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Posts Tagged ‘Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center’

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Cranberry Museum

  • After our visit to Oysterville, the trolley took us south to the Cranberry Museum at the Cranberry Research Center.  Confusingly, it is on Pioneer Road instead of Cranberry Road.  Allan still feels bad about the time he accidentally sent a tourist to Cranberry Road to find it.  The museum was closed for the day.  Somehow my friend who had done the trolley tour three weeks before had managed to score some cranberry ice cream at this stop, but we were not so lucky.  If you visit during summer hours, perhaps you can taste some.  We just pulled up by the museum for a moment to get a feel of the place.  We might have taken a self guided tour of the bogs had it not been an unusually freezing cold day.
photo courtesy Cranberry Museum

photo courtesy Cranberry Museum

In the bog (below), photographed from the trolley (which, although unheated, did protect us from the wind chill factor that made the day feel like 8 degrees), the research scientists are testing out an assortment of different cranberry cultivars.

a winter bog

a test bog

The self guided tour goes along the green paths.  Heather is planted next to the bogs to attract the very earliest bees, so necessary for pollenating the cranberry plants.

bog paths

bog paths

I’ve been in the Cranberry Museum before and blogged some years ago about the cranberry harvest, here.

World Kite Museum

Our next stop was The World Kite Museum on Sid Snyder Drive beach approach in Long Beach.  Even though Allan and I take care of a pocket garden by the front door, we rarely take time to go in to the museum.  This stop allowed enough time to explore two floors of displays of kites from around the world and even to make a little kite for ourselves!

photo courtesy World Kite Musem

photo courtesy World Kite Museum

I was relieved that our pocket garden, which we had not checked on since the beginning of staycation, looked okay.

kite garden with some bulbs coming up

kite garden with some bulbs coming up

inside the museum

inside the museum
World War II kite collection

World War II kite collection

The big windows set kite colours aglow.

The big windows set kite colours aglow.

From the west windows, we could see Back Country Horse Rides.  Three representatives of that company were on the tourism tour with us, along with the manager of Driftwood RV Park, the mayor and first lady of Long Beach, one of the workers from The Cottage Bakery (which the mayor and his wife own), a worker from Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company, Jayne Bailey of Bailey’s Café, a few people from Astoria, and more…  This led to exuberant cheering each time the trolley passed one of the businesses whose people were on the tour that day.

Back Country Horse Rides and, further west,  the Adrift Hotel

Back Country Horse Rides and, further west, the Adrift Hotel

more kites

more kites

horse

kites

I'm fond of the face kites.

I’m fond of the face kites.

Patty Rolfe, manager of the Kite Museum gift shop, led a brief workshop in making a small kite.

patty

making kites

making kites

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

The trolley took us south to our town, Ilwaco, and to the museum on our street, Lake Street.  I made sure that Olde Towne Café, my favourite business, got a cheer from the riders as we passed by it.  We arrived at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and trooped in for a guided tour from the museum docents.

Rosemary, Ellen, and museum director Betsy Millard ready to take us on tour

Rosemary, Ellen, and museum director Betsy Millard ready to take us on tour

our tour group

part of our tour group

We split into two groups; the one Allan and I joined first toured the Clamshell Railroad annex of the museum, passing the historic train car on the way.  You can read up on the railroad here.  If I could go back in time and do one thing, it would be to ride on that train.

historic train car

historic train car

In the annex building, the Peninsula Model Railroad Club has built a model of the Peninsula towns; for a quarter, you can make a little train run from Ilwaco to Oysterville (not to scale).  Some tour goers could not resist making train noises to go along with the experiences…sort of like Sheldon on Big Bang Theory.  Chugchugchugchug WOOOO WOOOO!

model of Ilwaco

model of Ilwaco

Black Lake, just north of Ilwaco

Black Lake, just north of Ilwaco

model train car inside the annex

train

oceanpark

The train made it all the way to Nahcotta without derailing.  Once Allan and I gave it a run and it derailed halfway up the track.  We quietly snuck into the other part of the museum (but did confess to someone there that the derailment had happened).

