This post dates back into August, but I still wanted to share.
On August 29th, on one of our trips to Portland to check out off-road boots, we decided to take the long way home via Tillamook. The reason for the longer route was to stop at the Tillamook Forest Center to see if they had a particular map available.
|(Tillamook Forest Center is B on the map above)|
On a previous trip to check out the many off-highway vehicle (OHV) areas along Highway 6 we noticed the staging areas all had a specific all encompassing trail map on display. We determined the best place to acquire a copy of the map would be the forestry center. By the time we passed the forestry center on the earlier trip it was closed, so this time we made a point of leaving the Portland area earlier.
Entry is free, but a donation is recommended. We both gave them a donation. Every bit helps keep the doors open.
We managed to arrive by 4 pm, one hour before closing. Just one hour - not enough time.
The center was larger than we anticipated. Not only was there 40-foot tall replica of a fire lookout on display, the center also had a 250-foot long suspension bridge out back. Inside the center was a gift shop, small theater, and several displays showing old logging equipment and things you'd find in the forest.
The first thing we did was watch Legacy of Fire - a 15-minute film on the history of the area and the famous Tillamook Burn. This is where we learned of the six-year jinx. To watch the film click this LINK. Another resource is the Welcome Guide, which you can view by clicking this LINK.
Some highlights of the Welcome Guide include:
"On August 14, 1933 one spark changed the landscape forever. The day dawned hot and dry in a forest ripe for fire. A logging company working in Gales Creek canyon planned to shut down early due to the extreme fire danger. As loggers dragged in the last log it was pulled on top of another creating enough friction to ignite a fire."
" The Tillamook Fire burned a total of 240,000 acres including the day it "blew up" destroying 200,000 acres of forest in 24-hours."
" Additional fires scorched the area in 1939, 1945, and 1951 creating the Tillamook Burn and the legend of the six-year jinx."
" In the end, the series of four wildfires burned 355,000 acres of forest land."
"The Oregon Department of Forestry began a huge reforestation project in 1949 which resulted in the hand planting of 79 million tree seedlings."
In the film we also learned that this was the first time ever an agency attempted reforestation by dropping seeds from airplanes.
Watching the Legend of Fire gave us a new appreciation of the area and what people endured to ensure we have the gorgeous forests of today.
We wandered through the center and out onto the bridge.
|(Suspension bridge viewed from Forestry Center)|
|(Looking back at the Forestry Center and the top of the lookout tower)|
|(Looking East while on the bridge)|
|(Looking West while on the bridge - water levels are low)|
We walked back inside and took a peek at the displays. No time to dawdle because it was getting close to closing. We wandered though the gift shop and found the map we were looking for.
We exited the building and climbed the lookout tower.
|(A large donation will get your name on a green tree on the wall)|
|(Troubadour inside the tower)|
|(A look down at the forest center entrance)|
|(Ready to go down the stairs)|
|(Some interesting patterns on the way down)|
It was 5 pm and so we had to go. They were closing the big gates out front. We headed west into Tillamook where we stopped at Fred Meyer for snacks. In the parking lot was this gem and Troubadour was in love. The Chevy Vega was produced for the 1971 to 1977 model years and I believe Troubadour might have owned one in high school.
|(Chevy Vega Kammback)|
|(Chevy Vega Kammback)|
Now we know why he likes the Subaru wagon so much.
- Au Revoir
" All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind." - Martin H Fischer