BONNEY LAKE, Wash. — From 1,400 feet in the air, the town of Bonney Lake looks much different to a tourist from Madera than he remembers when he lived there awhile some 30 years ago. He is flying in his brother-inlaw’s RV-12, a two-seater which was built by the brother-in-law from a kit that another pilot had started putting together but had lost interest.
The brother-in-law had finished the plane a couple of months ago so it is practically brand new. It is made of shiny aluminum and has a Plexiglasbubble cockpit cover, enabling the view from inside the plane to be unobstructed.
The pilot and the Maderan are flying in the early evening, when the air is relatively cool. The flight is smooth. They fly over Lake Tapps, once a reservoir behind a hydroelectric dam built by Puget Sound Power and Light, but now privately owned. Along its shores are big, elegant homes with tennis courts, swimming pools and boat docks — the full trappings of capitalism.
It was not always thus on Lake Tapps, where the typical dwelling was a log cabin or perhaps a mobile home. This was timber country, where loggers labored to cut the big Douglas firs and haul their limbed-off trunks down the mountain to the mills of Tacoma on Commencement Bay. Now, it’s where the rich and the elite live. Times change.
Traveling on Interstate 5 north from Oregon, one still saw plenty of logging trucks hauling loads of timber to mills. On the trucks’ doors were painted names like Olson, Jorgensen, Swenson and Stordahl, the sons and grandsons of Swedish immigrants who came to the Pacific Northwest to log for people like George Weyerhauser, Sol G. Simpson and L.T. Murray.
In Washington state, the gas pumps have no vapor guards on the nozzles, as there are in California. As a result, the gas goes into one’s tank twice as fast. That doesn’t make it any cheaper, though.