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The Focus

On Wahkiakum Section B--A Special Edition Published by The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018  --  Cathlamet, Washington  --  © The Wahkiakum County Eagle

Inside Giants in the Trees Local musicians gain national and international attention......................................2 Our historic Westend Western Wahkiakum and southeastern Pacific counties have have varied historic and outdoor sights to see ...........................6 See what we saw Local photographers went to work at the start of May; see their entries in this year’s “Day in the Life of Wahkiakum County and Naselle” photo contest........................12 Calendar events What’s happening around here, when, and where, starting this Friday with the Farmers Market opening at the Elochoman Slough Marina ..............................................14 On the river What’s life like working on the county ferry? Crew members have seen a lot over the years ...........................................16

Frans Eykel’s photo Osprey and Nest tied for third in the Sixth Annual A Day in the Life contest. See more photo contest entries starting at Page 12.

B 2 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

Focus on Wahkiakum 2018 The Wahkiakum County Eagle again presents The Focus on Wahkiakum, our 10th “visitors’ guide” special edition. As a visitors’ guide, The Focus presents the information visitors to the community need--what to see, where to go, when to be there, and what services are available. However, The Focus is more than that. This year, feature stories delve into the lives of local musicians and members of the county ferry’s crew. The “A Day in the Life of Wahkiakum and Naselle” photo contest is back in its sixth year with many wonderful entries. Local photographers have shared what they saw on May 5, and some won some prizes. Be sure to pack your camera around on the first Saturday in May, 2019, so you can be part of the effort. And now: Enjoy!

Rick Nelson Publisher

Giants In The Trees Jam sessions after Grange meetings leads musicians to form band that gains widespread following By Diana Zimmerman Giants in the Trees, a band formed in Wahkiakum County, has been getting some attention nationally and internationally, largely thanks to their bassist, Krist Novoselic. Novoselic, along with the late Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl, were Nirvana, a band that has sold 25 million records in the U.S. and 75 million records worldwide, according to Wikipedia. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. His musical pedigree may propel Giants in the Trees into the public’s consciousness, but it will be the band’s combined talent that will keep them there. The band is made up of Novoselic, Erik Friend, Ray Prestegard, and Jillian Raye, all residents of Wahkiakum County. As the story goes, it all started when Novoselic sent out an open invitation to come and jam at the Grange. “Four of us showed up,” Prestegard said. “There were probably a few people in the surrounding area that if they’d showed up would probably be in this band.”


omething clicked. The four began writing songs that same day. “We were meant to be there,” Raye said. “I got called an hour before. I remember thinking I wasn’t going to go. Something inside me said, ‘You’d better go.’ I showed up in my sweatpants and rain gear. I didn’t have a microphone. I just had my banjo and my amp.” Their video for a song called Sasquatch has been viewed nearly 170,000 times on youtube.com. They’ve gotten press in Rolling Stone and Spin magazine and been featured on a Seattle art television show. The band practices three days a week and though they are taking a short break, having been playing gigs all around the northwest. They’ve expanded membership a bit, adding Jennifer Johnson and Kyli Prestegard to sing backup harmonies. Johnson has a long career in local music with the Willapa Hills band; Prestegard, a second cousin of Ray Prestegard, is a 16-year-old home school student getting started in music. “I feel like we’re a smudge stick,” Prestegard said of their shows. “We don’t need these places we’re playing at, they need us. We come in and just blow the energy out. We’re explosive. We just get up there and look at each other and give each other a smile and the first chord is wham-o.” Here’s a look at the original members of the band.

Erik Friend, precussion

In 2011, the drummer for Giants in the Trees, Erik Friend,

started clearing his new property near Cathlamet. The Seattle transplant had found it on Craigslist. “It was probably the best price per acre of any land in the state at the time,” Friend said. “I had limited myself to a radius around Seattle, but I realized it didn’t matter where I went. I decided it’s gotta be this.” “This” is about 10 acres on a largely vertical spot near Cathlamet. The former owner gave him the deed and a chainsaw and said, “you’re going to need it!” “I came out here on a winter day,” Friend said. “It was snowing. I walked up here and hiked out across the creek. The wind was howling. I startled a deer and it ran off. I thought, ‘Boy, this is wild. I’m going to live here.’”


riend cleared a spot and and began building. There are a couple structures in use now and more are planned. “I always wanted to live in a treehouse,” he said. “I was seduced by pictures of cabins.” The cabin was the plan, but in the interim, it was a little more primitive. “It was an absolutely massive teepee,” Friend said of his first structure. “It was the first bad idea, to spend $1,200 on that teepee. It was 27 feet tall and 18 feet around. I cut down trees and made poles and built this big round deck.” Up went the teepee. He brought in a bed and his things. “What I couldn’t keep out were the mice and the rain,” Friend laughed. “I think it was June, so it wasn’t that bad.”


ortunately, he met someone in the Westend who needed a house sitter for the summer. “I stayed out there with my girlfriend at the time,” Friend said. “Just had the best Wahkiakum summer on a farm. Eating berries, working in the shop, and coming back and forth between here and there and building this cabin.” Once the cabin was ready, Friend said, he moved in and the girlfriend moved on.


utside, you can hear traffic on SR 4, but after awhile, it begins to sound a bit like the wind and the waves on the river. “For being right next to the highway,” Friend said, “there is something about the altitude that makes it seem private.” He planted an orchard six or seven years ago. There are plums and peaches, apples and pears. And almonds. They are the first to put out some fruit. “The almond tree put out like three dozen almonds last year,” Friend said, “It was really exciting. They look like little peaches. They split open to what looks like a peach pit and

The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018


there is an almond inside.”


olar panels and a hydroelectric turbine provide all the energy Friend and his family need. They are officially off the grid. And yes, that’s right. Family. “You don’t think you’re going to go to the middle of nowhere and find everything,” Friend said. “All I had to do was get away from the city, and then everything started to fall into place on its own.”


egan Blackburn was a rock climber from the east coast recuperating in Seattle from a fall while climbing and looking for something to do. Friend had been looking for a volunteer to work on his land and had posted an ad on the Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms website. It wasn’t intended to turn An early appearance for Giants in the Trees--August,2016, at the into love and two young children, Birdie and Everwild, but Wahkiakum County Fair. L-r, Ray Prestegard, Jillian Raye, Erik Friend and Krist Novoselic. Eagle file photo. it did. “We’ve got roots in the ground here,” Friend said. “I’m busy,” Friend said.


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Community Outreach:

Possible assistance with: Costs associated with moving within the county, Rental Assistance, PUD Assistance Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities SW WA assistance available For more info call: 360-795-8630

Since 1992 I have been cleaning up recyclables from farms, businesses, private homes and estates. I have all the licenses and permits to do so legally. New county ordinance? No problem! Cars, Trucks, Buses, Trains, Planes, Farm Equipment or Grandpa's Scrap Pile. I have the equipment to make it go away. Buildings removed in some cases.

