July, 2013

The general plan for this trip was to drive north, up the Oregon coast, with perhaps a stop at the Oregon State Park "Golden and Silver Falls."  Beyond that, there wasn't an itinerary save that we would almost certainly not return by the same route.


Not far up the California coast, near the town of Orick, is a grass meadows just off US-101 where you are guaranteed to see wild elk.  Most of the time.  Today they were not on station.

Crescent City, California has a nice public pier and picnicking area.


Clifford Kamph Memorial Park.  The number of state and local parks along the coastline is astonishing.  I believe Oregon has California beat, but you never need to drive very far before coming to another beautiful place to pull over and see the ocean.



I believe the universal rule is that you cannot claim to have been to an ocean if you don't get your feet wet.  Sometimes dipping a finger is acceptable, but a wet foot is always preferable.



At the Oregon State Parks welcome center.  This center has the best selection of maps and regional guides for the entire state of Oregon.  We'd be stopping at a number of coastal parks along the way.




The Oregon Coast Trail will take you the entire length of the state.  We can say we hiked a part of it.




Gold Beach, Oregon.  This is the Rogue River.

Port Orford, Oregon has a local wetlands park.  It's quite small (and not obvious to find), but they've  done a nice job with the boardwalk and signage.


The Millicoma River flows into the Coos River.  Judging by the banks, this river once played a big role in the logging of these forests.

In the map below, do you see the Glenn Creek Road that runs through the park?  Our paper map shows this road, Google Maps and Bing Maps show this road.  The reality is that this road has not existed for cars since around 1940 (but, feel free to hike it).  Garmin has it right.

Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area

The road to the park was paved for most the way, even if it was only a single lane wide.  The last few miles of the road were dirt and gravel, but it was still in good shape.  Curiously, on the way out we had to stop to remove a small fallen tree that was not there on our way in.


This is a prime area for Myrtle trees.

Initially, the trail was quite easy, as you'd expect for what used to be a drivable road in the 1920's.


Silver Falls.

There were not very many handy places to sit.  Just beyond this, the trail becomes full of large boulders that must be climbed.  Originally, there was a wooden bridge at the base of the falls, but nearly all evidence of that is now gone.

Golden Falls.

Florence, Oregon has a nice local museum.  The Siuslaw Pioneer Museum seems mostly full of "old stuff" donated by local longtime residents.  But, that often makes for the best museum.  Fill it up, we say.



All the Oregon coast highway bridges are beautiful (most designed by Conde McCullough).  This is the opening for the bridge at Florence in 1936.


The weather could not have been better.


We brought along two folding chairs, kept in the back of the car.

Newport Aquarium

There are two types of seals in this outdoor exhibit, although we never saw the harbor seals.




If you cannot swim with them, this must be the next best way to see fish.

That's the world's largest crab.  Perhaps not that very one; but, the species (Japanese Spider Crab).



Oregon has so many beaches that it isn't likely you'll ever see a large crowd at any of them.  This one was empty (Bob Straub state park).



There's a road between Beaver and Carlton that might be the nicest road that crosses over the Coastal Range.

Nestucca River Back Country Byway.  This is evidently a very popular area for bicyclists.  That makes sense, considering that we saw very few cars.



Not all of the road is paved, but the surface isn't too bad.

The previous Ragsdale house in Carlton is looking very good.  We had lunch in the Yamhill Beulah park--they were only days away from (soapbox) Derby Days, which would make use of this ramp.


I was born in the living room of our farm house about a mile and a half east of North Yamhill, Oregon at 12:20 A.M. March 14, 1904. Aunt Ella told my mother that it was a boy and would weigh about nine pounds which my father verified later with the old hop scales he held in his hand. Aunt Ella stayed there for several weeks until Mother was able to do all the housework. Not having a washing machine, the clothes had to be scrubbed on the washboard and water had to be carried from the pump outside.

