07 July, 2010

Tax Dollars

We stopped along the Wilson River and there was this new(ish) building called the Tillamook Forest Center.
I don't know how far along Hwy. 6 this is because I was trying to nap during the drive to Rockaway Beach.
However, the driver had other plans, such as checking the levels along the Wilson River and looking for that possibly fantastic fishing spot. In reality, it felt like hurtling off the road to a sudden stop on the gravel verge. After about the third hurtling effect, I kinda knew there would be no nap for me.

After about four hurtling moments, we came upon this wayside with a lookout tower and a suspension bridge.

Of course, the lookout tower is not located anywhere near a hilltop and the most you can see is the nearby highway and the museum. But it was interesting with photos and diaries of lookout veterans. The fire locator was very cool. You look through the wire viewfinder to see where the smoke is going up and line up the second viewfinder at the base of the fire to accurately pinpoint how many miles away and at what longitude and latitude. This was relayed via shortwave radio. My mom went to college with a gal who used to be a lookout. Women during WWII took over lookout duties as the men went off to war. Women were steadier, more accurate pinpointing fire locations and did not fall down drunk as often.
My mom also reminisced about the Tillamook Burn. As a young girl, she remembers the plumes of smoke, visible in downtown Portland.

The suspension bridge was okay. Way too sturdy for me. There was a very cool designed gate to lock it up at night.

Interactive displays.

Donkey. For Logging.

Great pit stop.
However, the stop looks like that Giant Sitka Spruce along Hwy. 26 which I saw for the very first time about two years before it blew down

It was the largest Sitka Spruce remaining after the great logging blitz of the last century.  I have lived in Oregon all my life and stopped just once at the Sitka Spruce.
Since the lookout is not located on a hill, I'm thinking another stop won't happen anytime soon.

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