No Job Too Large I will clean it up

360-795-8880 Ben Elkinton

588 Elochoman Valley Road Cathlamet, WA 98612

Half century knowledge of Wahkiakum County properties 140 Third St., Cathlamet, WA Phone (360) 795-3636

David Nelson (360) 430-0676

Debi Trull (360) 270-3185 Falon Hoven (360) 430-8840

Sandy Wirkkala (360) 957-5610

B 4 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018 “I’ve got family and my work. It’s taxing physically and mentally, there’s so much to do but it’s never dull. It’s purposeful living.”


riend has a hand in many things, but one of the ways he brings in an income is helping people in the community with their computers. “It’s like my handyman trade,” he said. “I help people with their various printer and internet connectivity problems. I de-virus their computers and back up their photos, or connect their barns and outbuildings to the internet.”


eally, there isn’t much that he can’t do. And if he doesn’t know how, he learns. He has been in more than one band since he moved here. When he joined Skamokawa Swamp Opera, Andrew Emlen handed him a mandolin and told him to learn how to play it. No big deal. Along with the drums, he sings and plays the piano, keyboard, synthesizers, and guitar. He’s also learning to play the hurdy-gurdy.

Friend had been attending

Jillian Raye, vocals and strings Jillian Raye, the lead vocalist for Giants in the Trees, moved to Wahkiakum County to be closer to family, for what may have been intended as a transitional stop. It may have turned out to be a better fit than she could have ever dreamed. Raye was born and raised in California. She earned a degree in business, but after some experience in the field, she realized she wasn’t living life according to her values. So she took a job at the Boys and Girls Club, working with kids as a program coordinator. It wasn’t long before Raye began designing a program of her own, incorporating a great love in her life, music.


hen she came to Wahkiakum County, that passion for music and youth had not subsided and she started a similar music program at Wahkiakum School District. “I did the Rock and Roll Congress when I first came here,” Raye said. “It wasn’t just about music, but about feeling accepted, having a place to fit. It was okay to be a rocker. It was okay to not fit in with everyone. I feel like that program had an impact on kids. It’s a small school, there aren’t very many different kinds of role models. I was an outsider and some students could relate to that feeling.” Lacking resources, volunteers, funding, and eventually a location, the program ended. “It wasn’t coming together and for a reason,” Raye said. “I was expending so much energy on others and forgetting the most important person to nurture, myself. I can’t help other

grange meetings in Skamokawa, mostly for the jam sessions that followed. When Krist Novoselic put out a call one day, Friend planned to go, but he remembers having to drag Jillian Raye, kicking and screaming. She doesn’t remember it that way, but they all have different origin stories. “We got up on stage and set up our stuff,” Friend said. “I brought my drum kit which had been in storage forever. I had dabbled and I was excited to play it loud because I wasn’t in my apartment anymore.” Friend is excited to play Sasquatch at the end of this month. It is a music festival that he used to attend reguCorey Blankenship, D.D.S. larly. It’s hard to believe he’ll 280 2nd Street be in a band performing on a Cathlamet, WA 98612 stage this year. He’s a modest man and 360.795.3235 he is ever learning as he www.cathlametdental.com goes. He’s bound to take it in Adult Clear Braces stride.

people genuinely without nurturing that person.”


aye did what she needed to do: she began to focus on her own music and to develop her own voice. Though she never mastered the art of reading music, Raye has been playing music all her life. Some of her fondest memories are centered around visits with her father, when they would pull out the Beatles chord books or Neil Young chord books and sing together. You will frequently find some

“It just makes this music that is totally different. We get to fool our audiences and confuse them. We might put Novoselic on the country charts. We’ve got a couple country songs that are coming out now. I mean straight up old time.” --Ray Prestegard variation of guitar in her hand, sometimes disguised as a banjo, she admitted with laugh. She also plays keyboards, and has spent a little time with a ukulele. “I like doing the chords,” Raye said. “They are easier to read. I get the gratification of playing songs right away. I’m not doing intricate notes, but I have my bandmates to complement me on that.”


aye couldn’t know that in just a few years, she would see her name in Rolling Stone or Spin, or be performing in front of large crowds at well


aye is a self described seed planter. There is the literal sense: “I’m a healthy food advocate,” Raye said. “I grow herbs like rosemary, thyme, lemon balm, and comfrey. I love gathering herbs from other places and transplanting them to see if I can make them grow. My dream is to have the huge glass greenhouse where you have every type of plant.” She likes to “fiddle faddle” in her small garden, but she also works in a friend’s much larger plot for the growing season. On any given day, you can find her there, weeding, naming the ravens, and giving in to that ever present urge to nurture. “I’m a big tea lady. Jillian’s house of tea,” she laughed. “I make tea blends. That’s the biggest thing I do with the herbs. Nettles are sprouting right now and they are a big one for allergies and it’s really good for you.”


nother joy is walking around the woods, foraging for meals. “It’s this idea of fierce independence,” Raye said. “I went out and gathered my own food and made it. I didn’t have to go to the grocery store, it’s all natural, no organic label, it just is.” There are principles, she explained. You never take too much

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known music festivals. “As a musician and a dreamer, you wonder how it’s going to happen?” Raye said. “How am I going to get my foot in the door? That may be true with any job, an artist, a writer, or a doctor. Then you just do it and then one day you end up at the Skamokawa Grange playing with Krist Novoselic, Ray Prestegard, and Erik Friend.”

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The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018 from one patch, or harvest from a roadside. There is so much to learn about the art, one day she hopes to take a class.


he first time Prestegard played in a rock ’n’ roll band, he nd then there is the metaphorical: was 13 years old and living on She’s planting seeds with her music, inspired by the natuOkinawa. His fellow bandmates ral world she is immersed in and the people and circumstances were all boys themselves, if five in her life. years older, and on rest and “On my creative days I’ve got a universe of my own. I feel recuperation from the war in connected and I’m doing a lot of writing,” Raye said of songVietnam. writing. “You have little impulses and you have to give in to A young Prestegard spent them. I try to put it out there. The only way a song is ‘success- many nights playing in after ful’ is if it is received by everybody who is listening to it. I get hour clubs with those young GIs excited when people get it or have something to say about it.” in Koza, now Okinawa City. “We all have to do our part to contribute to our existence, to He’s been playing ever since. make it better,” she added. “I could write a happy song but if “I’ve done it all my life,” no one hears it, the happiness can’t be spread.” Prestegard said. “That’s my only magic. I wear it on my sleeve. just seems to come from my Ray Prestegard, strings, harp, keyboard It heart.” Ray Prestegard’s bandmates may be more recent transplants to Wahkiakum County, but his family has been here for f it has strings, Prestegard generations. probably plays it. He has a three “I spent a few years here as a child,” Prestegard said. “Alstring hand made instrument, ways came back. It’s a wonderful place to come back to. When a four string hand made instruI was a kid, every house I could see belonged to a relative. We ment, a five string banjo, and had total freedom. We played in the fields, we played in the more acoustical and electric guiwoods. We built forts, we fought with the neighbors. They built tars, he admits, than he should. their forts. We would tear down their forts, they’d tear down That makes him a perfect fit our forts. for Giants in the Trees, a band “I would grab a worm and a fishing pole,” he said, “and I that constantly changes out their couldn’t have been seven years old. I’d come down here to the instruments during a set. But it Columbia River and go fishing and catch a fish so big it would isn’t just an abundance of instruscare me and I would cut the line. I couldn’t pull them up, they were bigger than I was.”