--J. J. Laughlin [autobiography]

This is the property mentioned (once owned by Robert R. Laughlin, grandfather of J. J.):


Robert R. Laughlin (headstone, below).


Clatskanie, Oregon.

The Wahkiakum Ferry holds nine cars.  We were a bit early, but the ferry sails pretty often through the day.

The ferry route (shown below) connects the Oregon side with Puget Island, Washington.  A two-lane bridge crosses over to the Washington side.


We sailed backwards until we reached the other end.  At that point, the ferry swung about and we drove off.


Cathlamet, Washington.


  Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.  Since the eruption, much has changed at Mount St. Helens.  The last time I was here, many of the roads were unpaved.  Things have improved since then.

Spirit Lake now has an outlet tunnel, so there's less chance of a catastrophic failure of the earthen dam that was created after the volcanic explosion.

I believe that's Mount Adams in the distance.


We drove south from Mt. St. Helens towards Carson, on the Columbia River.

You can always count on a gale wind blowing through the Columbia Gorge.  That's good for the dozens of wind surfers that were out.

That's Biggs Junction, Oregon on the other end of the bridge.  We stopped at the Maryhill Art Museum on the Washington side.

Maryhill Museum of Art

A new wing has been added to the existing building, although there really isn't much art in that wing.







Hops (Humulus Lupulus).

Driving near the Hanford Site (established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project for plutonium production).

The Vernita Bridge, crossing the Columbia River.

Kahlotus, Washington.



We're on our way to Palouse Falls State Park.

"That was a pretty stretch of road we just came through.  I think I'll walk back and get a picture."


Palouse Falls State Park is on the Palouse River (which flows into the Columbia).  There's quite a nice picnic area above the falls, with plenty of needed shade.  This was to be the warmest day of the trip.

I'd hike down to the next level (the level of the top of the falls).  I did not try to hike down to the pool level.  There were a number of signs  warning of rattlesnakes in the area.  I didn't see any (perhaps they saw me), but it was clear that they could be a problem.

No; that's not any sort of trail along the face of the cliff.

If you were to follow this river, you'd go around the corner in the distance and then be at the top of the waterfall.

We're driving north through the Palouse Hills.  This is a beautiful area.

Artwork depicting prehistoric horses with leopard spotting exists in prehistoric cave paintings in Europe. Images of domesticated horses with leopard spotting patterns appeared in artwork from Ancient Greece through the Early modern period; the Nez Perce people of what today is the United States Pacific Northwest developed the original American breed. Appaloosas were once referred to by settlers as the "Palouse horse", possibly after the Palouse River, which ran through the heart of Nez Perce country. Gradually, the name evolved into "Appaloosa".

The Nez Perce lost most of their horses after the Nez Perce War in 1877, and the breed fell into decline for several decades. A small number of dedicated breeders preserved the Appaloosa as a distinct breed until the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) was formed as the breed registry in 1938. The modern breed maintains bloodlines tracing to the foundation bloodstock of the registry; its partially open stud book allows the addition of some Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian blood.

--Wikipedia entry

I'm afraid this guy is not the best example of an Appaloosa Horse, but it's the best we saw.

Dusty, Washington.  We stopped for an ice-cream bar and something to drink.


The Dusty, Washington elevator.

Colfax, Washington.

Steptoe, Washington.  We did not drive to the top of Steptoe Butte.

Cheney, Washington--home of the Eastern Washington Eagles (aka the Eastern Washington Savages prior to the change).

After sixty years, you'd expect things to change.  This map in front of the administration building was helpful to sort out where things are as was a student who happened by.


At the top of the stairs in the corner location is where I sometimes worked for twenty-five cents an hour answering the phone. My main job was in the main floor dining room where I worked on the serving line serving the main course, Bob took care of the large cans of milk, and we worked together after meals in a room where Bob loaded the trays in the dishwasher and I dried them. All for fifty cents an hour. But that paid for room and board and books.

