Flat Stanley’s Visit to Washington State from Indiana

We were  honored to be the host of  a  Flat Stanley  from the son  of a friend of mine that I grew up with,   from grade school  or possibly even earlier than that…. our  Dad’s  were friends and   coached us in  sports… here’s a photo of  my friend, his Dad (Back row right) and I along with the rest of the team… from waaaaaaaaaaayyyy   back in 1977….because this is   on the internet   I’m only going  to  tell you  that I  am the  2nd from the  right  in the  back row of kids…… and that  I was terrible  at  basketball  even though in Indiana, tall  kids are   supposed to  be born good at it…. I wasn’t…..Basketball_Team 1977

So my friend has  a son now in  third grade. He  asked  me if I would   consider hosting  Flat  Stanley for  his son… I’d  love to!!        Here’s  the   story of his  visit:

Flat  Stanley  arrived  in Maple Valley, Washington  on Tuesday March 26th, 2013. I’d   already had a scheduled  “vacation”  for the following  Wednesday  through  Friday  to  transport  a very special  friend of mine. On our  way to pick up my special  friend in  Arlington, WA  Stanley and  I stopped and  grabbed  this photo of him by Mount  Pilchuck

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My  friend that  I  was picking up  is a  Raven named  Sak’alus –  it  means  Flying  Colors  in the Lushutseed language,  the  language of the  First Nations of the Pacific Northwest. (Here’s a  story and  video of him getting his name  if you want to learn about the natives of  this area http://www.mikeynchristy.com/Mikey_Blog/whats-in-a-name/ )  He’s a  2 year old  Raven  that was  brought to a  wildlife rehabilitation  center where I volunteer.  He was  what is called “imprinted”  which means  when he was a baby  someone took him out of the wild where he  belongs and tried to make him a  pet.  We believe he  either escaped  or was  released and tried to live on his  own  in the wild but didn’t   make it  as  he wasn’t  taught  by his real parents how to live in the wild, he didn’t  even  know he  was a  Raven, he thought  ( and thinks) he’s a person!!   We did our best to  try to help him but it was quickly clear that he would never be  able to live in the wild.  So, SuK   is in training to become an Educational  Ambassador (a  Bird  Teacher!!) to help people,  especially  kids,  understand  about  nature and  saving  the earth! Here’s a  short video of him meeting Flat Stanley!

And a  photo of him  shaking with Flat Stanley  too!!

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While I was  at the wildlife center picking him up for his trip down  interstate 5 (a  BIG  road like  I-65 in Indiana) , I-5 is  the primary  road from Canada to  Mexico on the west coast of the USA,  I also   had flat Stanley visit with a baby squirrel that was  brought in  as an orphan and is was being hand fed  and will be raised by the center and then  released back into the wild  when it’s ready.

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Our  center takes in over  3500  injured, orphaned, or diplaced animals  a YEAR  that need help!!!

Flat Stanley also got to meet a Bobcat  that  also can’t  be released as he is used to  people… his name is Baxter.  Like  you  he doesn’t always  eat his  dinner  right away,  he plays with it sometimes..which  for  him is OK  because he’s already  all grown up…..but you’re  still growing and need to eat  before you  play so you can grow big and strong!

Here’s  Flat  Stanley  and  Baxter ( Don’t  worry Stanley  is  safe see the  double fences and the locks?)

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It was then time for  SuK the Raven, my wife  and I  to head down to Oregon. It’s the state just  below (south of)  Washington. Kinda like  Kentucky is to  you  in Indiana! We drive and drive and drive  and drive..well I don’t drive my  wife does!!  I’m  in the back seat with   Suk   giving him treats and toys  while he’s in his carrier…this is the longest car  ride he’s ever had! Over 5 hours!!! YIKES !!!  He could probably  fly there but  we drove him instead as  he didn’t have a  map……. on our way down there we  passed   lots of  mountains and  volcanoes  in the  Cascade Mountain  Range   including  Mt.  Rainier  which is a volcano!! Here’s   a  picture of  Mt.  Rainier from  close to our house  and one with  Flat Stanley  pretending to stand on top of it!!

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We   also passed  Mt.  St.  Helen’s, a volcano that  erupted really big  when   I was  close to your age now!   Here’s a  video  of  when  it  BLEW!!!!

Here’s the   route that  we took – 330 miles each way!!!:

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We finally make it to the Cascades  Raptor Center  who is  going to  give SuK some tests (yuck!!  I don’t  like tests either but they are  part of  life and we all have to do things we don’t like sometimes) they are  in Eugene Oregon: Stanley,  SuK, my wife and I   here’s a photo  of Stanley at their  welcome sign:

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We left Suk there to  take his tests  ( since then I’ve gotten the results and he passed, just like his name – [with] Flying Colors!!)  on the way home we  saw   a  lovely thunderstorm!  One thing  we don’t  get much of out here in  the Pacific Northwest and  one of the  things I miss about   living in Indiana,  I’m strange huh?  but that   thunderstorm  created a  beautiful rainbow that  Stanley  got to see:

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We made it home  safely  and  even  Flat  Stanley was  tired!!

So  besides  being a  Firefighter (I’m a volunteer)  and a   volunteer wildlife  helper  guy..I also  work  at   a company that  is  really  well known from Seattle …you might have heard of them… look at the photo  and see if you can guess where I work  and  where I took  Flat Stanley to get  some  hot  cocoa ( he’s not old enough for coffee yet!)