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B 6 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

Giants in the Trees Cover photo from their initial album, “Sasquatch.� L-r, Krist Novoselic, Jillian Raye, Ray Prestegard and Erik Friend. Photo courtesy of Giants in the Trees.

ments that make this band what it is, it’s a coming together of four people who have little crossover in the music they like to listen to themselves. “It just makes this music that is totally different,� Prestegard said. “We get to fool our audiences and confuse them. We might put Novoselic on the country charts. We’ve got a couple country songs that are coming out now. I mean straight up old time. We’re starting to do them in our shows now.�

Prestegard was coming home from a gig in Long Beach in

the middle of the night the first time he met Krist Novoselic. Prestegard rounded the corner by the old Rosburg Store to find Novoselic by himself, putting up a Grange farmer’s market poster. “I had just seen the MTV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awards show where he did the Nirvana songs,� Prestegard said. “It blew me away. I’d never heard a bass player like that.� Prestegard pulled over and introduced himself, despite the late hour, moved by the performance he had recently seen. “There are a million bassists out there that really want to be guitar players,� Prestegard said. “A lot of bass players want to be the best lead guitar player there is, but they were never able to make the shift. There are a few bass players out there

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The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

that love playing bass. “I told him that it was a great show, that he was phenomenal,” he added. “Krist looked down at the ground and said in his humble fashion, ‘Ah gee. Thanks. That was a really long day.’”


ot long after he got an invitation from Novoselic to get together and play. “We are like two peas in a pod,” he said. “There is so much room in our playing. ‘No music’ is just as important as the music. Space in the songs, coming down to nothing and coming back up. It gives the other musicians room and it’s like a conversation. Krist and I are like a good conversation. Musically, he listens to me and I listen to him. “That’s what makes Giants in the Trees music really concise and not just a hodgepodge. Everybody has their place. It really works. These people are like that, that’s why we’re drawn to each other.”


restegard has built a career playing solo shows or performing with other musicians, but he’s feeling particularly blessed by this new adventure. “I’ve always been pretty successful at what I do, and I’ve worked with really successful, talented people, but these cats are all,” Prestegard said. “It’s like icing on the cake for me. It’s made a lifetime of my music, it’s qualified it in a way, playing with these people. “Even if it ended today, it’s all been worthwhile,” he added. “It’s probably changed my life for the rest of my life.”

Krist Novoselic, bass and accordion

Krist Novoselic purchased property in Deep River in 1992 and moved to the area full time in 1999. He likes to keep busy, and is active in the community, most notably as master of the Grays River Grange. He attended Washington State University through their online program and earned a degree in social sciences. “I pondered going to grad school but fell into Giants in the Trees right after graduation,” Novoselic said. “The band is really fun to play with,” Krist wrote in an email. “I also feel like we are a fun band for an audience to listen to. We have a few songs where I play accordion, which can be a jolly instrument. Giants in the Trees are basically an old school pop band, but we can bring in modern music sensibilities. “For me, it’s this blend of old and new that keep it interesting. We are into melody and the traditional song structure. We are currently working on our next album and we know what we are as a band. It’s about keeping that basic vision, while also challenging yourself with exploring different arrangements.”


his Friday, May 25, Giants in the Trees will be playing in the Gorge at a huge, well known musical festival called Sasquatch. On June 2, they’ll perform at the Upstream Music Festival at The Central Saloon Seattle. One can follow Giants in the Trees on Facebook.



The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

The Grays River Covered Bridge is the last in regular use in Washington.

Western Wahkiakum has historic sights to see Photos and story by Darrell Alexander Western Wahkiakum County and the Naselle area of southeastern Pacific County have many sites to see, some right off the major highways and some hidden away up the valleys or down the roads along the Columbia River. Following are some of the highlights. Grays River Covered Bridge Originally constructed in 1905 as a truss bridge in order to allow horse and wagon agricultural traffic to cross the river, this has become Grays River’s greatest prominent landmark. Hans P. Ahlberg, who owned a dairy farm that spanned both sides of the river, became involved in convincing the county commissioners to approve the task. The bridge was built on his property by the Ferguson & Huston Company of Astoria and was covered three years later in 1908 to preserve the costly wooden trusses from the ef-

fects of the area rains. The roof of the covered bridge was originally built of board and batten cedar siding with a capped tin roof. In disrepair and at risk of being torn down, the bridge received a major restoration and reconstruction in 1989 from residents who worked to raise funds for restoration. Dulin Construction of Centralia completed the reconstruction for a cost of just fewer than $300,000. To maintain the bridge's historical appearance steel beams with a wood veneer were included. On September 30, 1989, Grays River resident Robert Michael Pyle, serving as master of ceremonies, rededicated the bridge to public use. This one-lane covered bridge over the Grays River in western Wahkiakum County, is the only covered bridge still in use as a public highway in Washington State and in 1971 was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Pillar Rock (Taluaptea) Pillar Rock, according to a Wahkiakum

myth, was the name "Taluaptea," after a young warrior that had displeased the spirits and the result was that he was turned into stone. Pillar Rock’s name is also a reference to a small village on the river's north shore, opposite the rock and as recently as 1851, was home to a small group of Chinook Indians from the Cathlamet band. It is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River about three miles upstream from the old fishing cannery at Altoona of which the remnants are still seen. Pillar Rock stood 75 to 100 feet above the water at one time (depending on the tide) before being dynamited for the installation of a navigation marker and a light. As of today Pillar Rock stands approximately twenty-five feet above the Columbia River surface. Lewis and Clark thought they had reached the Pacific and camped twice near Pillar Rock, once on November 7, 1805 and camped again at Pillar Rock on November 25, 1805. They were on their way to their winter camp at Fort Clatsop. In order to get to the narrowest

The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

section of the Columbia where they could cross the river, they backtracked along the Washington shore. Deep River Pioneer Lutheran Church Deep River Pioneer Lutheran Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It was built in the Gothic Revival style. The church in Deep River, Washington was the area's first organized Evangelical Lutheran Church constructed by a community of Finnish settlers started in 1898 and was completed in 1902. According to local resident Mike Swanson, the property on which the church stands was donated by his great-uncle Erik Maunula. The lumber was bought for two dollars and fifty cents near Raymond, Washington. The lumber was taken from a two story building that was supposed to be a boarding house and tavern. One of the first pastors, J. J. Hoikka established the church by-laws. The church congregation in the 1930s moved to Naselle, Washington following the decline of its membership. Its interior has persisted basically unchanged over time. In 2012 the church's exterior restoration included repainting of the white siding and peach-colored trim. The church is usually open for viewing during Naselle's Finnish-American Folk Festival.


