My Little Corner of the World
Jan. 20, 2010 12:20 pm
Updated: Jan. 27, 2010 5:37 am
I live in a little corner of Southwest Washington state called Longview. Actually, it's one of the 20 largest cities in Washington, although it's hard for me to think of it as a city, it's still called going into town here. And if you drive through Longview and cross the sign, you're in Kelso. So it's like one big town, but it's actually two different ones. Kelso is the county seat for Cowlitz County, but Longview is bigger. Lately there has been talk about joining the 2 towns, but it's always voted down. We are a community of loggers and mill workers. My family goes way back as far as logging goes, from Forks to Toutle, we've been there and done that! We came to the area in 1983 after Mt. St. Helens erupted because the rush was on to salvage all the downed timber. In places, it looked like dominoes in a pattern that have toppled over, all these huge trees all laying the same way. It was the path of least resistance right down the Toutle River Valley. There were areas where this old growth timber, and we're talking trees that were 10-12 feet across, not around, and larger, looked like God had picked up a handful of pixie sticks and dropped them in tangled piles 30 to 40 feet high. My husband also came down to this area right afterwards and worked for a logging company in the salvage rush. I cannot attest to what the Toutle River Valley looked like before the eruption, I've only seen pictures, but I can tell you what it looked like 3 years afterward. It's all growing back up again, and, as it always has whenever there has been an eruption through the ages, in another 75-100 years, it will look pristine again, but it will never look as it did before. Spirit Lake used to be huge, but so much of it got covered in mudflow and ash and debris, it's just a tiny fraction of what it was. Throughout the years since the eruption, from time to time, the Mountain, as we call it here, will spit some steam up and once in awhile, we'll get a little earthquake.
The Columbia River is across the road from me here where I live. You can watch it rise and fall with the Pacific Ocean tides. Some super fabulous sturgeon fishing holes are up and down the Columbia. Sturgeon fishing is NOT for the impatient person! The Cowlitz River empties into the Columbia, and the Toutle River empties into the Cowlitz. So all the riverbanks around here are volcanic ash.But, out of all these places by me, I have to say one of my favorites is the Abernathy Creek area. You go out of Longview west about 15 miles and you turn off the highway into a virtual cave of moss. This winding little road meanders up probably 10 miles or so and used to turn into a logging road, then several years back, they dug out the end of the road and left it impassible due to logging that was going to be done in the area. Then the end of the road slid out so we lost probably another 1/2 mile of it. People versus Nature, hmmm...I've seen this creek just a trickle and I've seen it jump the road! But it's true wilderness up there and if you didn't know something about direction or whatnot, it would be pretty easy to get lost up there on the tangle of logging roads that intertwine.
This is where my husband and I go when we need to unwind, not to mention that the dogs love to run up there! We went for a drive this morning just as the sun was coming up and the drive was absolutely beautiful and I just wanted to share my little corner of the world!
Mills in Longview
hunting trip...one of the small lakes up in the Abernathy area..this was about 11 years ago, I think
Abernathy Creek Rd. in Cowlitz County, Washington
Waterfall on Abernathy Creek Rd.-these little ones dry up in the summer
Road Slide at the end of Abernathy Creek Rd.
Gnarly Old Fir Tree
An Old Car Wreck (Decades Ago)..can't remember if that's the bumper or the guardrail!
the Husband Walking the Slide with blurry running dogs