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Washington

As one strolls in the woods about the logging camps, most of the lumbermen are found to be interesting people to meet, kind and obliging and sincere, full of knowledge concerning the bark and sapwood and heartwood of the trees they cut, and how to fell them without unnecessary breakage, on ground where they may be most advantageously sawed into logs and loaded for removal. The work is hard, and all of the older men have a tired, somewhat haggard appearance.

The pine woods on the tops of the Nevada mountains are already shining and blooming in winter snow, making a most blessedly refreshing appearance to the weary traveler down on the gray plains. During the fiery days of summer the whole of this vast region seems so perfectly possessed by the sun that the very memories of pine trees and snow are in danger of being burned away, leaving one but little more than dust and metal.

Ambitious climbers, seeking adventures and opportunities to test their strength and skill, occasionally attempt to penetrate the wilderness on the west side of the Sound, and push on to the summit of Mount Olympus. But the grandest excursion of all to be make hereabouts is to Mount Rainier, to climb to the top of its icy crown. The mountain is very high[29], fourteen thousand four hundred feet, and laden with glaciers that are terribly roughened and interrupted by crevasses and ice cliffs. Only good climbers should attempt to gain the summit, led by a guide of proved nerve and endurance.

The monuments of the Ice Age in the Great Basin have been greatly obscured and broken, many of the more ancient of them having perished altogether, leaving scarce a mark, however faint, of their existence - a condition of things due not alone to the long-continued action of post-glacial agents, but also in great part to the perishable character of the rocks of which they were made.

Oregon is a large, rich, compact section of the west side of the continent, containing nearly a hundred thousand square miles of deep, wet evergreen woods, fertile valleys, icy mountains, and high, rolling wind-swept plains, watered by the majestic Columbia River and its countless branches. It is bounded on the north by Washington, on the east by Idaho, on the south by California and Nevada, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.

Nevada is one of the very youngest and wildest of the States; nevertheless it is already strewn with ruins that seem as gray and silent and time-worn as if the civilization to which they belonged had perished centuries ago. Yet, strange to say, all these ruins are results of mining efforts made within the last few years.

Like the forests of Washington, already described, those of Oregon are in great part made up of the Douglas spruce[32], or Oregon pine (Abies Douglasii). A large number of mills are at work upon this species, especially along the Columbia, but these as yet have made but little impression upon its dense masses, the mills here being small as compared with those of the Puget Sound region.

Turning from the woods and their inhabitants to the rivers, we find that while the former are rarely seen by travelers beyond the immediate borders of the settlements, the great river of Oregon draws crowds of enthusiastic admirers to sound its praises. Every summer since the completion of the first overland railroad, tourists have been coming to it in ever increasing numbers, showing that in general estimation the Columbia is one of the chief attractions of the Pacific Coast. And well it deserves the admiration so heartily bestowed upon it.

Happy nowadays is the tourist, with earth's wonders, new and old, spread invitingly open before him, and a host of able workers as his slaves making everything easy, padding plush about him, grading roads for him, boring tunnels, moving hills out of his way, eager, like the Devil, to show him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory and foolishness, spiritualizing travel for him with lightning and steam, abolishing space and time and almost everything else.

Moral improvers have calls to preach. I have a friend who has a call to plough, and woe to the daisy sod or azalea thicket that falls under the savage redemption of his keen steel shares. Not content with the so-called subjugation of every terrestrial bog, rock, and moorland, he would fain discover some method of reclamation applicable to the ocean and the sky, that in due calendar time they might be brought to bud and blossom as the rose.

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