Appelo Archives Center, Naselle The Appelo Archives Center located on State Route 4 in Naselle was founded by Carlton Appelo who is now in his mid-90s and was opened under the Wahkiakum Community Foundation in 2005 and became a non-profit organization in 2010. Carlton Appelo donated the majority of the items in the museum. His dream of the Appelo Ar-


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Appelo Archives Center & Cafe Logging Museum, Library and Bookstore Our best selling book: “When Logging Was Logging” is available for purchase in store, online, and over the phone! 1056 SR 4 Naselle, WA 98638 360.484.7103 info@appeloarchives.org www.appeloarchives.org

One can journey back in time on the Grays River Covered Bridge.

Friends of Skamokawa River Life Interpretive Center at Redmen Hall/1894 Central School

Open Thursday-Sunday Noon - 4:00 p.m. February - December

* Exhibits * Bookstore * Gift Shop * History

Friends of Skamokawa & Wahkiakum School District present:

Welcome Home! “A Sunnier Historical Perspective of Wahkiakum County” June 1 - Sept. 29 Thursday-Sunday, Noon to 4 p.m.



The Appelo Archives Center specializes in preserving and presen�ng the history of the Naselle-Grays River Valley area of SW Washington. The Archives offers a museum, café, local genealogy, library, and bookstore.

Museum Hours: Tues-Fri (9am to 3pm) and Sat (10am-2pm) Café Hours: Wed-Sat (9am-2pm) Photo:

Deep River Logging Co.’s Shay No. 5 at the Deep River log dump, 1912.

B 10 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018 chives Center was to have a place in which to share the rich history of the Naselle-Grays River Valley and the surrounding areas. With an emphasis on Finnish-American heritage, The Appelo Archives Center is committed to inspiring the study of region-wide history by their preservation of the collection while also supporting community and educational activities, enabling genealogical research, and nurturing Scandinavian studies. Downstairs you enter the Museum through the Archives Cafe and Bookstore or through the front door into our Logging Heritage Room. There is a chair lift available for those who are handicapped to have access to the upstairs and the rest of the museum and libraries. Hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am until 4 pm and Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm. Any question can be answered by their director Kelly Shumar at 1-360-484-7103. Grays River Valley Center At Johnson Park Johnson Park is at 30 Rosburg School Road in Rosburg, Washington. The grounds are open for picnics, walking, kite-flying, etc. They also offer a baseball diaPlaces To Sleep And Eat in Naselle and the Westend of Wahkiakum County Duffy's Irish Pub Address: 3779 WA-4, Grays River, WA 98621 Phone: (360) 465-2898 Hunters Inn Motel and Restaurant Address: 1060 WA-4, Naselle, WA 98638 Phone: (360) 484-9215 Sleepy Hollow Motel Address: 1032 WA-4, Naselle, WA 98638 Phone: (360) 484-3232 Columbia River Rest at Pillar Rock Bed & breakfast in Rosburg, Washington Address: 1973 Altoona-Pillar Rock Road, Rosburg Phone: (360) 465-2740 The Appelo Archives center showcases the lives of early settlers.

Pillar Rock Retreat Bed & Breakfast in Rosburg Address: 2029 AltoonaWahkiakum County Pillar Rock Rd, Rosburg Lions Club Phone: (208) 818-6658

88 Main Street Cathlamet

We sponsor:

Dahlia House Bed & Breakfast Address: 1919 AltoonaPillar Rock Rd, Rosburg (360) 465-2519

Easter Egg Hunt Fresh Strawberr y Sales Senior Scholarships Frozen Berrr y Sales Bingo at County Fair Vision Screening at School White Cane Days Fire Works Sales Vision Exams & Glasses Senior Student of the Month Walk N Knock for the Food Bank

We welcome new members so that we can better serve our communities needs. Come join us at The Puget Island Fire Hall on the first and third Mondays, at 7 p.m. to learn more about how Lions Clubs serve.

Call 795-3337

(360) 795-3032

Check out Maria’s Taco Truck at the Marina! Open Thursday-Friday-Saturday

The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

mond from dawn till dusk. Grays River Valley Center is the multi-purpose community center that includes a gymnasium, a sewing center including plenty of machines, an exercise room full of equipment and free weights, and a rent only commercial kitchen complete with cooking equipment and roomy cafeteria that has a projector with a ten foot screen. They also have an activity room with VHS movies where one can unwind on their relaxing couches. If you have pets, they must be leashed at all times and please clean up after your pets. It is open to the public during library hours, and for special events. To book an event or just find out more information on them, call (360)4652310.

B 11


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B 12 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

e f i L e h T n i A Day m u k a i k h a Of W e l l e s a N d An Presenting the Winners We at The Wahkiakum County Eagle and Team Electronics are pleased to announce the winners of the Eighth Annual “A Day in the Life of Wahkiakum County and Naselle” photo contest. We invited readers to shoot a photo on May 5, 2018 in the Wahkiakum County and Naselle areas. Three divisions were offered; we received entries in only youth and adult divisions. As usual, judging was very difficult. Photos will be posted on The Eagle’s website, www.waheagle.com under the Photos tab at the top of the page.

1st place, adults: Shipwreck by Joe Budnick.

General rules were *  All photographs must be taken in Wahkiakum and Naselle environs. *  Participants must be residents living within the contest area. *  Entries may be color prints or high resolution digital images. *  Photographers may enter a maximum of four photos. We adjusted lighting and contrast levels slightly to take into account the effects of printing.

The sponsors know you’ll enjoy these photos and suggest you be ready for the next Day in the Life photo shoot on the first Saturday in May, 2019.

1st place, youth: Cornelius by Emma Zimmerman.

See more photos on pages 18 and 19.

The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

3rd place (tie), adults: Goose by Clara Berkshire.

2nd place, adults: On the Lookout by Rob Tessier.

Honorable mention: Birdieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Friends by Megan Blackburn.

