Journey to Salem – January, 2019 – Part 3, north Oregon coast to Astoria

The section of US 101, the Coast Highway, north of Newport passes through beautiful country. Heading north, the Pacific was on my left, the Northern Oregon Coast Range was on my right. Some stretches of the mostly two-lane highway are close enough to the shore line that waves pounding the sand can be seen from the road. In other areas, the roadway travels between tall pines or curves inland and runs through the foothills of the western Oregon mountains, winding in serpentine fashion through forests that feel primeval.

Astoria Column at morning. The sky was azure blue high atop Coxcomb Hill early on a January morning. Astoria Column stood in bold relief against the sky as the sun contrasted the Column in light and shadow. The bottom ring summarizes the long history of the Astoria region with the phrase, “Before the White Man Came.” Spiraling up the rest of the column are pictures and descriptions of historical events since the coming of the “white man.” This image is in my Astoria collection. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2019.

When I finished shooting the beach in front of Newport, I set out north on US 101 towards Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River.

The section of US 101, the Coast Highway, north of Newport passes through beautiful country. Heading north, the Pacific was on my left, the Northern Oregon Coast Range was on my right. Some stretches of the mostly two-lane highway are close enough to the shore line that waves pounding the sand can be seen from the road. In other areas, the roadway travels between tall pines or curves inland and runs through the foothills of the western Oregon mountains, winding in serpentine fashion through forests that feel primeval.

The coast can be accessed by roads that lead from the highway to the sand along the areas where hills separate the roadway from the shore. US 101 is the main street in several of the small town and communities along the coast, and in many of those communities, the shoreline is just a parking lot or one or two blocks from the highway.

A 1967 Oregon law, called the Beach Bill, granted permanent public access to the ocean shore from the line of existing vegetation to the sea, regardless of ownership. Oregon is the only west coast state that provides a public easement for the entire coastline along the state. Signs along 101 and in the towns direct travelers to the nearest beach access.

The northern section of the Coast highway is a convenient getaway for folks in Portland and Salem. Lincoln City, a beach town popular with out-of-state tourists and Oregonians, is less than two hours from Portland and just over one hour from Salem. A couple of miles north of Lincoln City on 101, take Oregon state highway 18 east toward Grand Ronde, a community of the Grand Ronde Confederated Tribes. Originally a reservation created by treaty between several bands of the Kalapuyan tribe and the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs Joel Palmer in 1855, Grand Ronde became a company town owned by the Spaulding-Miami Lumber Company in the 1920s, and is now a residential center on the Grand Ronde Reservation.

Just beyond Grand Ronde, Highway 18 merges with Highway 22. About five miles farther east, 22 splits southeast towards Salem and 18 heads northeast towards Portland. All of the distances mentioned in my blog are approximate. I try to be as accurate as possible using Google maps and the odometer on my X-Terra, but Google . . .

An hour (44 miles) north of Lincoln City on 101 is Tillamook. Fishing and logging are important to the Tillamook economy, but the real draw for tourists, visitors, and the hungry and thirsty is the Tillamook Creamery, a farmer-owned co-op, home of sharp cheddar cheese, creamy ice cream, and refreshing, cheese curds, and wholesome milk. The visitors’ center at the Creamery is well worth a visit.

Tillamook, the cheese capital, is just an hour and twenty minutes from Portland and an hour and a half from Salem. Travelers to Salem from Tillamook will head 19 miles south on US 101 to Hebo, then southeast on Oregon highway 22, through Grand Ronde, and continue on 22 to Salem. Visitors traveling to Portland take Oregon state highway 6, the Wilson River Highway, on a winding two-lane road through the mountains to US 26, the Northwest Sunset Highway, east of Wilksboro, then southeast on 26 to downtown Portland.

The city of Tillamook sits at the southeast corner of Tillamook Bay. A short distance north of Tillamook, a wide shoulder on the east side of 101 offers a space to park and admire, and photograph Larson Cove, pictured below and Tillamook Bay across the highway.

