Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Coast, the Glorious Coast

We awoke on the banks of the Columbia and headed for the breakfast room.
As usual the offerings were cereal, baked goods and a hot line including waffles.

I have used this combination before which although unconventional includes grain, protein and flavor. It consists of a Waffle, Gravy and a couple of Eggs. Unusual yes, tasty definitely!

We prepared to check out and I loaded the luggage in the car prior to departure.

Here's we! Ready for another day of exploring and reporting. Where to first?

This is the Gustav Holmes house. There are 2 floor of Museum quality architecture according to the listing agent, with an unfinished 3rd. floor ballroom.

This is the welcome to Astoria sign. The "DO NOT ENTER" sign does not apply to us, not due to our unimpeachable character, but because it refers to traffic trying to drive west on an adjacent street.

This is a picture of the Liberty theater. I have effortlessly included my thumb in the shot at no additional cost

OK then, uphill to have a look at the Astoria Column. This is etched around with pictures and commentary on the outside. Here's more information.

Interesting Facts here.

The following two pictures illustrate the scope of the vista, looking across to Washington and then out to the wide blue Pacific.

Here's another picture of the column.

On our way out of town we got a picture of the Astoria-Megler bridge from below. This illustrates the height of the span and shows how one goes almost from river level up into the sky to finish one's trip across from Washington to Oregon.

ScooterChick has been "jonesing" for some beach time so we parked and walked down to the surf. You can tell it's still around low 60's and a jacket is required.

We approach the strand on a path through the dune grass. Many have trod this path before us and many more will no doubt come after.

Somebody found a stick and wrote an expression of love in the wet sand.

It's fascinating the way the wind sculpts the sand and leaves a fantastic texture which is erased with our passage. This is taken looking across the beach, from beach level.

A quick trip to the washroom to rinse off feet prior to getting back in the car.

There are markers on the lampposts. Just in case we had forgotten where we were...

The architecture is typically beachlike. Rhododendrons and azaleas abound.

This is downtown Seaside Oregon. Typical small town America with a tourist flavor. Places like this are usually graveyard quiet October to Memorial day and then crowded and a hive of activity until late September when they lapse back into somnolence.

The following are a few shots of our trip south towards Tillamook. The Oregon Coast is not to be believed from the mere picturing thereof, you must come and experience it for yourself. There is no other place on earth like it.

The headlands rise in the mist as you look either direction.

There is frequently a glimpse of the rolling surf through windswept evergreens.

Looking south one can see the Bayocean Peninsula that encloses Tillamook Bay.

This is my attempt at an art shot. I like it.

Returning back to sea level we pass through another small town. This one is named Garibaldi. Apparently General Giuseppe Garibaldi had succeeded in unifying Italy and Sicily in 1860  and the town was named in his honor. Curious that, considering Mt Garibaldi just north of Squamish is also named for him. That guy really gets around!!!

A log awaited highlight of our trip arrived, as we arrived at the Tillamook cheese factory. The last time I visited was around 1963 at the old factory and I remember it fondly. The new factory did not disappoint as we took the tour and shopped in their store.

The factory was started by a cooperative of local dairy farmers and has been in continuous operation since 1907. They take great pride in their cheese, and justifiably so.

Here they are vacuum bagging 40's which are blocks of cheese that way between 41-44 pounds and then set to age for a minimum of sixty days and up to three years to age prior to sale.

Here is some information about the Tillamook Bay area.

Here some of the proud contributors of raw milk for the cheese look fondly upon folks who are exiting the tasting line.

One of the advertising campaigns that was very successful for Tillamook Cheese was the Loaf Love campaign featuring a VW bus and bricks of cheese.

In front of the factory is a recreation of the schooner Morning Star which was built in Tillamook specifically to boost area trade and was lost in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The recreation was built by locals and presented to Tillamook Cheese which is the largest employer in the area.

Behold the power of cheese! the parking lot was full when we arrived, and full when we left. Many folks itching to get their hands on some of that wonderful stuff.

By now it was definitely Cheese Time so we set up on the beach and prepared a picnic meal of sorts. Crackers, Cheese and Local Smoked Oysters.....mmmmm.

This is a picture of the world's shortest river. It flows from D Lake to the Ocean, a distance of not quite 300 yards.

I believe this is the hotel that our friend BobSkoot stayed in. Is that right Bob?

These are Sea Stacks. They are rock columns slowly being reclaimed by the sea.

This is the world's smallest harbor. It is located in Depoe Bay Oregon.

This is the entry to the harbor. There is a light flashing to indicate a difficult bar crossing to get to the open ocean. I don't think the light ever stops flashing. If your motor fails, it's the rocks for you.

We now reach our destination for the night. It has been many years since I stayed a night in Newport. The last time I overnighted here was 1998. I had previously spent time here as a kid.

Here is our room. This'll do!

The entry is welcoming. I particularly like the Topiaries and Flower Planters at the entrance. Now to settle in and update the blog.

And so, since it's after 11 pm, I think sleep is in order, so good night.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Roll On Columbia......

We left our home away from home (Comfort Inn on the Guide, Bellingham) and headed down I-5. Our first stop was Silver  Lake Rest Area. It also hosts Silver Lake Washington State Patrol office.

This is a grassy rest area with good facilities and we sat in the sun for a couple minutes before continuing south.

The grass also hosts a thriving crop of both daisies and buttercups. While we sat we we watched a young Woolly Bear caterpillar humping his way across the pavement and into the grass.

