31 March 2006

Flat Stanley Tours Oregon

Stanley in Oregon
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
For the past month, Flat Stanley has been touring Oregon before returning home to Linden Park Elementary School in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

He’s had many adventures that have taken him near and far. First, he traveled south, almost to the border with California. Here he stopped for a picnic near the Upper Klamath Lake. The lake is almost 30 miles long and 8 miles wide. It’s a popular place to go boating. It sure was windy that day!

Shortly after that, Stanley discovered a covered bridge in Westfir. It might seem silly now to put a roof on a bridge, but it protected the wooden beams from all the Oregon rain! This one even had a special walkway so Stanley didn’t have to worry about the traffic.

In between trips, Stanley has been hanging out in Salem with Aunt Kait. Salem is the capital city of Oregon. Oregon became a state in 1859. Over 142,000 people live here. He wanted to stay longer, but Stanley will have new places to discover soon!

*This entry is for my 8 year-old niece, Olivia. If you’re not familiar with children’s literature, Flat Stanley is a book written by Jeff Brown in 1964. He’s a perfectly normal boy, until one morning when he wakes up flat. He discovers that his new compressed state allows him freedoms he never had before, such as touring the country by mail!

17 March 2006

Welcome to Westfir

bridge interior
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
Tucked behind the hills of Highway 58 near Oakridge sits the tiny town of Westfir (population 276). Once a logging camp, the prominent feature of Westfir is the Office Covered Bridge. The bridge was built to connect a lumber mill on one side of the river with the company office, which sat on the other.

At 180 feet in length, the bridge is the longest covered bridge to remain in Oregon. One unique feature is the separate pedestrian walkway which flanks the still drivable vehicle roadway.

The town of Westifr, along with the accompanying logging company and bridge, were sold in 1977 to an investment company. Today, with the mill gone and the local economy struggling, the Westfir area is trying to capitalize on their beautiful location to promote outdoor recreation such as mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, and camping.