No Fishing. No fishing. What is one to do at 9:00 on a Monday morning? Go to the office? Let’s go fishing. But the sign (under the sea gull on the right, on Tillamook Bay) says no fishing. No worries, that’s just for tourists. Tillamook Bay is calm under blue skies in October, 2016. October, 2016. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2016 Image is in my Oregon Coast collection.
Rusty Railing and Reflection. Highway 101 from Reedsport, Oregon, to Astoria passes through enchanting, rural country. Larson Cove near Tillamook Bay catches the sunlight and washes the clouds as it reflects a cloud dappled pastel sky. The discharge from the culvert on the lower left can be seen spreading through the water. The water is from Tillamook Bay on the far side of US 101, which is to the left of the image. October, 2016. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2016 Image is in my Oregon Coast collection.

Because the beach towns are relatively close to urban areas, the traffic on US 101, particularly as it passes through popular beach towns can be heavy at times. Visitors should also be wary of mudslides during heavy rains where 101 travels through the mountains that compel detours to and through the Willamette Valley.

Speaking of rain, Tillamook County and the City of Tillamook, the Dairylands city, are subject to serious riverine and coastal flooding when heavy rainfall is added to rapidly melting snow. Because of the possibility of flooding, visitors during winter and late spring should check ahead with local authorities for the conditions.

Garibaldi is a small fishing village on the north end of Tillamook Bay. US 101 curves around the eastern edge of the Bay and through Garibaldi, then turns right, north, along the coast.

Garibaldi sits on the north end of Tillamook Bay on the Oregon coast. The town was named by its founder, Daniel Bayley after Giuseppe Garibaldi who unified Italy as a democracy. The town’s initial can be seen on the hill behind the town. October, 2016. This image is in my Oregon Coast collection. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2016

Forty miles (about an hour) north of Tillamook on US 101, travelers will find Cannon Beach, Crescent Beach, Haystack Rock, and The Needles. Cannon Beach, a favorite destination for beach walkers, surf swimmers, and photographers, is a smidge over two hours to Salem, and only an hour and a half from Portland. The trip to Portland follows US 101, the Oregon Coast Highway, northeast four miles to US 26, then southeast to Portland.

Haystack Rock and the pounding surf on Cannon Beach in Oregon attract many people in the summer. Visitors stroll, build hot dog fires, and are often overwhelmed by this grand, wonderful vista. Cell phones for selfies, and occasional shots of the scenery, are necessary equipment for visiting this beach. This July, 2017, image of Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach is in my Oregon Coast collection. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2017

Haystack Rock is a sea stack made of basalt formed by lava flows millions of years ago from the Columbia Plateau and the Blue Mountains in eastern Oregon. Once connected to the mainland, it is now separated by high tides. At low tides, visitors can walk out to the rock and look for tidal sea creatures such as anemones and star fish and terns, puffins and other sea birds that nest on the rock.

Cannon Beach, Oregon, stretches between sea grass and rolling waves along the Oregon Coast south of Astoria. Haystack Rock is on the right, a delicate purple bloom is on the lower left. This image of Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock on the northern Oregon coast is in my Oregon Coast collection. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2017

The needles, smaller rock formations near Haystack Rock, center right in the above image, are also basalt deposits from ancient times.

Spruce Street and Hemlock Street run north-south through Cannon Beach. Both streets end at 3d Street at the north end of town, near the Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center. To the north of the Conference Center, Public Coast Brewing welcomes visitors to Cannon Beach. Beyond the brew pub, Fir Street becomes North Alternate Route Highway 101. Drive across the bridge over Ecola Creek and turn left on East 5th Street. East 5th veers right and becomes Ecola State Park Road. Take the windy Ecola State Park Road at the top of bluffs to the State Park parking lot, less than a mile north. Ecola State Park is a definite destination for all visitors to the Oregon Coast.

Storms over Cannon Beach. On an autumn day in early October, 2016, storm clouds hang heavy over Cannon Beach, Oregon. Waves roll in from far across the Pacific, tiny figures walk the sandy beach, viewed from Ecola State Park looking south. Gray seas reflect gray storm clouds. Haystack Rock can be seen in the distance on the right, not far from the shoreline. This image of Crescent Beach, Cannon Beach, and Haystack Rock are in my Oregon Coast collection. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2016

The view of Crescent Beach, far left in the above image, Cannon Beach, beyond Crescent Beach, and Haystack Rock, near the horizon above, is magnificent. Breakers roll in that are born far across the Pacific to pound the sandy beaches. The imperious mountains of the Coastal Range can be seen in the distance in the above image.

