Washington History

I have an all-time favorite book for Washington state history, but I hesitate to put it on my "Favorite Read-Alouds" list because most of you aren't from Washington.  Maybe I'll just post it here as an example of great writing :)
I will say that I had to beg, borrow, and steal (not quite) to get a used copy of this book in pre-internet days.  Now they have it on Amazon, and there is a book about Oregon by the same author.
Without further ado, here is an excerpt from the natural history chapter--called "Ice, Lava, and a Space Needle" of Washington Times and Trails by Joan and Gene Olson:

"From the Proterozoic, let's slide as gracefully as possible into the Paleozoic.  (Be thankful; it's easier to spell.)  The great sea had begun to fill up with silt during many periods of drying out and flooding.  If descendants of Proterozoic Washingtonian still occupied the family homestead in the Blue Mountains, they might well have found that their ocean view had disappeared (resulting, no doubt, in a dismal drop in real estate values).
"Should we now skip lightly into the Mesozoic?  This era, by itself, might well have lasted for one hundred million years.  Time enough, at any rate, for Washington real estate to assume still different positions, such as standing on end.  It was during the Mesozoic era that the land suffered ups and downs and took on the highly unlikely, though interesting, shape it holds today.  Toward the end of the period, hot rocks thrust their scalding way through the earth's crust and began to form the mountains now called Olympics and Cascades.  The Mesozoic was the age of reptiles; dinosaurs were cocks of the walk.
"But if the reptiles thought the Mesozoic was interesting, they should have seen the Cenozoic....
"The lava cooled, the lakes and rivers were formed and rich soils were laid down in the valleys.  But don't think for a minute that the excitement was over; never a dull eon; there was still to come the Quaternary period of the Cenozoic era and everyone knows how lively they are."
Never a dull history class!

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