Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Karen Bertroch

Kathleen McAlhaney from South Carolina stopped to see the Covered Bridge in Grays River. For 30 years she has been visiting National Parks. On her way to Olympic National Park, she stopped to see the Covered Bridge and visit there with this photographer.

Happy Thursday to Finns and all others who are busy getting ready for next week's Finnish American Folk Festival that starts Friday, July 28. There is also a Memorial at Rosburg Hall for Bob Burkhalter planned for July 28 starting at 1 p.m. All are welcome. There will be all sorts of activities all day on Saturday July 29 and a worship service on Sunday morning. I so look forward to all the Scandinavian costumes. If you have one, I hope you'll wear it even if you're from Norway or Sweden. Each has such beautiful work that it's hard to imagine the commitment for making a costume that, in some instances, can take two years of embroidery work for each costume.

Photo of the Week: As Ben dog and I drove around the valley last weekend, we stopped to talk with a delightful visitor at the Covered Bridge. She and her husband spent 30 years visiting our National Parks. After his death, she continued to see as many as she could, bringing her total number of parks visited to 59 out of a total of 63. She saw the sign on the highway for the Covered Bridge and wanted to see it. She was happy to tell me that, "This bridge is gorgeous. It's a special surprise on my road trip. I'm so glad I learned its history and saw the National Historic Site plaque here." She has stories from every park. The Grand Canyon was their first. Before coming this far, she had visited Mt. Rainier National Park. From here, she headed for Olympic National Park, then on to Denali in Alaska, so she will have seen three National Parks this summer. She travels alone now so she is interesting to talk with, to say the least. She is just another example of visitors who come to the Covered Bridge from all over the world, even Anderson, South Carolina.

New Farmer, Tony Zhao (pronounced "chow"): A phone call to Tony gave me more information on his animals and progress on his haying. He has 10 head of cattle, nine Alpacas, 10 goats, including four mini-goats, and he recently acquired a seven-year-old quarter horse. He already had two young, untrained horses, so he wanted to get an older horse that was already trained. He expects to bring in around 30 cattle, perhaps in September. The old farmhouse is getting a new roof. He also had his property off Loop Road surveyed because he's concerned that he might be cutting hay on a neighbor's land. It is good for all of us to see the correct markers and know where the exact corners are. I think he's going to be a good neighbor for all of us. He sure is trying to do the right thing for his neighbors and for his land. And he wants to be an organic landowner, so he has been talking with the Burkhalters. Do chat with him if you get a chance. He is taking good care of his land which used to belong to Phil and Sulema Zerr who moved to Puget Island.

Camp Cispus Outdoor School: Camp Cispus is the outdoor education program for fifth grade students in Lewis County, as well as students from districts all over the state. "Each spring, Lewis County students travel to the Learning Center for three days of outdoor education at the Cispus Learning Center in Randle, Washington. Activities include forestry, hiking, wildlife and salmon education, and a challenge course, along with many other traditional camp activities. Reserved for fifth grade students only." I looked it up on the internet to get more information. A trusty "contact" in Olympia told me that it "appears" this outdoor education program is being considered by the state for the Naselle Youth Camp. I am glad to see the students will be there for a science based outdoor education that includes areas of study perfect for our area. I have not heard anything regarding the housing, but I would be grateful for any information from our legislators on the housing, so I could pass it along to you. So far, there's little information coming our way regarding anything in stone.

Here is more information on the Cispus Learning Center at Randle from my internet search: "It is a 68-acre campus, located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest that provides a unique northwest outdoor learning environment for students. It is open 364 days a year to elementary, middle school and high school students for environmental and leadership education, for at-risk students using our challenge (ropes) course, and for any adult group supporting educational objectives. The purpose of Cispus Learning Center is to support improvement of the K-12 educational programs for the students in the schools of the State of Washington. In 2017 we hosted over 12,500 visitors for over 42,000 days of use. We look forward to welcoming your group to our center. Their mission statement says: The Cispus Learning Center will furnish functional, esthetically sound facilities and curricular resources for supporting outdoor education and leadership training to young people. In addition, Cispus will provide facilities and outdoor education learning opportunities to various adult and student groups which are deemed compatible with the Cispus setting." There is a nice video on YouTube, and they are also on facebook. If this is indeed a direction for planned use of the Youth Camp, I hope this provides some information for a possible use of the facility. I will keep trying to find information for all of us who are interested in the Youth Camp's future use.

Senior Lunches at Rosburg Hall: There's news about the CAP lunches on Thursdays at Rosburg Hall. Now folks can go into the Hall and eat together. If you're wanting or needing to wear a mask, feel free to do that as some folks are still feeling vulnerable about covid. Other Senior lunches are on the first and third Wednesdays at noon. All seniors are welcome. The next Senior Lunch will be on August 3.

Word for the Week: Sunshine


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