Friday, September 25, 2015

RonnieAdventure #0171 - Pacific Northwest, 2015 Part III

The Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is composed of a number of non-contiguous land parcels, with the Refuge Headquarters located northeast of Long Beach on Highway 101 (near mile marker 24). There are various hiking trails that leave from the headquarters parking lot, but one of the most unusual to be found in a Wildlife Refuge is the Salmon Art and Cutthroat Climb Trail. According to the Refuge, "This trail is dedicated to you. It meanders, widens and narrows because your walk is about the journey not the destination. Clear your mind of life's hassles and ease down the...trail. It's simple: Look and reflect. Stop and listen. Enjoy!")

The names of the artist and benefactors that made the exhibits possible are inscribed on the obelisk-like post caps.

"Many species rely on the death of spawning adult salmon; far from the end, life is celebrated with the Giant Salmon Bones."

A poem by Emily Dickinson is inscribed on the feather monument's top slab. 

There is an interesting "amphibitheater" filled with small sculptures of amphibians typically found in a wetland. 

"Potent symbols of the northwest come together here; the forest and the fish join to be Tree Salmon."

A series of sculpted cylinders "tells how the spawning chum salmon benefit other wild things. Some of the symbols here are meant to be read like Egyptian hieroglyphics."

Continuing north on Highway 101 is the community of South Bend, "The Oyster Capital of the World," and the Pacific County Courthouse. There is a small park with a totem pole, various statues, military monuments, and of course, "The World's Largest Oyster." 

Raymond (Washington) is often known as the "Town of Metal People and Wildlife" because there are hundreds of metal statues located throughout the community of people, animals, and birds. 

The Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond contains one of the best collections of of carriages, buggy's, wagons and historical artifacts in the country and should not be missed. 

This Hearse came from the Hudkins Brothers Movie Ranch and the casket still contains the body of a young woman. In addition to a movie location, the ranch also raises horses. Roy Rogers purchased Trigger and the Lone Ranger purchased Silver from the ranch.  

Many people forget that Studebaker and Oldsmobile made buggies before automobiles.

If you are old enough to remember Saturday afternoon western movies, you probably saw this stage coach attached by outlaws and Indians. 

The Willapa Seaport Museum is located adjacent to the Northwest Carriage Museum, but it was closed.

Just south of Raymond is a roadside historical marker dedicated to Willie Keil. Willie had been picked to lead the Bethel Colony wagon train west in 1855; but four days before their departure, Willie died. To honor Willie, the group put Willie's body in a special hand-built lead-lined casket, filled the casket with alcohol, sealed the casket and then remodeled a wagon into a hearse. The hearse then led the wagon train west to this location, about four miles south of Raymond. 

Between the Willie Keil marker and Raymond is an old Texaco gas station that is now closed, but surrounded by old vehicles, hot rods, and all types of antiques. This is the first time that I have ever seen a Buick sedan hot rod with a Buick straight-eight flat-head engine! 

The Tokeland Hotel is reported to have a resident ghost named "Charley." Apparently in the 1930s, "Charley" was a Chinese immigrant that was smuggled into the United States and then died while at the hotel. "Charley" now lives on the second floor and visits guests from time-to-time. 

North of Grayland there is a unique fence made from doors and then further up the road is a flag made from driftwood. 

Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport is the tallest lighthouse in the State of Washington. The lighthouse was originally built only a few hundred feet from the ocean; but now, due to accretion, the lighthouse is located about a mile from the high tide line.  

The five-building Westport  Maritime Museum contains a wide variety artifacts and information on beach-combing, ocean currents, shipwrecks, rescue operations, and the whaling industry. There are a number of whale and other sea mammal skeletons on display in the courtyard. Just down the street there is a free observation tower where you can get a bird's eye view of the entire harbor area. 

Aberdeen (Washington) is known for two things - the Sucher and Sons Star Wars Shop and the hometown of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain. The Star Wars store has over 100,000 Star Wars items for sale and more on the way. For more information, go to The Star Wars shop is also the Kurt Cobain information center where you can obtain maps, etc. 

We drove by a number of the Kurt Cobain sites and then ended up at the Kurt Cobain Park, which is adjacent to the Wishkah River where his ashes were scattered. The park contains a nine-foot-tall left-handed concrete guitar modeled after the one Kurt used, Kurt's Air Guitar, a fake tombstone, and other tributes. Kurt reportedly received a lot of inspiration for his Nirvana music while sitting on the muddy banks of the Wishkah River beneath the Wishkah River Bridge. 

Aberdeen is also home port for the Lady Washington replica, which has been use in numerous films and television shows, including the Pirates of the Caribbean movies where she was renamed the HMS Interceptor and Captain Hook's ship where she was renamed The Jolly Roger.