Who Has the Best Shot. Three photographers were attempting to capture the beauty of a moment at Ecola State Park, just north of Cannon Beach, Oregon. One looked out to the gray storm clouds hovering over a gray sea. One looked towards the breakers pounding the shore at Cannon Beach. One looked south, past the others, to the waves, the beach, the hills and the gray skies beyond. Who has the best shot? October, 2017. Image of photographers at Ecola State Park is in my Oregon Coast collection. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2017

Ecola State Park is almost mandatory for photographers. Some shoot the coast, others shoot the steel gray sea on a stormy day. Some shoot the coast, the foaming breakers, the dark, stormy clouds, and other photographers.

Pathway to a Gray Sea. The skies over Ecola State Park in early October are often gray. The sea is always a mirror of the sky, and on this day the sea off the Oregon coast north of Cannon Beach is slate gray. A sandy path leads visitors around the bend to a gray ocean and a future unknown. October, 2017. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2017

Ecola State Park affords grand views of the sea, westering perhaps to Asia. A path leads from the parking lot to the edge of the bluffs, and down over the rocks for active climbers. This path, and the one that leads to the picnic table and favored photo shoot site, above, are smooth, and negotiable by mobility limited folks with assistance. Rest rooms are available at the parking lot.

The Ecola State Park Road continues a short distance north of the first parking lot to a parking lot for the Indian Beach Day-Use Area. Paths lead down the bluffs to the flat, sandy beach below. Indian Beach is beautiful location for walking dogs or exercising, but it is not accessible by limited mobility visitors. The beach and the rolling waves can be viewed from accessible paths near the parking lot.

Football and Pushups. The surf rolls in, the sand is firm and level, the Oregon coast is a special place for exercise and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Indian Beach was flat and delightful in October, 2016.
Off Leash Area. The Oregon coast is famous for its sandy beaches. The beaches are excellent playgrounds, and delightful dog-walking areas. I wonder why one dog has freedom, but the other does not. Indian Beach in October, 2017, was great for dog walking. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran 2017. In my Oregon Coast collection.

When you are ready to leave, head back towards Cannon Beach on Ecola State Park Road to Alternate Route Highway 101, turn left, and merge back onto 101 northbound. US 101 travels inland for a few miles, then returns to the shore at Seaside, 14 miles north of Cannon Beach. 101 is the main north-south road through Seaside. Several miles north of Seaside, travelers can choose Oregon Highway 104 and visit Fort Stevens, a Civil War era fort intended to protect the mouth of the Columbia, in Fort Stevens State Park, and the wreck of the the Peter Iredale, a four-masted steel-plated barque that ran aground in 1906.

Although I continued on US 101 and crossed the New Youngs Bay Bridge into downtown Astoria in January, 2019, bypassing Fort Stevens and the Peter Iredale wreck, earlier journeys took me to Fort Clatsop. To visit Fort Clatsop, travelers northbound on 101 should turn right on SE Ensign Lane, between the Walmart south of Ensign and the Costco north of Ensign. Turn right on Fort Clatsop Road at the sign. If history interests you, this replica of the original wintering over Fort built by Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery will be fascinating. Fort Clatsop and the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park are open every day but Christmas.

End of a Long Journey. Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery ended their trek on the Pacific Coast, a few miles west of modern Astoria. They built Ft Clatsop to winter for four months until their return. This replica was built in 2006 using plans in Lieutenant William Clark’s journal very near or on the original site. August, 2015. This image of the Fort Clatsop gate is in my Astoria Oregon collection. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2015

If you visit Fort Clatsop, return to Business US 101, the continuation of Ensign Lane, and turn right. Ensign, in the meantime, has sneakily become the Warrenton-Astoria Highway. Turn right and follow Business 101, the Warrenton-Astoria Highway, as it curves north and runs along the Lewis and Clark river and across the Lewis and Clark River Bridge, then north again to cross the Youngs River. It’s not as complicated as it might sound, for there are plenty of signs. Just stay on Business 101 into downtown Astoria.