2nd Place, youth: I Lick You by Emma Zimmerman.

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B 14 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

Calendar of Events Compiled by the Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce. For further information, contact the Chamber at 360 795-9996.


25--Farmers Market 3-6pm Every Friday Thru Sep. 30, Elochoman Slough Marina ~ Mackenzie Jones ~ 360.795.3501. 25-26--Grays River Valley Center Super Sale, 104pm, Grays River Valley Center ~ 360.465.2310

June *** Farmers Market 3-6pm Every Friday thru Sept. 30, Elochoman Slough Marina ~ Mackenzie Jones ~ 360.795.3501 TBA Open Mic Music Night Skamokawa Grange #425 ~ Jerry Ledtke ~ 360.795.3434 2 Rods & Reels Car Show 8-3pm (Last One!) Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Lee Tischer ~ 360.430.4377 3 Wahkiakum Acoustic Guitar Society (WAGS) song circle; all levels; Wahkiakum Community Center, Cathlamet 360.431.4153 9 Naselle High School Graduation, Naselle High School 9 Flea Market 9am Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 15 Wahkiakum High School Graduation, Wahkiakum High School 15 Father’s Day Evening Celebration 5-7pm, Cathlamet: Tsuga Gallery ~ Nell Coulson ~ 360.849.4116 16 Early Father’s Day Breakfast 7am-Noon, Grays River Valley Center ~ 360.465.2310 16 Silver Buckle Series 8am, Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 20 Libraries Rock! Children’s Summer Reading Program 2:303:45pm (Wednesdays Thru Aug) ~ Cathlamet Library ~ Carol Blix ~ 360.795.3254 22-24 Puget Island Garage And Yard Sales Cathlamet: Puget Island ~ Sandra York ~ 360.430.0951 23-24 Vista Park Kite Festival, Skamokawa Vista Park 23-24 Horse Jackpot Playday, Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty

Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 Center, Cathlamet 360.431-4153 July *** Farmers Market 3-6pm Every Friday Thru Sep. 30 Elochoman Slough Marina ~ Mackenzie Jones ~ 360.795.3501 *** Libraries Rock! Children’s Summer Reading Program 2:303:45pm (Wednesdays Thru Aug) ~ CaThlamet Library ~ Carol Blix ~ 360.795.3254 TBA Open Mic Music Night Skamokawa Grange #425 ~ Jerry Ledtke ~ 360.795.3434 1 Wahkiakum Acoustic Guitar Society (WAGS) song circle; all levels; Wahkiakum Community Center, Cathlamet 360.431-4153 14 Flea Market 9am Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 14 Silver Buckle Series 8am Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 20 Tsuga Gallery Anniversary & Bald Eagle Days Kick Off 5-7pm Cathlamet: Tsuga Gallery ~ Nell Coulson ~ 360.849.4116 20-22 Bald Eagle Days Community Festival Cathlamet: Main Street ~ Wahkiakum Chamber ~ 360.795.9996 21 Kiwanis Club Breakfast 7-10am Elochoman Slough Marina ~ Linda Barth ~ 360.795.3276 21 Bald Eagle Days “Beer Garden & Band” River Mile 38 Brewing Company ~ 360.355.4662 22 Community Potluck Picnic 12-4pm Grays River Valley Center ~ 360.465.2310

August *** Farmers Market 3-6pm Every Friday Thru Sep. 30 Elochoman Slough Marina ~ Mackenzie Jones ~ 360.795.3501 *** Libraries Rock! Children’s Summer Reading Program 2:303:45pm (Wednesdays Thru Aug) ~ Cathlamet Library ~ Carol Blix ~ 360.795.3254 TBA Open Mic Music Night Skamokawa Grange #425 ~ Jerry Ledtke ~ 360.795.3434 3-5 Art Festival Cathlamet ~ Nell Coulson ~ 360.849.4116 4 Kiwanis Club Breakfast 7-10am Elochoman Slough Marina ~ Linda Barth ~ 360.795.3276 4-5 Wooden Boat Festival Elochoman Slough Marina ~ Julius Dalzell ~ 503.705.3442 5 Wahkiakum Acoustic Guitar Society (WAGS) song circle; all levels; Wahkiakum Community Center, Cathlamet 360 4314153 16-18 Wahkiakum County Fair 9am Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 18 Silver Buckle 8am Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 September *** Farmers Market 3-6pm Every Friday Thru Sep. 30 Elochoman Slough Marina ~ Mackenzie Jones ~ 360.795.3501 TBA Open Mic Music Night Skamokawa Grange #425 ~ Jerry Ledtke ~ 360.795.3434 1 Rod Run To The Roadkill 122pm Skamokawa: Roadkill Saloon ~ April ~ 360.606.0179 2 Wahkiakum Acoustic Guitar Society (WAGS) song circle; all levels; Wahkiakum Community

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The Kite Festival returns to Skamokawa Vista Park on June 23 and 24.

Center, Cathlamet 360.4314153 7 Autumn Welcome Evening Cathlamet: Tsuga Gallery ~ Nell Coulson ~ 360.849.4116 8 Flea Market 9am Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795-3480 8 Wine Tasting & Silent Auction Skamokawa Grange #425 ~ Friends Of Skamokawa ~ 360.795.3007 15 Truck & Tractor Show Skamokawa: Roadkill Saloon ~ April ~ 360.606.0179 15 4th Annual Lasagna DinnerWest End Food Bank Grays River Valley Center ~ 360.465.2310 15-16 Horse Jackpot Playday Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 16 Oktoberfest River Mile 38 Brewery ~ 360.355.4662 22 Cathlamet Yacht Club Auction Fundraiser 6pm Elochoman Marina Pavilion ~ Dave Scogin ~ 503.756.1617

October TBA Open Mic Music Night Skamokawa Grange #425 ~ Jerry Ledtke ~ 360.795.3434 6 Halloween Crafty Crafts For Kids 2-4pm Grays River Valley Center ~ 360.465.2310 6 Grays River Covered Bridge Dinner WSU Wahkiakum County Extension ~ 360.795.3278 7 Wahkiakum Acoustic Guitar Society (WAGS) song circle; all levels; Wahkiakum Community Center, Cathlamet 360.4314153 13 Flea Market 9am Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 13 Winterfest Prime Rib Dinner 5-7pm Grays River Valley Center ~ 360.465.2310 26-28 Haunted House 6pm Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 27 Tidy Up The Town – Fall Edition Downtown Cathlamet ~ Pioneer Church ~ pcacathlamet@

The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

B 15

Left The Rods and Reels Car Show makes its final run on June 2 at the county fairgrounds in Skamokawa. Right The internationally acclaimed Finnish-American Folk Festival will take place July 27, 28 and 29 at Naselle High School.

