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Archive for the ‘history’ Category

ghost towns of oregon

Viewed a lot of faded, listing old buildings that would be condemned if they weren’t in a historic guidebook. Seriously. Who did they blow? This excursion required a lot of steering around in the heat looking for unmarked abandoned buildings and nonexistent cemetery headstones. Always a nervous driver and/or passenger, Ralph exclaimed “uh oh!”, “watch out!” and “godammit!” for 14 hours until my nerves were shot. We fought from Wasco to Fossil to Shaniko.

The jewel in the crown was supposedly Hardman, which we drove three hours out of our way to see and was revealed to be an unmitigated dump that the guidebook called “one of the most scenic and charming” places to visit in the Northwest.

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fort stevens

The state park in Hammond Oregon is near yet another old coastal fort, built to protect the entrance to the Columbia River (sister to the fort on the Washington side at Cape Disappointment). It was bright and clear when we explored Fort Stevens, the little military museum, and rusted shipwreck on the beach. Ripley tirelessly chased seagulls up and down the sand. We vowed to go back next year, and bring our bicycles.

Ralph made a seductive picture starting a fire at the campsite, brandishing a ball peen hammer and using a screwdriver as an awl (“Look at me honey, I’m f’ing Abraham m-f’ing Lincoln!”), cigarillo dangling from his lower lip, bourbon in a plastic cup.

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what dads like

I heard a Fred Meyer ad on the radio, suggesting gift ideas prior to Father’s Day. “What do dads like?” began the announcer, implying that the listener should start a checklist. “Playing sports, and especially watching sports. And watching historical epics.” (Master and Commander or something was just out on video.)

Given. But, why do men love history? And women can take it or leave it (in my case, absolutely leave it)? Yes, of course, some women enjoy history, but even the blog for the American Association of University Women acknowledges this stereotype in a post that fumes about the gender bias of bookstores that sort the history magazines in the “men’s interest” section.

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Spent the afternoon walking in the footsteps of the Great Armistice Day Wobbly Massacre or something like that. This is what passes for fun when you date a Master of History. Actually, enjoyed looking for an old hotel front—from which the “famous” first shot was taken that fateful day in 1919—and chatting up the geezers in the American Legion Hall where there is more flag decor displayed than Fourth of July week at Fred Meyer. Later, ate burgers at the historic Olympic Club and got some new Nikes at the outlet mall. Really roughing it this weekend.

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long beach peninsula

Operative word: WET. We were lucky to secure a site at the Cape Disappointment state park, formerly Fort Canby state park. We stayed snug in the DWR, looking out the wide windows at the cold wind and slashing rain that suited the landscape; weather that certainly contributed to the name “Cape Disappointment”.

We ventured into the tempest to visit nearby forts (there isn’t a fort that Ralph doesn’t love), the Lewis and Clark interpretive center built on top of part of Fort Canby, the giant oyster shellbeds in Wilapa Bay, and the Cranberry Museum; the kind of infinitely informative and satisfying activities you never make time to enjoy unless you’re camping.

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