March 22, 2014, was a dreadful day in Washington state history. A tragic landslide occurred 4 miles east of Oso, Washington, a small, rural community 60 miles northeast of Seattle, nestled in a beautiful valley of the North Cascades. A hillside collapsed, sending mud and debris rushing south across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River.
Beyond Deception Pass, State Route 20 continues north to a roundabout at Sharpes Corner. A spur of SR 20 continues west and north to the port city of Anacortes. The main highway turns right, toward the mainland, past the two large oil refineries on March’s Point. On the […]
Driving north from Seattle on I-5, a traveler will pass through Everett and Marysville. Ten miles north of the Marysville exit is State Route 530, the main exit for Arlington. Off the ramp, turning right, the road passes a truck stop on the right. Driving south from Bellingham or Mt Vernon, I-5 leaps across the Stillaguamish River, before reaching the SR 530 exit. If heading south on I-5, the traveler turns left at the bottom of the off ramp, and drives under the Interstate.
Bridges connect people and places. Like bridges elsewhere, northwest bridges span waterways, railroads, and other spaces. In the Pacific Northwest, bridges sometimes move from one place to another. Washington State Route 20 begins at US 101, 13.2 miles southwest of Port Townsend, on the northeast top of the […]
The Columbia River rises in Windermere Lake in southeastern British Columbia, Canada. The Columbia flows north through Kinibasket Lake, then buttonhooks south, past Castlegar, and into northeast Washington state where if forms 150 mile long Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake. Some 90 miles south of the Canada border at […]
This is a blog post about bridges. Wood and steel and concrete bridges. Bridges for people, bridges for vehicles. High, soaring bridges like the Astoria-Megler Bridge crossing the Columbia River, four miles wide at its mouth. Bridges crossing narrow creeks and rivers that can be leaped by one athletic jump, like the Grande Ronde River crossed by the Upper Perry Arch Bridge, a few miles north of La Grande, Oregon
Travelers often go from one big city to another, and don’t have time to explore the small towns and communities that are just off the highways. This is the first in a series of posts about Roadside Communities, the places that many folks miss. We begin with Blaine, Washington, the Peace Arch City.
In January, 2019, I road tripped down I-5 from home to Salem, Oregon, then over the Coastal Range to Newport on the Oregon Coast, and north on US 101 to Astoria. Part 1 of this series described a visit to Riverfront Park in Salem. Part 2 looked briefly […]
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.
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 […]