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.

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