railway artifacts

railway artifacts

rrphotos

one of the beautiful seats from a railway car

one of the beautiful seats from a railway car

op

ilwacorr

Ilwaco train dock

Ilwaco train dock

We followed our tour guide into a back door of the museum; I did not even know that door existed.

into the easternmost room of the museum building

into the easternmost room of the museum building

lifeboat

lifejackets hang over an old lifeboat

lifejackets hang over an old lifeboat

crab pot

crab pot

a life ring for Allan

a life ring for Allan

Betsy Millard, museum director

Betsy Millard, museum director

a cool old boat

a cool old boat

The next room has a model of horses seine fishing on the Columbia River.  Here’s a fascinating video on the history of horse seining, a practice which ended in 1948.

horses

This part of the museum also has my favourite exhibit, a street of shops, each housing a different display of artifacts.

model street

model street

The next room has a Lewis and Clark display.  As the docents themselves said, it is nothing on the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, our next destination.

trolley tour folks in the Lewis and Clark room

trolley tour folks in the Lewis and Clark room

Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark

The final room, which is usually the first one I enter but we were going back to front, has nature displays and a basket collection and some history of the Chinook Indians.

baskets

nature

We exited by the charming little gift shop.

gift shop

gift shop

back aboard the trolley!

back aboard the trolley!

For those who might wonder, the trim on the outside of the trolley and the interior woodwork is all oak.

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

The trolley took us up the loop road to the hills of Cape Disappointment, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.  This glorious park is just a mile or so from where we live.

view from the trolley, looking south over the river marshes

view from the trolley, looking south over the river marshes at low tide

on a bluff overlooking the ocean, the museum

on a bluff overlooking the ocean, the museum

Despite the chill east wind (straight out of the Columbia Gorge) whipping fiercely up here, some of us went to the railing to enjoy the view.

the north jetty

the north jetty

interpretive sign about cormorants

interpretive sign about cormorants

cormorants

cormorants

west side of the interpretive center

west side of the interpretive center

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Just for fun, here’s a view from the Cape D lighthouse looking back, taken last spring.

view from the base of the lighthouse

view from the base of the lighthouse

Inside the interpretive center, one goes down a long ramp lined with Lewis and Clark information, with switchbacks and small plateaus with larger displays.

inside

down we go...

down we go…

A history buff could spend hours here.  I have a small confession:  I am not one for reading all the history a museum has to offer (unless its about the Clamshell Railroad, of which I never tire).  Allan, however, is someone who would read every word.

ramps

museum

Jane of Bailey's Café

Jane of Bailey’s Café

This is a captivating display.

This is a captivating display.

as is this

as is this

and this

and this

There is one spot on the downward ramp where a turn takes you to a flight of stairs that leads up into the light of the view room that is the breathtaking heart of the museum.

entering a room of light

entering a room of light

windows

from the center to the lighthouse

from the center to the lighthouse (south)

why we have two lighthouses

why we have two lighthouses

view to the jetty (north)

view to the jetty (north)

A park ranger was there to answer any questions.  I learned something new:  The entire North Jetty was originally free standing and over decades has filled in on the north side with sand, grass and trees so that only the westernmost end of it juts out into the ocean.

park ranger

park ranger

part of a lighthouse beacon in display

part of a lighthouse beacon in display

boat signs

a display about shipwrecks

I almost did not look up to see the collection of glass floats

I almost did not look up to see the collection of glass floats

Amazingly it was not quite three o clock when the trolley took us back north to the Long Beach train depot building where our vehicles were parked.  I never would have thought one could make it from Long Beach to Oysterville and back to Long Beach and Ilwaco and see so much in less than six hours.  Come be a tourist here, where the locals care enough to train in the art of hospitality.  There are two more of these trolley tours being offered, on March 6th and March 25th.  If any of you locals are interested, call Sue at Our Place at the Beach Hotel to save your spot.

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