling: Good signage, punish litterbugs, enforce eyesore laws, ban garbage burning. And, recycling helps PAY the way.
Rant over and out.
Here are a couple pictures of Portland's famous Rose Garden, which also has a zoo, train, playgrounds, amphitheater, historic reservoir, a Holocaust Memorial and wonderful grounds for taking the family on an outing.