Cloudy Morning on Coxcomb Hill. Astoria creeps up the Columbia River side of Coxcomb Hill, and steps down the far side that faces the Lewis and Clark River. High atop Coxcomb Hill, visitors can photograph views of the rivers and climb to the top of the Astoria Column. The views from the top of the Column are spectacular. This image of the Astoria Column is in my Astoria Oregon collection. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2017

The image above is the iconic Astoria Column atop Coxcomb Hill. The Column offers a view of Astoria, the Columbia, and forested land to the east. I’ll write more about the Column and in my final post of this series, Journey to Salem – Part 4, Astoria. I hope you’re enjoying this vicarious visit as much as I enjoyed the multiple trips that went into making these memories, and the real pleasure it is to share these journeys with you. Please come back when you have time.

All of the images in this blog are mine, and can be found in the collections of my images at Tom Cochran Vagabond Photography. The images are all for sale as paper prints, canvases, and all sorts of unusual stuff, like shower curtains, coffee mugs, and towels. Even phone covers. Text and all images are copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography, (C) Tom Cochran Vagabond Photography, and (C) Tom Cochran Vagabond Blog

Thanks. I hope you’ll comment.

Journey to Salem – January, 2019 – Part 2, Newport

Fly Fishing. Riverfront Park in Salem stretches along the Willamette River. This successful fisher, fly rod in hand, wades through the river with his catch of the day, a good-sized salmon. That’s what a river is for! In early October, 2016, the Willamette flowed placidly through Salem under a puffy cloud sky. This image is in my Salem Oregon collection.

After exploring Salem‘s Riverfront City Park in the rain, I drove across the Marion Street Bridge, westward on Oregon State Route 22, and south on SR 99W to Corvallis, the home of Oregon State University. OSU is a public research university with over 31,000 students. That includes nearly 11,000 students from other states and 3,500 students from other countries. The university has over 200 academic programs. The school’s web page asserts that the forestry (#2) and oceanography (#3) programs are world ranked, and the robotics, online, and big data programs are in the top ten in the country. Looking through the University’s web pages reminded me how much I enjoyed school. Hmm, maybe I could get a degree in oceanography or robotics.

Because it was a weekend, not many folks were around the University, and after driving around a bit, I headed west through the Oregon Coast Range to Newport, on the Oregon Coast.

Two-lane US 20 was wet, but without snow, though snow filled in the spaces under the fir and pine trees that lined the highway. US 20 starts at Newport and ends 3,365 miles later on the east coast in Boston. US 20 is the longest road in the country. A history of the numbering of US 20, presented by the Federal Highway Administration, is here.Traveling US 20 across the country would be an outstanding way to experience the US. Oregon’s rugged coast and mountain ranges, the high plains of southern Idaho where the Snake River courses, the peaks of Montana and Wyoming where the buffalo roam, Midwestern corn fields of Nebraska on through Indiana, on and on across Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. A journey across the country on US 20, mountains and plains, the coasts and the heartland, is the story of America.

My journey from Salem to Newport on one short section of US 20 on the Corvallis-Newport Highway was perhaps just a paragraph of that national story. It’s an hour and a half and 82 miles from Salem to Newport. I had lunch in Newport, then set out to explore a bit.

Newport straddles the Yaquina Bay Shellfish Preserve at the mouth of Yaquina Bay. The bay is productive for private and commercial crabbing. The entire Oregon coast is closed to recreational harvesting of razor clams.

The Yaquina Bay Bridge bounds across the Yaquina Bay in a series of balletic arches. The arched bridges project both lasting strength and classical grace.

Yaquina Bay Bridge carries US 101, also known as the Oregon Coast Highway, north to Newport across Yaquina Bay. The main span of the bridge is 600 feet long, and the entire bridge is 3,260 feet long. Concrete supporting pillars incorporate Gothic (pointed) arches. Newport, the western terminus of US 20, is to the left of this image. Late January brought winter rain and gray skies to the Oregon coast. This image is in my Oregon Coast collection.

I drove across the bridge, south on US 101, to the parking lot of a motel, mostly just to drive across the bridge. Take the time to travel south on 101 if you can. US 101 travels a variety of landscapes through cities and towns and along rugged coastlines, from Los Angeles to the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, and makes a button hook back south to Tumwater, Washington, near Olympia, a distance of 1,550 miles, a series of West Coast stories.

Back on the north side of the Bay, I took some shots of the Pacific and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site, on the west side of the highway. As you drive north from the bridge, take the first exit to your right and loop down and under the bridge to visit the state park.