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If you guessed  Starbucks you are  RIGHT!!  I work there   as a Network  Engineer..a fancy name for the  guy that makes all your computers  talk to each other and   talk to things on the  internet…. Did you  know that  Starbucks also owns  Seattle’s Best Coffee?   Yep….and   Flat Stanley learned that too, he actually liked the  hot cocoa from there better than  Starbucks…

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On the weekend  I   went out on an  education program   to help teach  kids  of all ages  all about  wild   animals and  how to save them  and stuff… while I was there  Flat  Stanely got to meet a  bunch of my friends here are some pictures:

He met my  friend   Ista  the  Peregrine  Falcon!! I get to work with her a lot, we’re good friends but she’s a  bit of a Diva….  she LOVES  to get all the attention and like to  have  little hissy fits sometimes.. but  I guess when you’re the fastest animal in the world you can  do that…..

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He  got to  meet  Tadita  the  Barred Owl she wasn’t too sure about him… but we  told her he was cool…. and she was OK  with getting her picture taken with him.

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Then he  met Chetan  the  Red Tail Hawk,  They were  good  friends  right away,  but Chetan doesn’t like me much  he climbed  all the way up my arm one time  poking   holes alllllll the way up  with his sharp  talons!!

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this  event that we  were at  was  a big festival  and I  got a break and Flat Stanley and I walked around a little  and   took a  couple of other photos  for you!!  Here he is with  some  crazy giant  cockroaches!!!!  I asked if  they were for snacking and they said no… that’s good becasue if  Flat  Stanley had eaten them I don’t think he’d   be very flat anymore… and he’d probably  get  car sick on the way home…

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and then there was  an Audobon  Society disply and they had  stuffed  birds, not  alive ones like we had…  still a  lot to learn from them when they  die too, science  is COOL!

From left to  right –  a Red Tail Hawk,   Great Horned Owl, Barn Owl, Saw-Whet Owl, two Humming birds above Flat Stanley’s head, a Crow, two  Northern Flicker’s and a  Robin.

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another long day for us and Stanley was   all tuckered out!

When a  lot of people think of   Washington State or Seattle, they think it rains  alllllll the time…and it does  rain a lot here, but  that’s  what keeps  it green 🙂  Washington is known as the “Evergreen State” and  Seattle  is also known as the “Emerald  City”   (Emerald  is a green  gem)   Flat  Stanley got to see  a LOT on  his visit, some  rain, some  sun,  mountains,  wildlife,  rivers and lakes.

Here’s  Flat Stanley hiding  from the  rain!

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and here he is  enjoying a lovely  sunny day  at Lake Wilderness…the  weather in  Springtime in Washington State can be  crrrrrrazzzzzy…   sunny and 70 degrees  ( shorts and   flip flop weather for us)  then the next day it can snow and hail and not get above 40!! They say if you don’t like the weather in Washington wait 5 minutes  because it will change…

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I tried to get some photo’s of  Flat  Stanley   in front of our  two  pro sports  stadiums but things  didn’t cooperate..  but he was there a  few times and got to see  CenturyLink Field   where the Seattle  Seahawks play  football and  Safeco Field  ( it  has a  giant  roof that can open  and close depending on the weather!  It’s where the  Mariner’s  play Baseball.

a couple of the  biggest  recreational  activities here in Washington is  hunting and  fishing.  I do both… Flat Stanley  didn’t get to to either while he was here but maybe he  can go somewhere else next that has   a lot of  that… one thing you should know though  is that if you hunt or  fish , be sure to  use  gear that  doesn’t  have lead in  it!  Lead is a  reaaaaalllly bad thing for you  and for  animals too!   When you go fishing  also be sure to always   clean up your  fishing line that gets  left and  if see any   laying around  pick it up to, you will be saving a  beautiful  bird or some other  critter that  would get caught in it!!

Flat  Stanley   had quite the   adventure out here  on the West Coast  of   the United States and  we’re  glad he came to visit us!! He got to see a lot  of neat   things, meet  some cool  people and animals and I hope his story  shows you a little  bit about how  beautiful our country is and how  important it is to  keep  it  clean and how much we need  open spaces and  nature  for all the wildlife to live!   You can all  help, by   saving energy – I bet you’ve learned all about that from your parents and your  teachers!  You can  also  recycle  that’s realllllly  important!  By recycling you   really help save wild animals by saving their homes!

Thanks  for   visiting Flat Stanley , it was  super cool to meet you and  I think you’re  a  great guy  and doing some  super cool stuff to help  people  learn about other places!! Safe Travels  my friend!  One  last thing for you  all is something  I close  a lot of the things write about … just some little things that Flat Stanely  helped me with while he was here:

Stay Safe, Be Kind, Keep the Park Clean, Pay it forward, Make a Difference and One Love

 

 

2 thoughts on “Flat Stanley’s Visit to Washington State from Indiana

  1. I love the story and hope the children do also. Stanley got to see a lot and the kids will enjoy all he got to see.
    xoxo

  2. Thanks so much for the blog about Flat Stanley’s visit! 3E in Brownstown, Indiana really enjoyed the videos & pictures you included. We learned a lot about Northwest United States. Our favorite parts were the bobcat fishing, the falcon posing for his picture, & Mt. St. Helens. Thanks again,
    – Your Indiana Friends

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