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THE BULLETIN • SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2012
• 3 communities nestled in Nehalem Bay provide access to quiet coastal beauty NORTHWEST TRAVEL
By John Gottberg Anderson For The Bulletin
MANZANITA — One of the simple pleasures of being a writer is that I am sometimes able to join two names of decidedlydifferent eras in a single stream of consciousness — such as those of Fig Walnut and Sir Francis Drake. Although Drake's lifetime and that of Ms. Walnut missed
overlapping by nearly four
-.4".u . 'Tr
centuries, both individuals have ties to the estuary of the Nehalem River, at the northern edge of Tillamook County on the Oregon Coast. Recent historical research suggests that Drake spent five weeks within the Nehalem River mouth in the summer of 1579, during which time he made extensive repairs on his ship, the Golden Hind. For centuries he was believed to have harbored on the Northern California coast, claiming "Nova Albion" (New Britain) for Queen Elizabeth I. But historians have discovered that Drake falsified many of his maps and journal entries to hide his actual location from the Spanish. Plentifulnew evidence suggests that it was here, at the foot of a mountain the Tillamook Indians called "Neah-kahnie," that the British privateer found a quiet haven. The very fact that Drake slept here gives credence to a longtime local legend — that a chest of pirate treasure is buried on the slopes of Neahkahnie Mountain, which rises 1,795 feet above the Pacific Ocean near the resort village of Manzanita. This story is not unknown to Fig Walnut. She adopted the stage name some years ago to accent her work as a jazz singer (she has several recordings) and a textile artist. She is also the bartender at Dixie Lee's Vino Manzanita wine bar, and it was in this capacity that she advised me to climb the mountain. "It will only take you about 45 minutes," she said. "And even if you don't stumble upon the treasure, the views are amazing."
John Gottherg Anderson / For The Bulletin
Even with a light haze blowing in from the Pacific, the view from the summit of Neahkahnie Mountain is stunning. Ocean surf washes 7-mile-long Manzanita Beach, extending to the Nehalem Riverjetty where Sir Francis Drake may once have entered the sheltered harbor.
The I'/2-mile hike to the summit actually took me closer to an hour, even thoughItookoff fromthe higher of the two trailheads. (The north trailhead, beginning on U.S. Highway 101 in Oswald West State Park, is an extension of the Oregon
In two weeks: Timberline Lodge is 75
Neha em Manzanita Nehalem i Bay ~ State Q Prk
Greg Cross/The Bulletin
Coastal Trail; I started a mile nearer to Manzanita, off a short gravel road that wound up the hillside.) The walk was steeper than I had anticipated, like Pilot Butte times three. I counted 14 switchbacks on the lower slopes alone. Cut through sword ferns and the thorny stalks of salmonberries bereft of summer fruit, the trail was well maintained, but it was muddy in patches from a rainstorm that had passed through the night before. I often found myself scrambling over Sitka spruce roots so thick they formed gnarled staircases in the mountainside. More than once I stumbled. The switchbacks ceased where the trail crossed a primitive road. It then wound around Neahkahnie's northeastern flank. Far below me, I could see and hear loggers at work. But the trail's ascent was gentle from here until the
very end, where it zigzagged twice more over a ridge to the mountain's seaward side, just beneath a final rocky pinnacle. Fig was right: The view was stunning, despite a light haze blowing in from the Pacific that kept it from being absolutely crystal clear. This was a treasure worth holding in memory. Row after row of ocean surf washed a perfect, crescent-shaped beach that stretched for miles to the south. Behind the golden sand in the near distance, the homes of Manzanita protruded through a forestofshore pine. See Nehalem Bay/C4
Come ianlovesBen — no joke • Cash Levy returns to screenthespecial filmed here in2010
If yougo What:Screening of "Crowd Control," with
comedian CashLevy When:8 p.m. Saturday
By David Jasper The Butletin
In March 2010, comedian Cash Levy came to Bend to perform his brand of improvisational stand-up comedy, an off-the-cuff style in which he interacts with the audience. Dipping into his life savings, Levy had the three performances filmed and culled into a one-hour special with the ambition of selling it to a cable channel. Now, 2'/2 years later, Levy will return to the Tower Theatre on Saturday for a stand-up performance and a screening of the results, "Cash Levy: Crowd Control"
(see "If you go").
Where:Tower Theatre, F-
835 N.W. Wall St., Bend u
Cost:$14, plus fees Contact:www. towertheatre.org or 541-
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Comedian Cash Levy performs at the Tower Theatre in March 2010 during the filming of "Crowd Control," his comedy special that will screen Saturday at the Tower Theatre in Bend Levy said he chose the Tower as the site of his special because he did his first paid show in Bend about 15 years earlier — he can't recall the name ofthe bar — and, in 2009,he performed at a
Big Brothers, Big Sisters fundraiser at the Tower and took a liking to the place. "I liked the room. I thought the crowd was going to be a good fit, in terms of the balcony and theater," he ex-
plained last week by phone. "So I took the plunge." He had an old friend directing, "but none of us had much experience," Levy said. From the word go, there were little problems — such as, by his estimate, 40 percent of the crowd wearing hats — which he felt "could sink the special." SeeLevy/C7
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The Bulletin Daily print edition for Sunday December 23, 2012