Gmail.Com 28 Halloween Carnival 4pm Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795-3480 31 Neewollah Days Costume Party & Pet Costume Contest Cathlamet: Bank Of The Pacific ~ Wahkiakum Chamber ~ 360.795.9996 31 Trick Or Treating On Main Street Cathlamet Main Street ~ Wahkiakum Chamber ~ 360.795.9996 31 Halloween Trick Or Treating And Costumes! 3:30-7pm Cathlamet: Tsuga Gallery ~ Nell Coulson ~ 360.849.4116 31 Annual Halloween Trick Or Treat 4:30pm-7pm Grays River Valley Center ~ 360.465.2310

Archive Center ~ Kelly Shumar ~ 360.484-7103 16 Turkey Bingo Location Tbd ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 24 Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration Cathlamet Main Street ~ Wahkiakum Chamber ~ 360.795.9996 24 Holiday Celebration KickOff 5-7pm Cathlamet: Tsuga Gallery ~ Nell Coulson ~ 360.849.4116

2 Wahkiakum Acoustic Guitar Society (WAGS) song circle; all levels; Wahkiakum Community Center, Cathlamet 360 431-4153 8 Christmas Decorating Crafts For Kids 1-3pm Grays River Valley Center ~ 360.465.2310 8 Flea Market 9am Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler ~ 360 795-3480 8 Santa Lucia Celebration & Pictures With Santa Naselle: Appelo Archive Center ~ Kelly Shumar ~ 360.484-7103 9 FAFF Christmas Concert (Time TBA) Deep River Lutheran Church ~ Mike Swanson ~ 360.484.3602 19 It’s A Wrap – Christmas Gift Wrapping Event Cathlamet Community Center ~ Sarai Burke ~ 360.795.7870 31 New Year’s Eve Party 9pm Grays River Valley Center.

December TBA Open Mic Music Night Skamokawa Grange #425 ~ Jerry Ledtke ~ 360.795.3434 TBA Sons Of Norway Kids Christmas Party Puget Island: Norse Hall ~ Jan Silvestri ~ 360.795-8759 1 3rd Annual Holiday Bazaar November TBA Open Mic Music Night 10am Skamokawa Fairgrounds ~ Skamokawa Grange #425 ~ Jerry Patty Dursteler ~ 360.795.3480 Ledtke ~ 360.795.3434 TBA Living Well In Wahkiakum TBA Holiday Open House “Deck The Hall” Skamokawa: Redmen Hall ~ Friends Of Skamokawa ~ 360.795.3007 3 Holiday Bazaar Rosburg Community Hall ~ Rosburg ComDesign, Construction & Maintenance munity Club ~ 360.465.2251 4 Wahkiakum Acoustic Guitar Decks, Pavers, Rock Walls, Sod, Irrigation Society (WAGS) song circle; all Tractor & Backhoe Services levels; Wahkiakum Community Residential & Commercial Center, Cathlamet 360.4314153 Bachelor’s Degree in Ornamental Horticulture 10 Flea Market 9am Skamoka30+ years experience wa Fairgrounds ~ Patty Dursteler Free Estimates ~ 360.795.3480 10 Annual Champagne Har530-409-8435 vest Auction Naselle: Appelo

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B 16 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

Puget Island ferry has a history Photos and story by Diana Zimmerman The current story of the last ferry on the lower Columbia River is about rules and regulations, a troublesome new vessel, and regular riders who are unhappy about being inconvenienced by breakdowns and increasing rates. If it’s a feel good story you’re looking for, it’s going to require a passenger ride into the past. It’s not the beginning, but a good place to start is with brothers Elmer and Oscar Bergseng. When Elmer purchased the ferry from Mel Coates, Oscar started running it part time. “He worked at the lumber mill at Westport and on weekends he would work with my uncle,” Gary Bergseng said of his father, Oscar. “When the ferry Almer was built in 1948, it was put on steady, and my dad started working steady instead of part-time.” Elmer lost the ferry to his wife in a divorce, but Oscar continued to run the ferry until his former sister-in-law decided to sell it to someone in Anacortes.

For awhile, there wasn’t a ferry from

Puget Island to Westport at all. Then someone else came along, and Oscar, this time with his wife Adine and three sons, Gary, Albert, and George went back to work. There probably isn’t much time in Gary’s youth that wasn’t spent on that ferry. He has a memory of his father standing him up on an apple box in front of the steering wheel and telling him to head for Puget Island while he went down to collect fares. Six year old Gary Bergseng began to fret as the ferry moved up the Westport Slough. “What if a ship is coming? What if a ship is coming? What if a ship is coming?” He started to cry, not knowing his dad was watching him. Oscar finally came over to relieve him.

“You had tears the size of horse turds rolling down your face,” Oscar told his son. “I couldn’t take it anymore.” “Dad pretty much worked every day,” Bergseng said. “It was his life. He loved it. It was 10-11 hours a day, maybe a little longer on the weekend.”


Bergseng got older, he took on more responsibilities. He would work the first shift before his dad drove him to school, then return after school to work some more. When he was 16, he bought a car, and drove himself. When Oscar had a stroke in 1964, the family continued to run the ferry. By that time, the county had gotten involved in the operation and the ferry Wahkiakum had been built. At 18, Bergseng got his Coast Guard license and worked a midnight trip that was added to the schedule as the Wauna Mill was built, and men found work there. The delivery man from Montgomery Ward would pull on to the ferry and ask where people lived. He wanted addresses. Unfortunately for him, addresses were very informal back then. “He asked after someone named BeeGeorge one day,” Bergseng laughed. “BeeGeorge?” Bergseng couldn’t figure it out until the man mentioned a first name. “Oh! Bjorge!” He and crew couldn’t tell him the name of any streets, but they could give him directions. “You go out here and take a left at the church,” Bergseng told him.


ranks were a fun way to pass the time. “We used to have fun,” Bergseng said. He wasn’t the only one to say that. There’s not much fun to be had anymore. Rules and regulations keep people safe, and fun goes by the wayside. “One year the ferry was running I don’t know how many hours a day,” he said. “It

Capt. Lamar Blix at the helm of the Oscar B.

was steady, back and forth, back and forth. A fellow I was working with needed to use the bathroom. There were no cars on, so I ran up with one of the blocks and smacked the wall. I can almost remember exactly what he said, but I won’t repeat it.” On days when there were a lot of trips, but little traf-

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The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2017

fic, they’d have water fights. You had to do something to break up the routine. Years later, crews would put on their swim shorts on warm days and jump off the highest point of the ferry between runs. Once upon a time, Kim Nielsen, who currently works as a deckhand and has the rank of mate, liked to have fun with the commuters who would fall asleep as the ferry made its way across the channel. She would place wet tinsel in the window. It mimicked a crack and always gave the rider a rush when he woke up. Sometimes she would draw smiley faces and place them on the window. “She’s the jokester on here,” Captain Lamar Blix said. “Was,” Nielsen replied. She took some extra time for one prank involving a regular commuter named Wes. “He would come across in the mornings,” Nielsen said. “So I got up a bunch of tin cans and strung them with string and then tied them to his bumper. He usually fell asleep in his rig so when he drove off there were all those tin cans. He didn’t even know it. He’s driving down the highway with those on.”


hat was on the old boat, the Wahkiakum. It was always the old boat, never the new one, the Oscar B. Continued on Page 20

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B 17

The pilot house of the Oscar B. A cabin for passengers is at the lower left.