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse stands high on a hill above the state Recreation Site parking lot, just west of the commercial buildings that line US 101. The Lighthouse can be reached on foot from the parking lot by walking up a path. The path is smooth, but could be a bit steep for mobility limited folks. It’s possible to drive to a parking lot on the east side of the lighthouse by driving north along the bluff through the park to Government Street, turning right, and making the first right back into the park. Visitor hours and a brief history of the lighthouse, believed to be the oldest building in Newport, are here.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was built in 1871 and decommissioned in 1874. It was restored as a privately supported navigation aid in 1996. The Lighthouse sits high on a bluff in Newport, overlooking the mouth of the Yaquina River and the Yaquina Bay State Park above the Pacific Coast, 133 miles south of Astoria. It is the only Oregon lighthouse with living quarters attached. January, 2019, was gray and rainy. This image is in my Oregon Coast collection.

I took some shots of the lighthouse and observation tower from the picnic area in the park. To improve my perspective, I climbed onto a picnic table. It was a showery, wet day, and the table was slippery, but I climbed up anyway. As I climbed down, a park visitor walked down the path from the lighthouse and told me that he and others looking out the windows were a bit concerned about the possibility of my falling on my table top. I assured him I was safe, though thinking about it later, I suspect he was right to be a bit concerned. When I processed the shots later on my large desktop monitor, I could see him through the window, waving at me. Nice guy.

This was near the end of January, 2019, and the Oregon Coast was rainy gray. Everything was wet. There was a bit of a wind from the west, and the Pacific was intent on pounding the sandy beach into submission. Phalanxes of waves rolled in, galloping from the west across Yaquina Bay.

Newport Waves 1. Waves pound the sandy beach at Newport, Oregon, in January, 2019. Rain and wind galloped the Pacific in from the west. This is 1 of 3. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2019
Newport Waves 2. Waves pound the sandy beach at Newport, Oregon, in January, 2019. Rain and wind galloped the Pacific in from the west. This is 2 of 3. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography 2019
Newport Waves 3. Waves pound the sandy beach at Newport, Oregon, in January, 2019. Rain and wind galloped the Pacific in from the west. This is 3 of 3. Copyright (C) Tom Cochran 2019.

I left the waves of Newport in mid-afternoon, and headed north on US 101, the North Coast Highway, bound for Astoria. That leg of my journey will be the subject of my next post. I hope you come back and read some more. Tom

All of the images in this blog are copyright (C) Tom Cochran Photography.

Journey to Salem – January, 2019 – Part 1

Riverfront Park in Salem is a beautiful view in the fall. An elaborate picnic shelter frames the Riverfront Carousel, while a transforming maple stands sentinel. This image was taken during an October, 2016, visit to Salem.

I left Everson on January 19, 2019, headed for Oregon. Early January was often rainy, and I was itching to hit the road. Saturday was better than a weekday, because I could avoid the I-5 traffic. Heading south, pockets of heavy traffic show up on weekdays. Everett, WA, on down through SeaTac and Federal Way can be slow at certain times of day. Passing Tacoma is sometimes slow, as is the stretch of I-5 along Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Vancouver, WA, and Portland, OR, can present delays, as well. Weekend traveling is usually faster.

Google says it’s 5 hours and 45 minutes from Everson to Salem. Google, however, doesn’t include stops for gas, food, and other necessities. I used to be able to sit in the driver’s seat for hours, but I’m in my mid-70s now, and I find I need to stop periodically, about every hour or two, and stretch, walk around a bit, do a few squats and leg stretches, and perhaps visit a restroom. As a result, the trip took about eight hours. The time lag is important for anyone making road trips across the western US. I generally allow an extra two hours for a six hour Google journey when I’m planning a road trip.

Salem, Oregon, a city of almost 170,000 people in 2017, was founded in 1842, and was made the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851. In addition to being the state capital, Salem is home to Willamette University, Corban University, and Chemeketa Community College. The capital has had three Capitol buildings. When the previous building burned, the columns that fronted the portico were saved. The remains of those columns are now decorative sculptures in Wilson Park, the Capitol grounds.

The State Capitol State Park in Salem is graced by lofty fir trees and mighty cedars. The Park is also decorated by large chunks of columns saved from the portico of the previous Capitol building that burned in 1938. Here, wood columns and stone columns stand together.

