All on a Sunny Afternoon

All on a Sunny Afternoon in April

Isn’t there a saying ‘one never knows what they will find, when they are not looking?’ This saying came to fruition for Lloyd and I, a couple of days ago. We left the house. Sun shining. In search of the old Sitka Spruce forest that until last year, or roughly, boasted the largest Sitka Spruce in the world (lightening killed the tree and likely the park). We thought the trails would still be there so it might be a cool place to check out. The joke was on us.  We drove until we realized we had no idea where this park was. We couldn’t even agree which highway it was on, even though both of us had driven by the sign for years.

Camp 18 Restaurant, Elsie, Oregon

We gave up and when we did, we found a very eclectic restaurant called Camp 18, sited off Highway 26 going west toward the Pacific Coast. Basically, at first glimpse, it serves as a dumping ground for all things having to do with logging (still going with the junk); so basically everything non environmental (or harmful to it) which I hate (right up there with hunting). The logging museum is located in an area of forest not disturbed by logging, befitting those dedicated to Oregon’s forests and the machinery once required for logging. Loggers always blamed the boom on population growth in the area. Whatever the case, the unused machinery found a new home now enshrined here at Camp 18.

The water tower sign of Camp 18 always reminded me of that TV show back in the 1960s, Petticoat Junction where the start of the show the ladies were all swimming in the water tower, when we passed this place going to the beach.

Saw carved statues of a cougar above and an eagle below.

The outdoor museum occupies the area outside the restaurant. An indoor museum is also sited on the property, to the east of the restaurant, which provides a plethora of information about those who worked in the logging business during its peak, to those who continue to serve in some capacity of the logging world today. We didn’t enter the indoor part as their was a fee, but found enough to occupy us at this incredible logging shrine good for any afternoon of photos.  Added bonus, the parking lot near the indoor museum sat about 20 shiny Corvettes. It was like a car show moved into the museum. The occupants were inside the restaurant; we took the opportunity to take some photos of their cars. It was unfortunate the pollen counts were up and visible on many of the cars as were bugs. Nice visual.

I never thought of yellow as being sexy in a car, that was of course until I saw about four yellow ‘vettes’.

This eagle was painted on the inside of the guys cool red ‘vette’. I wasn’t a fan of the eagle. Sorry. His car was nice. It looked like a fest for those who were in need of making up for ones short comings, and many. Sad.

I never thought I would like a yellow car. This ‘vette’ pulled it off.

Being a convertible helped.

‘White 68 Chevy Corvette Stingray’. This car was sweet. A convertible as well, and probably my favorite. It wasn’t as ostentatious as the reds, yellows, or blues. It just was.

Lloyd and I are not into cars, but it always seems the car shows find us in many places we travel. There seems to be a draw for this hobby. I have to agree these cars were nice. What a wonderful day for heading to the beach with the top down. It was in the low 80s for us, the coast would have been beautiful and likely in the low 70s to high 60s and sunny. Perfect for a small car show of Corvette enthusiasts. There is something to be said about a nice Corvette. While the beach was about another 30 to 40 minutes west, the way they drove off, they likely killed it in a short 20-25 minutes. If I had the money, I would upgrade the Beemer to a nice 6-series convertible. One can dream. But if I had the money one nice car is perfect, I would spend the money traveling and taking photographs.

Back at the outdoor museum I chose my subjects carefully. There were so many interesting pieces of junk, it was difficult to decide. I chose images that I could develop in black and white. This first building was likely a, former logging residence.  The image depicts the front of the old homestead that one or two loggers shared. Hard to believe that more than one man let alone two or four likely, lived in such diminutive dwellings during the logging boom. I would get very claustrophobic. I guess when your sole purpose was work, one didn’t require much else except a roof over ones head and a bed to crash in. The building screamed black and white.

The workers could open the window as seen by the hinges that clasp the window closed.  No doubt, the ghosts would not remain speechless as this place was a great haunt.

Looking from the bottom image, the shanty appeared as if it was about to fall backward. If it did, it would find itself in a creek that flows along the fringe of the property.

From this angle, the building looks as though the young trees are holding the building in place so it doesn’t slip into the stream. Yikes!

The roof looks as though it received an upgrade, while the remainder of the place definitely had seen better days.

A wee bit on the drafty side. That is what they used to call air-conditioning.

In Oregon, logging once was the prime source of income for many people, until the environmentalist and scientist realized  logging was actually depleting Oregon of one of their most pristine natural resources, that and an owl – the spotted owl habitat. And with the discovery of this species decline, was the beginning of the end for the logging industry. Not to say I was disappointed, but it effected everyone. Remember, the economy thrived on lumber. Then to suddenly be told one must stop because of an owl. You can only imagine how well that went over.

In addition to the old wooden structures, the museum boasts rusty equipment. I am not sure what year the equipment was last used, but I would guess around the early 1900s when logging was one of the prime economic staples of Oregon.

You can see why we stopped there is so many great visuals here. My brain was in camera overdrive soon to be in an over load stupor. The lower photo is a piece of old Sitka spruce that was decaying and filled with mold, lichens, and critters.

In addition to the open air museum and the restaurant, a trail parallels the stream. Lloyd, Deloris (my chair) and me, wobbled down to the trail until Deloris would no longer budge.  We were forced to turn around or risk me being captured by the mud. I opted to turn around, although it was a reluctant decision on my part.  Unfortunately there were too many roots and a bit too much mud for the old girl to traverse and we had to turn back. It took me back to the day when I would ride the hell out of a trail like that on my bike. Jumping over the obstacles in lieu of being forced to trudge over them. Fortunately we saw a few interesting finds along the way.

Snake! Jackpot! We stopped and watched the snake, as it froze. It was about 2 feet long. Nice size. Great orange colors to it. It blended in to the debris so well if it hadn’t moved we would have driven over it. Yuk!

The trail was peaceful. We saw people walk down the trail. We were uncertain how long the trail was or where it went.

Pink Azalea.”

“Violet and Friend’

Lily and Friends

Moth Consuming Violet

Crops from the Road

Flowing Green’ A little shot out the window as Lloyd was driving us home.

Sundown”  With this, I hope you enjoyed our unexpected journey in search of the largest Sitka spruce in the world instead finding Camp 18 a logging graveyard, and a trail with unexpected surprises, to the farm fields on our way home. Until next time.




2 thoughts on “All on a Sunny Afternoon

  1. Wow, so much good stuff here. Where to start? Well, start and end with the wheels: good images and good metaphores. I to have been to that odd place. Classic Oregon, in my mind.

  2. Thanks! I have passed by it so many times and wondered what in the world was there. Now I, along with hundreds of other readers, that classic Oregon is on Highway 26 to the coast. It was really strange to see such an eclectic arrangement of items. It was if the endorphins went one way and my brain went another; I had to catch up and merge the images I was seeing.

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