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B 18 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

More photo contest entries Clockwise from the lower left: --Cathlamet by Kooki Aegerter --Boots by Kari Wallace --Mossy Limbs by Pearl Blackburn --Deer Crossing by Clara Berkshire

Family Health Center See all contest entries in the May 24 edition of The Eagle at our website, www.waheagle.com.

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The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

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B 20 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018 first time he, his mom, and his brother used a radar. “It quit,” he laughed. They would use a broom to smack at the antenna in order to get it working again. Over the years, there have been many misadventures. A logging truck went through the ramp at Westport one time. “A truck lost a load of cows once,” Bergseng said. “They used to go across all the time, hauling equipment and animals back and forth. This dairy farmer had five or six cows in the back of his old dilapidated truck. He came up to the ramp, and didn’t quite make it, rolled back and punched it real hard and hit that ramp and the whole top of the truck fell off. The cows started falling off. I’m amazed there weren’t any broken legs, but do you know what cows do when they get excited?” He laughed. “Boy did it make a mess,” he said. “Mom almost got hit by a cow falling off the back. I still remember that. How can those big old heavy milk cows be so agile that they wouldn’t break a leg falling off? But they got the herdsmen down there and they herded back to the farm.”

Continued from Page 17 “We were bringing the ferry down to Astoria for maintenance,” Nielsen remembered. “We were going underneath Youngs Bay Bridge. They didn’t open it up.” “We were going underneath,” she continued, and hit a surface with her hand, recreating the memory. She had struck the ceiling as they went beneath the drawbridge that day. The skipper dropped to the ground, thinking they had struck the bridge. Nielsen grinned.


Sometimes the person in the driver’s seat wasn’t actually in the driver’s seat. He’d watch wives hit their husbands, who would then move into another lane contrary to the deckhands instructions. “They wanted a front row seat,” he laughed.


n the old ferry, couples would occasionally get amorous in the cabins or in their cars. “It was like the Mile High Club,” Blix said. The River Mile high club. It was never anyone they knew. “One time there was only one car on here,” Blix said. “We got over to the other side to tie up and they were nowhere to be found. I told the deckhand to go get them out of the cabins. He went around the corner and came back and said, ‘No, I can’t do it.’” He laughed. The crew waited until the couple returned to their car a little later, unabashed.

be sure, there was some give but there was also some take. Passengers A retired television personality has stowed away on the Oscar B. have been known to do funny things. tricky on a foggy day. radio communications like Tourists will find their “It’s three and a half we do now.” way there, expecting to see minutes from the time you “Dad would talk about a bridge. People, standleave Westport Slough un- the time he was coming out ing on the deck will look til you should be seeing the of Westport Slough,” Gary straight into the deckhand’s end of the jetty on this side,” said. “When it was foggy eyes and ask when the ferry Bergseng said. “You have a the deckhand would stand will arrive, or where it is stop watch, you have your down on the bow and listen. coming from, or how long it compass course. You listen Apparently a ship came will take to get across. for whistles. You just judge up and wasn’t blowing its Back in the old days, deckthe tide. We had different whistle like it should have. hands might tease. “Two or courses that depended on Dad had to throw it in reo be fair, rules and the tide.” three hours,” they’d say. verse and it sounds like regulations and technology Blix remembers when he “Once you got across the mom could have almost put would work on the deck of have made the crossing saf- ship channel, that was the her hand on the side of the the Wahkiakum. He would er for everyone. biggest part,” he said. “Back ship as it went by.” Life before radar could be in those days we didn’t have motion drivers to move forBergseng remembers the ward. They didn’t have as much room in those days, and sometimes they needed to create room for as many Complete Auto Repair/Machine Shop cars as they could. Drivers would shake American & Import Cars their heads, untrusting. We Stock A Full Line of Auto Parts & Accessories 70 Main St., Cathlamet Nope. Not moving forward. We Also Stock and Order Marine Parts Featuring Area Artists Blix would become more OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK 8-6 Mon.-Fri. 9-3 Sat. Open: Thursday thru Saturday ~ 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. stern, and sometimes they’d Summer Hours: Wednesday thru Saturday ~ 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. budge and sometimes they 305 E. SR 4 Cathlamet, WA 98612 360-795-0725 www.tsugagallery.org wouldn’t.


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The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

Bergseng will never forget the day he came to work to

find things a little out of order on deck. No one said anything and he went on about his business. “It was a Sunday back in the 70s,” he said. “I came to work in the morning and there was a rope tied across the stern where there should have been a cable. What the heck is going on here?” They made a couple trips. His dad called the mechanic and they found a spare cable at the county shop. The mechanic brought it over and put it on.

Later that day, a crew member who had worked the

earlier shift came on the ferry and asked if they had found the car that “went in last night?” Bergseng had noticed the missing cable, but it was the other fellow who had to point out the black marks going off the end of the ferry. It must have happened between trips when the crew was on a break. “I called the Coast Guard,” Bergseng said. “They start-

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ed looking around. We got a diver and he found the cable. We surmised that nobody could throw that cable that far. Felt around with a pike pole. The Army Corps of Engineers came in there with a survey boat and sonar and they couldn’t find it. We had Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office there for three or four days dragging. I took my boat over there myself and tried to find something with a grappling hook.” They never found a car or a body. It was a mystery for years. “There was a fisherman who used to fish off the mouth of Westport Slough there, gillnetting,” Bergseng said. “He’d heard a bang that night, and then a rattle-y, rat-

B 21

tle-y, rattle-y.” About 10 years later, Bergseng brother, George, was talking to a fellow at a bar who was feeling pretty relaxed and chatty. The guy had no clue that George was working on the ferry. “You know,” the guy chuckled to George, “we ran a pickup off that ferry one night.”


he man said he was a logger. He and another guy from Knappa had been out drinking and were running around in his pickup. They made their way down to the ramp and unfortunately, were going too fast. “What had happened was this big bang

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B 22 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018 that the fisherman heard was the truck causing the ramp to come down real hard on the ferry,” Bergseng said. “The driver had his brakes on and hit the cable, which threw the cable into a spin. The fisherman said it sounded like a ship anchoring, which it would.”


he fisherman heard a thud, but not a splash, which is odd, because that truck went into the water. “It was so obvious it happened,” Bergseng said. “The fellow was telling my brother that the pair swam ashore and could still see the lights of the pickup on in the water after the ferry left. Afterwards, they went down to Knappa and got a yarder of some kind and put a pulley up in the tree.” They pulled that truck up out of the water that night Kim Nielsen prepares the ramp for vehicles. and nobody ever knew. “I wanted to stay in the community and raise my family here,” Blix said. “It’s a good job. It raised my family. It’s a mile and a half from home. You hear about guys driving two hours for work so they can stay in the community. Plus, you get to be out on the water. That’s where I grew up. I can’t see myself anywhere else.”