I like Salem. Although it is a full-fledged city of nearly 200,000 folks, it has a small town feel. Situated in the center of the fertile Willamette Valley. According to the USDA, “over 170 different crop and livestock items are produced, including grass and legume seeds, tree fruits and nuts, wine grapes, berries, vegetables, nursery, Christmas trees, and field crops such as wheat, oats, mint and hops, hay, livestock and poultry and miscellaneous field crops.”

Sunday, January 20, was rainy in Salem. My room was on the 4th floor of a motel in Salem. The morning was dark and rainy, and the parking lot across the street was puddled, reflecting lights from the store. A shot from my window is below.

At 7:00 am, a rainy, Salem, Oregon, parking lot reflects the light from tall poles. Wisps of rain-soaked clouds drift across a dark sky. An empty bus stop stands forlornly, waiting for daylight. The image was taken through a hotel room window. The ghost of a photo on the hotel room wall is reflected in the window on the upper right.

After breakfast, I visited Riverfront City Park, a green gem that graces the Willamette River a few blocks from the Oregon State Capitol. A star attraction at Riverfront City Park is the colorful Gilbert House Children’s Museum, bright and eye-catching, even in the rain.

Gilbert House Children’s Museum is a cheerful star Riverfront City Park, across the street from the broad Willamette River in Salem, Oregon. Bright colors and a giant rocking chair on the porch appeal to young children and much older children, alike. In late January, 2019, the Children’s Museum brings light to a rainy, gray day.

Three bridges cross the Willamette River across the street from the Children’s Museum.

Gothic Arches under Marion Street Bridge. Marion Street is carried across the Willamette River as it flows through Salem, Oregon, by the Marion Street Bridge.The bridge is supported by five piers, each of which has two Gothic arches that resemble windows. From the eastern shore near Riverfront Park, looking through the arches is like looking into a mirror facing a mirror, an image echoed repeatedly. The Center Street Bridge is on the left. January, 2019. This image of the Marion Street Bridge in Salem is in my Salem Oregon collection.
Union Street Bridge in Rain. Steel girder pedestrian bridge near the Marion Street Bridge.
Marion Street Bridge. A second view of the bridge with the Center Street Bridge in the background.

A highlight of Riverfront City Park is the Willamette Queen, a brightly painted, red and white sternwheeler that plies the Willamette River. The Willamette Queen’s website describes the experience as, “reminiscent of the days when travel on the Willamette River was only by steam-powered sternwheeler boats.” I shot the Willamette Queen in the rain on my January, 2019, trip, and in the sunshine in October, 2016.

Willamette Queen and Dragon Boats. The Willamette Queen, a stern wheeler that offers cruises on the Willamette River, is docked at Riverfront Park in Salem. Sharing the dock are two dragon boats.http://tomcochranvagabondphotography.com/featured/willamette-queen-and-dragon-boats-tom-cochran.html?newartwork=true
Willamette Queen on a Rainy Day. Salem’s Riverfront Park is the home port for the Willamette Queen, an 87 foot long paddlewheeler that cruises the Willamette River. The Queen was docked on a rainy January day.
Center Street Bridge and Willamette Queen. Riverfront City Park in Salem, Oregon, is the home of the Willamette Queen, a beautiful white stern wheeler with a shiny red paddle wheel. Two colorful dragon boats are also docked with the Queen. The Center Street Bridge crosses the Willamette River on the horizon, basking under azure blue skies in early October.

After some time at the park, I drove across the Marion Street Bridge, westward on Oregon State Route 22, and south on SR 99W to Corvallis, the home of Oregon State University. Because it was a weekend, not many folks were around the University, and after driving around a bit, I headed west through the Oregon Coast Range to Newport, on the Oregon Coast. The road was wet, but without snow, though snow filled in the spaces under the fir trees that lined the highway. Just over an hour and a half and 82 miles from Salem to Newport.

My visit to Newport will be described in the second part of this series.

All of the images in this blog are copyrighted, and available to be purchased as archival paper prints and canvas prints in a variety of sizes, as well as household items such as coffee mugs, towels, shower curtains, and phone covers. Click on the links to enlarge them. That will take you to another web page where the images for sale live. Thanks for reading. Tom