TIPS FOR THE MOTORIST Driving in the Northwest can mean adjustments for visitors from other states. For example, right turns are allowed on a red light after a stop in Washington and Oregon, Montana has no daytime speed limit on highways, Idaho licenses youths age 14 to drive. Montana's rule on speed whatever is "reasonable and proper" depending on the road, the weather, and the traffic is a good guide for driving anywhere; conditions may dictate a slow 30 mph though posted speed may be 60. Guard against "highway hypnosis"; vary driving speeds or stop occasionally to stretch. Watch for sheep, cattle, game. In parking on steep hills, block car wheels or turn front ones into the curb. If stuck in sand or mud off the beaten track, don't spin wheels; jack them up and put brush or burlap under for traction. State highway and oil company maps frequently carry motoring tips.
Timber, cattle, and the mist from the sea
The challenge and beauty that drew explorers Lewis and Clark, such adventurers and trappers as Jedediah Smith and Jim Bridger, the missionary doctor Marcus Whitman, and doughty pioneers of the Oregon Trail still beckon in the sprawling Northwest. Much of the land-one of the last settled, least populated tiers of states remains wild. Remnants of once-great herds of wild horses still roam remote Wyoming ranges. Broad chunks of Idaho, uncut by roads and seldom seen by man, show on maps with the label "Primitive Area." And though Washington and Oregon turn out much
A lake, a stream, an ocean shore, indeed a shower of rain, is seldom far away in coastal Washington. On the lonely brink of the Olympic Peninsula, inrolling clouds set the region's climatic mood. From Seattle to Olympia on 100-mile-long Puget Sound, rain is a wintry way of life, but summers come up crisp, dry, and ideal for boating (one of four Seattle families owns a boat). Big white ferries glide through the forested islets of the San Juan archipelago, prized by visitors for bottom fishing, clam digging, and a simple low-decibel pace.
The peninsula's mild temperatures and copious rainfall drape Pacific slopes with a rain forest sprouting what may be a greater weight of living matter per acre than any spot on earth. Valleys of the Hoh, Queets, and Quinault Rivers are especially lush; along the Hoh a spur off U.S. 101 gives access to self-guiding nature trails through the tangle of vaulting conifers, leafy understories, clinging mosses and lichens and palpable quiet that shapes this green wonderland.
Inland the Cascade Range traps much of the moisture. Resultant snows lure skiers to the longest, whitest season in the Lower Forty-Eight, some runs staying open from late October into July. Crowning the Cascades with its cloud-wraithed presence is 14,410-foot Mount Rainier, whose glaciated crags trained the United States' first Mount Everest team and now test student climbers.
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