Blix had planned to be a

gillnetter, but saw the writing on the wall. When another skipper said there was a part time job coming up, he took it. He worked part time for six to eight months until a full time job came open. Blix has been there for 28 years. Bergseng estimates that he worked on the ferry


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The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

for 24 years after he got his license. That doesn’t account for all the years that came before. Nielsen has been on the ferry for 24. For the most part, people who join the crew stay. “You start out as a deckhand,” Blix said. “Then you get your captain’s license, then you go up to a mate. Then you wait till someone dies or retires, and then you go up to captain.” Because there are only two employees per shift, the deckhand has to have a license. If something happens, the deckhand may have to step up.


here can be something romantic about a ride on the ferry for tourists, or for locals out for a day trip, but it’s all business for the ones who go back and forth all day. Despite the routine, they have to find ways to stay alert. They have to keep everyone safe and they take it seriously. For instance, the number of passengers on each trip is reported to the Coast Guard. Blix has come to love the things that break up the routine. “Every landing is different,” he said. “You’ve got tides, you’ve got weather, different loads on the ferry. It’s just never the same.” “I love it when it blows,” he added. “It’s challenging. You’ve got to think.” One time he had to figure out how to pull up to a stern-

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wheeler. A passenger had had a heart attack, and they needed to get him off the vessel. It was harder than he thought, but they made it happen.


here is a lot of wildlife to witness. They watch the bald eagles take fish, ducks, and more. They know where they like to spend their time in the trees on the Oregon side. They’ve come to know the one elk that likes to come down to the water for a drink. The cormorants were out en masse on Monday, eating smolt. “Sometimes we see deer swimming across the slough,” Blix said. “Sometimes we see them out here making the trek

B 23

from the islands, with their big racks hanging out of the water. They are good swimmers.” One deckhand made his own wildlife figure and placed it amongst the trees along the Westport Slough. A lady and mister bigfoot, Blix called them. It might be a little more sedate on the ferry these days, but there are still pleasures if you know where to look. And if the crew sometimes forgets, there are always the tourists from around the world who will remind them. “We’re in pictures all over the world,” Nielsen said, pleased at the idea. “People come here from all over the world and take pictures to show to their families at home.”

B 24 The Wahkiakum County Eagle May 24, 2018

Wahkiakum Food and Farm Network The Wahkiakum Food and Farm Network is dedicated to encouraging awareness and purchase of Wahkiakum-grown farm products and to developing relationships among Wahkiakum County farms, value-added producers and the local community. If you are a farmer or supporter of Wahkiakum small farms and would like to connect with our group, please ask to join our Wahkiakum Food and Farm Network group page on Facebook or contact any one of the farmers listed below.

Little Island Creamery Dick McDonald & Kyleen Austin 448 E. Little Island Road Cathlamet, WA 98612

360-849-9456 www.littleislandcreamery.net

Raw cow & goat milk grown on fresh grasses following old-world practices. Cultured hand-crafted butter, cream, and blended artisan cheeses made from the milk produced by our cows & goats. Milk sold directly from our farm. Eggs available seasonally. Rent our event venue in the top of the barn.

Little Barn Farm

Patrick & Hollie McKay-Beach 139 W Birnie Slough Rd. Cathlamet, WA 98612 (360) 849-4444 (360) 560-1150 littlebarnfarm@hotmail.com http://ww.facebook.com/littlebarnfarm

Grassfed, grass-finished lamb and beef Sold by the whole, half, quarter or by the cut

Flowers Farm &Farm IslandIsland Little Little Booking now for 2018 events in our new Outdoor Event Venue!

www.littleislandfarm.com We offer floral design, and wholesale/retail specialty cut flowers - catering to DIY brides; naturally grown fruits & berries; and pastured poultry eggs Mike and Kim Howell

316 E. Little Island Road (Puget Island) Cathlamet, WA 98612 (360) 431-5133 littleislandflowers@gmail.com

Elochoman Marina Farmer’s Market

Stockhouse's Farm & Rog’s Retreat Guest Cottage

Fridays 3-6 p.m., May 25-August 31 Cathlamet Marina Locally grown herbs, produce, cheeses, grass fed meats by the cut, and artisan baked goods. Live Music. This is where foodies hang out, and neighbors and friends linger to visit. Mackenzie Jones (360) 849-9401

31 Blue Skies Lane PO Box 431 Cathlamet, WA 98612 (503) 887-2315

www.blueskiesfarmpi.com We feature honey and a line of small-bach, artisanal novelties such as: tomato, spaghetti squash, black forest and hot pepper jam; pickled pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, dilly beans, and hot peppers; and pot roast simmer sauce. Check out our website for current product availability.

Skamokawa Farmstead Creamery

1681 West State Route 4 Skamokawa, WA

360.795.8700 www.skcreamery.com cheese@skcreamery.com

Fresh chevre, aged chevre, feta & goat cheese ravioli. All made on the farm from our goats. Farm tours & cheese tasting.

Rob and Diane Stockhouse 62 W. Birnie Slough Rd., Puget Island, WA

Mike & Carrie Backman backmansfish@gmail.com

360-431-4421 Island’s End Farm

& Farmstay Vacation Apartment

Carol Carver and George Exum 541 W. Birnie Slough Rd, Cathlamet, WA 98612 (360) 849-4324 islandsendfarm@gmail.com www.islandsendfarm.com See apartment pictures and book online: AirBNB. Order year-round fresh sauerkraut or kim chi (several kinds) and jams/jellies by emailing order and picking up at our farm or at Puget Island Farmers Market. Email us to be added to list of weekly products & vegetables available for order.

(360) 849-4145

botman@centurytel.net www.stockhousesfarm.com Beautiful guest cottage and lovely grounds. We offer a CSA. Come visit us!

Profile for Wahkiakum Eagle

Focus 2018  

People, places and events to know, see and experience in Wahkiakum and southeastern Pacific Counties in 2018.

Focus 2018  

People, places and events to know, see and experience in Wahkiakum and southeastern Pacific Counties in 2018.