There are certain scents that can conjure up some wonderful memories for us. The scent of pine trees for one is huge for us. The scent transports us back to a time in our life when we were carefree kids hanging out in the local forest preserve in our neighborhood.
The forest preserve was our natural play ground with huge pine trees, a lake and lots of paths to walk. In 1975 my hero and I, along with assorted friends started constructing a log cabin fort. We spent many a weekend and after school hiking back through the woods carrying tools that we “borrowed”from our parent’s garage to work. We cut down huge pine trees with the aid of only hand saws covered in sap. Using Penny nails we constructed a fort that was 8×12 and 6 1/2 foot tall. Now that’s a LOT of hand sawing! Our fort took time but was a labor of love! Construction was completed after about 9 months.
One day while we were all there enjoying the fruits of our labor we were greeted by Forest Rangers that informed us that our “cabin” was a BIG NO NO! They wanted to know who was responsible for cutting down all these trees. My Hero took full responsibility for the construction. The Rangers were not in the least bit impressed with our hard work. They marched us out of the preserve to discuss the matter with his parents (“lucky” them because he took responsibility) as we were all of 14 & 15 years old. There was going to be a fine of $500 per tree cut down! YIKES!!!
After discussing it all through with the powers that be, we were not fined. The county was going to open up the Preserve for all to enjoy with trails etc…They dismantled our cabin and used the logs we cut for bridges and path markers. Phew did we ever dodge a bullet!
Now we are living amongst the wonderful scent of the glorious pines in Tacoma, WA area at the joint base of Fort Lewis/McChord AFB. Thankfully the sap is not running as my Hero would not be pleased. He stays busy sweeping up the needles though!
Our sight backed up to a lovely little lake that is filled with swimmers and boaters.
Let me tell you there is a LOT of training going on here. This is one of the largest joint bases in the world. It is said that there are 25,000 active duty members here. The mission is training and deployment.
Staying in the campground I have had the privilege of meeting some young families that are relocating here from other facilities. I have the utmost respect for these families. Moving is difficult to say the least. Relocating a family and having to wait for housing can be a long process. The women and children I met from all outward appearances take it in stride. They support our active duty members while making a new life in a strange new area because of the duty of their beloved soldier or airman. They make “home” wherever the military plants them. They are the unsung heroes of our military.
Mt Ranier sits majestically to the southeast of us. It is breath taking.
We decided to take a ride to see it up close and personal. As we ventured out it was amazing how as incredibly huge the mountain was it would suddenly disappear from sight. Then POOF emerge bigger than life.
We took the winding beautiful road up through pines that almost touched the sky. Some of the trunks were so BIG it would take at least two adults to measure around their circumference
The air was so clean, cool and fresh. The amazing aroma of pine every where. Then it was confirmed we were heading the right way
Mt Ranier is an active volcano. The Cascade Range has been volcanically active for millions of years. Like Mt. St. Helens, Mt Ranier has the potential to erupt again. The professionals say that it will give plenty of warning, but the threat of unexpected mudflows exists today.
While going up closer was impressive we both agree that seeing the mountain from afar was much more majestic!
There was a 2 day heat wave while we have been here. On the warmest day we took advantage of going to the Maritime festival at the Port of Tacoma.
The ship that passed us was MASSIVE, but is one of the “small” ships that services the port. This ship holds 10,000 containers that are shipped by road or rail across the country then loaded onto this ship to make it to their final destination. The weight is incredible. It is a miracle it floats. It took 3 rather large Tug Boats to guide the ship out if the port. It sure gave us a deeper appreciation of what it takes to get things from point A to point B be it grain, building materials, or ANYTHING!
Tacoma has been a great place to call home. It has rekindled some memories of our past and given us new memories for a life time! We may pass this way again.