Timber is a large part of Tillamook's history. When 350,000 acres burned every tree in sight over three devastating fires, there was much doubt about a sustainable economy. The fires occurred every six years, becoming known as the Six Year Curse, and many believed it was unstoppable.
|Photo from scuffproductions. Nothing but ash and naked sticks as far as we could see.|
The Tillamook Burn was an ugly area covering mountains and valleys. Nothing was left alive. Teams of Snag Fallers were sent in to bring down the remaining burned trees for lumber. They would come home completely black except for their eyes and mouth, and became known as the Tillamook Coal Miners.
Once most of the snags were removed, replanting began. Buses of school children, government work crews, lumber company workers - all planted hundreds of thousands of seedlings over a decade. Returning wildlife slowed their efforts by eating two of every three planted, but they continued to plant.
The success of their efforts is visible in the lush green forests that once again surround Tillamook Bay. Timber continues to sustain the largest town in the county. The Tillamook Burn no longer exists, except in the memories of those who still live here.
It is those memories that make up most of the film offered at the Tillamook Forest Center. Thursday we visit this lovely facility on Highway 6, along the Wilson River.
|Beautiful bridge over the Wilson River at the back of the Center.|
|Well laid out with wonderful visuals about the forest eco-system.|
|Several exhibits about the history of the forest and its relationship with humans. An interesting balance of use and conservation is presented.|
|One of the replanting crews. The young man in the back row at the very right end is one of the story tellers in the film (a bit older now).|
|Trails with information signs run along both sides of the Wilson River.|
|And through the surrounding forest.|
|I couldn't get a good photo of this magnificent 100 foot Big Leaf Maple, but I want to remember it.|
|The grounds are beautiful with several benches to just quietly enjoy.|
On our way back toward Tillamook we stop to check out the Misty River RV Park as an option for next time we're here. With FHU sites on the river and good water access for fishing, this is likely where we'll stay. And there will definitely be a next time.
|Large bouquets of Foxglove and Daisies line Highway 6.|
|I learn at the Center that Foxglove flourish where the earth has been "disturbed". The highway was cleaned up last year after all the rains, causing this year's bonanza of blooms. Also explains their presence at all the clear cut sites.|
Like all the others, the Trask has limited access. There are two boat ramps on the map so we figure these are a good start. We've been wrong before...
|This is an open boat ramp, nothing more than what you see here. The escaping ghost is probably trying to tell us something. Slick mud on both sides deter attempts to reach the water.|
|Steep drop to the rushing water.|
|Pretty to look at from "up here".|
|Catching a dozen small trout makes for a happy man.|
|The water is so clear, all those dark spots are rocks deep underwater.|
|Not sure where they park with a boat trailer.|
|The sun dances in and out of the tall trees.|
|As I've recently been reminded that Fluffy Dog pics are required......|
|Water and electric sites, close to neighbors. Level, not level, level, not level, level........|
|Lots of sizes and styles. This one is just right for us!|
|The Port of Garibaldi opens into Tillamook Bay.|
|This spot is packed on weekends.|
|I've admired these in several places, but never seen anywhere they're made and sold. The large ones are $800. Love the fish!|
|The bay sparkles under misty mountains.|
|Need some oyster shells? We have a few.|
|Finally catch this lone seal.|
|Not pretty, nor as famous as the Astoria Column, the Whitney Mill Chimney is visible from most of Garibaldi. Built in 1928, it is all that remains of the old mill.|
We head north, wanting to again see the area we explored in the rain. Guess what everybody else is doing on a hot Saturday in Oregon?
None of the beach parking is available so we just drive, catching wonderful views along the way. Our AC is on the whole day. Temps top out at 101 just south of Nehalem Bay!
|Amazing views from the hills above Manzanita.|
|Where everybody wants to be on a hot day.|
|At every beach parking lot the cars line Hwy 101 for a mile before and after.|
|Terrible Tilly, the famous lighthouse, to the north. See her in the upper right corner?|
|See? We'll go check her out when we're in Astoria.|
|Every bowl and quart of chowder is made separately with pre-chopped fresh ingredients. It's fascinating to watch them put it all together. (Photo from Google Images)|
|South of Wheeler where the Nehalem River enters Nehalem Bay.|
Cold wind greets us Sunday morning and the day never gets over 65. I thought California had fickle weather! But we aren't complaining about returning to our new normal :-))))
|A subtle sunset ends our one-day heat wave.|