Fort Vancouver/Willamette Cruise

July 23-24, 1998

At our first stop, while having coffee and cookies, we took time out to celebrate Bette, Walt and Cecily’s birthdays, with cake. The Oregon Maritime Museum and Center, on the Tom McCall Waterfront, was a superb starting point for our trip. The early maritime life in Portland came alive, the role of waterfront activity on the Willamette River, all the war-time activity and shipbuilding and how it looks today was interesting. Many models of the river vessels and excellent museum volunteers to lead the tours, made it very interesting. We were able to visit the sternwheeler Portland as well. Many riders were unaware of just how many bridges Portland has over the Willamette River. We left the museum via the Fremont Bridge and the Interstate-5 Bridge (over the Columbia River) to get to the Henry Kaiser Viewpoint and Interpretive Center in Vancouver’s Maritime Park, before we stopped for lunch. Fort Vancouver Historic Site was our lunch stop and where we spent the rest of the day. It was a very hot day, shade was minimal, but the buildings of the Fort were cool. We passed a beautiful vegetable garden on the way into the Fort. The artifacts were well displayed, the demonstrations were wonderful and the guides were informative. Early settlement in the Oregon Territory along the river was well portrayed. Some highlights were: the different furs trapped, the factor’s living area, the way the table was set with fine glass and china, the kitchen, and the fact that the women ate in the kitchen. The palisades were used to reduce theft, not for defense. Many toured open houses along the Officers’ Row while waiting for their tour.

The second day we left early to wind our way into the OMSI location for boarding our cruise boat. Our trip up river was narrated all the way. We stopped just before Oregon City Falls and rode through the locks, stopping at the small museum as we went through, then on up river to the confluence with the Tualatin River. The sun broke out about the time we headed back. It was a Friday afternoon and sunny. We went past OMSI along the Portland waterfront to the Fremont Bridge and back to OMSI. It was a relaxing, long day by the time we arrived in Eugene at 7:30 pm.

Riders were: Ethel Allen, Jackie Anderson, Ewart & Margaret Baldwin, Helen Barnard, Louise Behnke, Mary & Richard Bentsen, Betty & Lloyd Bissell, John & Marian Borchardt, Ingrid Carmichael, Mary Lea Cheadle, Clair Cooley, Margaret Fea, Jeannette Forsman, Dora Harris, Ben & Pat Jeffries, Cecily Joost, Virginia Kapsa, Dodie Leppmann, Cleora Mersdorf, John & Lenore McManigal, Grace Miller, Barbara & Walt Miller, Frances Newsom, Virginia Prouty, Edna Robertson, Myrtle Sagen, Karen Seidel, Bobbye Sorrels, Janet Speelman, Carol Stroud, Millard Thomas, Mildred Weatherby, Cristy White, Vera Woolley, and leaders Liz Reanier and Bette Hack.

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