Lester, Washington is a ghost two two hours from Seattle, pretty easily reachable. A lovely small place with old growth trees mixed into the younger growth, abandoned houses, and lots of neat junk. And vultures. A beautiful post-apoc place with an excellent, freezing swimming hole.
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It’s definitely not a birch tree. Looks more like a black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa). They can get truly huge. There’s some along the Sauk River that are nearly 5 feet in diameter and 200 feet tall.