--Awanna (class of 1953)

Anderson Hall was called "New Dorm."  A fellow "Savage" (née Eagle) gave us a very good rate for the Hotel.



The nearest passenger station is now in Spokane.

We waited at the River Front Park in Spokane for the museum to open.



Spokane Falls  once was here, but the power station now accounts for most of the drop.


The Looff Carrousel was built in 1909.  No; we did not ride the horses.


Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture



We were most impressed by the exhibit on David Douglas.  Douglas was a naturalist who explored the Northwest between 1825 and 1833.  Other than the name "Douglas Fir", I had no knowledge of him.


His scientific work is astonishing and wide-ranging.


Another interesting exhibit covered the architects of the 1950s and 1960s in Spokane--when these architects might be considered to be at the forefront of a modernist movement.



Harrington, Washington.

I've seen lots of wheat fields in Kansas, but those don't compare with the density of the wheat fields of Washington.   And the fields in Washington are not constrained by section lines (and roads) every mile.

Lind, Washington is the home of a combine demolition derby, held annually in June.

A rest area along the Snake River.  I had hoped to be able to cross the over the Lower Monument Dam (as my map indicated was possible), but  that route is no longer open.


Looking back towards Washington, across the Columbia River.

The view from our hotel room in Pendleton, Oregon.

We drove south on US-395 from Pendleton.


Ukiah, Oregon.

Ritter, Oregon.  I'd seen this little town on a map, and wondered what might be there.

Ritter Hot Springs


The hotel has rooms for rent, and there are also a few cabins on both sides of the river.  If you take a cabin on the far side of the river, you'd best be comfortable walking on a hanging bridge.


Prineville, Oregon.

The Bowman Museum was listed in the AAA book as an attraction in Prineville, but it was also listed as being closed on the day we were here.  Not so.  It turned out to be a surprisingly good museum.


That's a whipsaw--not an easy way to earn your pay.



Les Schwab tires started in Prineville.  Do they still offer free flat service for lady drivers?



Petersen Rock Garden was once an attraction on the old road north of Bend.  Not even the labeled "old highway" goes past these days.  Today's US-97 (virtually a freeway) is a few more miles to the east.  It was closed when we visited, and it isn't clear when it will be open.





Yes; we'll assume that pure glacier water was being sprayed...

The High Desert Museum has really come a long way since it was opened several years ago.

The main lobby on the left, and the gift shop on the right.


We were impressed by this exhibit of quilts.  These are not your normal old-fashioned quilts.



Vivi the Bobcat (left) and Snowshoe the Lynx (right).  Both of these cats were rescued; neither will ever be put back into the wild.




There were a number of wheel-chair accessible paths through the grounds.


Nobody doesn't like watching River Otters at play.


Our Otter-handler (in the white vest) told us about those remarkable otters, Thomas and Rogue.


We had lunch out on the covered deck.  From a distance you could just see the pair of Bald Eagles in their enclosure.




You don't need to be at an identified rest area to set up a table for lunch.  We have the process down pretty efficiency.  That card table might be seventy years old, but it's quite rigid.  A Kansas flag makes an ideal tablecloth.

Grants Pass, Oregon.


Following the Smith River--one of the best roads in California (CA-199).



There was a nice trail that looped around the hill on the far side of this lagoon.  We walked part of it.

Earlier we walked a bit of the Oregon Coastal Trail.  Now we can rightly claim to have walked a bit of the California Coastal Trail.







Trees of Mystery.  Yes; it's a tourist magnet.  But, it's a good one; go ahead and stop (and Paul might talk to you).

Redwood National and State Parks.




We stopped at the Seascape Restaurant in Trinidad for lunch.

A trip to the Eureka Zoo to see the newly born Red Panda.  The little fellow was not out in the world, just yet, but the zoo cat was as was this bathing goat.



Not really planned, but most every day we picked a bunch of flowers and stuck them in the dash vent.  Some lasted longer than others.






last edit: 8/8/2013