Red Headed Stepchild
(The Barrett family memoir of Navy Life)
by Sophie Ruth Meranski with photos


p 95-1417
Photo by bus driver Albert Brown February 4, 2000 about 1:45 pm. when bus to Forks from Port Angeles overheated east of Lake Crescent Lodge at Sledgehammer Point near mile 230 of U.S. Highway 101. John Barrett is stanidng under the clump of madrone trees, Arbutus menziesii, of heath family Ericaceae. As this early February photo demonstrates the madrone is evergreen. It is abundant in the Olympic Peninsula, especially Clallam county. Around late April or early May it has abundant strongly fragrant flowers that strongly resemble flowers of blueberry, salal, and other members of the Ericaceae. Albert Brown, a native of Salmon Idaho, served in Army national Guard Engineers Vietnam 1967 and has lived in Anchorage Alaska and Grants Pass Oregon and currently in Joyce west of Port Angeles.He has drived the Port Angeles -Forks bus more than twelve years and is an authority on local history. Lake Crescent was formed by the Juan de Fuca Lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, which came down from Canada. Ice was two to three thousand feet thick over Lake Crescent and has carved steep walls. The present Lake surface is at 582 feet elevation and in over six hundred feet deep in places. After the last ice age it breifly drained to the Elwha River through Lake Sutherland, but as native Americans realized, landslides at the east end of Lake Crescent separated the two lakes. Native tradition maintains that Mount Storm King threw his head between the lakes to prevent fighting between Quilayeut and Clallam tribes. Lake Crescent has two endemic rare trout species the Beardsley and crescentii trout, which breed in the Lyre river outlet. The Beardsley trout, named for the Admiral who commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet around 1900, is related to the steelhead, is the second largest of the landlocked trout [Nevada Lahontan trout is said to be the largest] and it is excellent eating. The smaller crescenti trout is related to the cutthroat trout. Mount Storm King, Pyramid Peak, and other mountains around Lake Crescent contain mainly erosion-resistant dark basalt, formed as pillow lava that cooled on exposure to cold water on ocean floor mostly thirty to fifty million years ago. The density of basalt is 3.2 times that of water, so it mainly sinks to the ocean floor, while continents are made of lighter granite, with density 2.7 times that of water. The continents float above the heavier basalt, and since 1964 paleomagnetism has forced geologists to accept evidence for continental drift, powered by plate tectonics. The granite continental shields contain much rock over three billion years old, whereas the ocean floor is recycled deep in the mantle, and the oldest portions [western Pacific and eastern Mediterranean] date from the Jurassic epoch about 170 million years old.
Year: 2000