Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Mysterious Mima Mounds

Exploring the Pacific Northwest

Granted, the Mima Mounds in central Washington may not be on anyone's "Must See" Bucket List, except, perhaps, geology nerds.  Since we were driving north to Tacoma last week, we took a slight detour off I-5 to see these mysterious little hills that continue to baffle scientists even today.  And that, folks, is why I had to see them.

No one knows for sure how they came about.
At the trailhead a small interpretative center explains the different theories.  Scientists are fairly certain these mounds were formed 16,500 years ago when the Ice Age glaciers began to recede.  But what they debate is the specifics.  Was it the advancing and retracting of ice?  Shock waves from earthquakes?  Erosion?  Sediment from floods?  Or gophers?

Personally, I like the gopher theory.  Really really big radioactive ones.
Can't say this is the most beautiful place I've seen around here.  It's nothing more than a pockmarked prairie.  Maybe in the spring, when the mounds are covered with wildflowers, but last week the grass was dry and brown and rather boring.  Still, we walked the two loops.  One is short and wheel-chair accessible; the other is longer and a bit muddy.  It was a beautiful day and it felt good to stretch our legs after being in the car for a couple hours.

And besides, who doesn't love a good mystery?

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