I'll spare you the traffic and time passing through the Puget Sound area and past Olympia to the turn off at Montesano where we turned south again. We came to the small logging-mill-fishing town of Raymond. Outside the Library was a statue of the Musicians of Bremen.

There was also a community pool at which they are holding a work bee tomorrow to ready it for the summer swim season.

Located in and around the town are a number of statues of  historical residents. Here two old loggers are chatting at a city park.

This is the Raymond Post Office. It was built in 1940 and carries number 91000654 on the National register of Historic Places.

Here is the Raymond Fire Hall. The engines are shined up and ready for service and the turnout coats and boots are sitting waiting to go.

This is a picture of the Security State Bank. I feel more secure already.

The town of Raymond is located at the estuary of the the Willapa River where it enters Willapa Bay.  There are 2,882 people in Raymond.

This is the Willapa River as it prepares to empty into Willapa Bay.

This is a historic marker pertaining to two historic towns Bruceville which was renamed Bruceport which flourished on the edge of Willapa Bay, a rather curious story illuminates the town.

On December 11, 1851 the schooner Robert Bruce put into Willapa Bay to load a cargo of oysters for San Francisco. For some reason the ship's cook harbored a grudge against the oystermen or the schooner's captain and after reportedly putting laudanum in the food to make the crew and oystermen unconscious, the cook set the schooner on fire and departed in the only rowboat, never to be seen again.
The Bruce Boys
Fortunately for the unconscious men on the burning ship, the fire was spotted by Bill McCarty, a settler who lived on the portage route south of the Bay, who happened to be cutting timber at the Bay's north end. McCarty and the Indians he was with were able to reach the schooner in the shallow harbor and carry the men to safety. However, the Robert Bruce burned to the water line and Winant, Hanson, Morgan, and Milward lost almost all their possessions. Undeterred, the "Bruce boys," as they were called, built cabins on the beach near an Indian village where Russell had built a house and trading post. They began hiring Indians to collect oysters to sell to arriving ships, and soon made enough money to buy ships of their own.
The settlement established by the Bruce boys grew slowly. There were 14 inhabitants in the fall of 1852, when James G. Swan (1818-1900), who went on to play a varied and colorful role in the early history of Washington, first arrived in the region at the invitation of his friend Charles Russell. Swan spent three years on Shoalwater Bay, and in 1857 described his experiences there in The Northwest Coast, Or, Three Years' Residence in Washington Territory, one of the earliest books about life in Washington.
In his 1857 book, Swan wrote that by 1854, "We had now grown into the dignity of a village, and, at a meeting of the settlers, it was voted to name the town Bruceville (which has since been changed to Bruceport)" (Swan, 319). The community had its own court, where Swan occasionally appeared as a lawyer, and for a time served as county seat. The area is still called Bruceport today, and Bruceport County Park is located near where the oystermen settled when their ship was burned. 

Check it out here Willapa Bay information

Willapa Bay is separated from the Pacific Ocean by the Long Beach Peninsula which stretches approximately 28 miles north to it's tip.

Here ScooterChick sends you all a wave as I prepare to get back in the car.

Soon enough we arrive at the North Shore of the mighty Columbia River which provides power and irrigation to a large part of the Pacific NorthWet.

The Astoria Bridge spans the Columbia at this point, a distance of nigh on four miles. It is an impressive crossing. No sooner do we reach the other side and we see the "Welcome to Oregon" sign.

This area was settled by Scandinavians. They have a positive penchant for bright colors in their exterior decor.

Here's a look back at the bridge. The main span rises 205 feet above the Columbia which leave clearance for the largest ships to pass underneath.

This is the Capt. George Flavel house, which is part of the Clatsop County Museum Society and has been turned into a museum. We plan on visiting tomorrow. Take note of the Redwood growing on the north side. It is unusual to see one of this size and age this far north.

This is a picture of the old Clatsop County Jail. It now hosts the Oregon Film Museum. It is across the street from Flavel House.

A block away is a section of a fir tree. This is reminiscent of the glory day of logging on the Pacific Coast. This butt section contains almost 10,00 board feet of lumber and was 621 years old when felled.

I remember when I first moved to Squamish that it was not unusual to see a logging truck carrying 1 log this size and near to 50 feet long with 2 small "bunk logs" on either side to prevent the load from shifting. These loads usually cam in after 4:30 when vehicle inspectors were likely to have left for the day as this load would be seriously overweight. The legal maximum load was only 80,000 pounds and this one log alone would be substantially over that.

This is a view East on Commercial Street. Barely visible at the beginning of the next block is Drina Daisy Bosnian Restaurant where we ate supper. the Drina is the river which separates Serbia from Bosnia. Never tried Bosnian food before.

They have taken the time to decorate the city's trash cans. Very nice job and historically accurate.

I ordered the Burek, which was Ground Spiced Beef in a Phyllo type Pastry served with Pickled Veg. and fresh fruit. in a word delightful!

Scooterchick opted for the Bosnian Cabbage Rolls. She was barely able to finish.
The food here is superb, the presentation imaginative and the decor tasteful.
When you are in Astoria our recommendation would be "4 out of 5 forks."

As we made our way to the hotel we passed a sturdy craft that used to ferry Columbia River pilots (required) to freighters preparing to enter any of the numerous ports located on the lower stretches of the Columbia.

We have arrived in our lodgings for the night. It's been a long full day with many stops for sightseeing and other fun diversions. Just enough time to update the blog.

And so I wish you all a pleasant evening. I'll see you tomorrow.