Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


September 8, 2022

Karen Bertroch

Ronel Jones and Sheila Stanford from Federal Way stopped by for a picnic at Ahlberg Park at the Covered Bridge.

It feels like fall to me. It was cold this morning (Tuesday). Wet mornings, fog, plants nearing their last days, kids back at school and our lives move on into a new season. Fall is often a time of dying leaves, but it can also be a time of new blessings, like warmth from a good fire and the love of old friends. May God bring a season of blessings to all of us, no matter what season we are living in our lives. "All good things around us are sent by Heaven above." Amen.

Photo of the Week: Last Saturday, Ben-dog and I stopped by Ahlberg Park to welcome visitors from Federal Way. The biggest draw was their Harleys. Ronel has a 2003 Harley Road King and Sheila has a 2016 Heritage Softail. His was specially painted in green and white. Hers came painted in blue and white. They were on a "bikenic," her word for taking a ride and stopping for a picnic. I caught them just as they were at the end of their meal and we had a nice visit. On their way to Mt. Rainier, they wanted to see the Covered Bridge again. They came west to Raymond, then south on 101, then turned east to the Bridge and were planning on going on to Longview. I suggested they stop at Vista Park, then check out Duck Inn. They described themselves as "regular blue-collar workers." She is a machinist, and he manages a large warehouse. I sent them the photo I took for their scrapbook. It's fun sometimes to sit at the park and welcome visitors. I was pleased to see her pack up their food bags left from their picnic and put it in their bags. I wish more visitors had values like that. It saddens many of us who live here, that so much trash gets thrown along SR 4.

Painting Exhibition of local painters: An art opening of pieces painted by west county artists will be shown at the Tsuga Gallery in Cathlamet on Saturday, September 10, from 3 to 7 p.m. Featured artists are Gail Wahlstrom, Carol Ervest, Sandra Prucha and Noreen Fitts. Refreshments will be served. Everyone is invited. I went to an opening of art done by these ladies last winter at the Grays River Grange. Of all the lovely pieces I saw, I was struck by a small one with rural mailboxes done by Gail Wahlstrom. I had to take it home, of course. Five rusty mailboxes are clustered together along with an old milk can on the side of a dusty road. Weathered and sitting in tall grass, they are more charming to me than the houses they represent. If you have a chance to visit Cathlamet on Saturday afternoon, then into the evening, you might just end up at the brewery by the marina. Cathlamet is so charming with full shops on Main Street and a very busy marina. I am looking forward to these ladies sharing their artwork.

Three bulls with big antlers: Last week I was driving home on Loop Road past the Burkhalter field across from the Fitts' field. A large herd of elk was moving from the Burkhalter side across the road to the Fitts' field. An old cow with hoof disease was making her way across the road carefully. The other cows with their young ones, followed her slowly. To the back, the bulls were herding the young ones along. I stopped, turned the engine off and told Ben-dog that we had to be quiet. I was so struck by the rack on the biggest bull. It was one of the biggest I've seen here. He was pushing a young one along by butting him and I was in awe. I've seen good sized herds here, but three bulls with fine antlers were a joy to see. They went over the road, then headed to the field behind the old Grays River Café. There were at least 30 in the herd. A wonderful reminder of the joys of the fall season coming.

School Report: Opening days of the school year at the Naselle/GRV School were happy and exciting. Masks are not required this year, so the first days were filled with smiles and laughter. We won't have an enrollment number until the next School Board meeting on Tuesday, September 20 at 6:30 p.m. If you have questions or want more information, please attend.

Tim Steenerson Update: As many of you know, Tim fell off a ladder while painting Gary and Susan Burkhalter's house. He has some challenges with his back while recovering. He reports that he's healing well at home. His daughters are carrying on the family painting business. He gave a call out on facebook to hire someone with painting experience to help the daughters and keep the painting schedule moving along. Hope he finds someone.

Events: By now, you probably have heard the 4-H Covered Bridge Dinner on October 1 is sold out. As we approach the fall season, and now that the stores have Halloween items for sale, I am hoping the fun Halloween event held last year at the Naselle Community Center will be offered again. I know last year's was a lot of work for Holly and Nate Engleson and all their volunteers, but it was great fun for families and the community. Let me know if I can help with getting the word out on it and any other fall activities as we move forward into the fall months.

Logger's Reunion: Please remember the Appelo Archives' Loggers Reunion on October 1. There will be a barbecue and hopefully no rain. For more information, check out the Archives' facebook page. There should be more information there.


September 9-11: Farm 2 Fiber Festival at the County Fairgrounds in Skamokawa. Times: 9-5 on Friday and Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday. For more information, call (360) 703 7291 or (360) 904-6065. Classes are available and there will be plenty to see at this event next weekend.

September 20: Naselle/GRV School Board meeting at 6:30.

September 22: Fall equinox so there are only three weeks left of summer.

October 1: 4-H Covered Bridge Dinner at 4:30 - Tickets are all gone.

October 1: Loggers Reunion at Appelo Archives Center at 11 a.m.

CAP/Thursday Senior Lunches at noon are now located inside Rosburg Hall.

The next Wednesday Senior Lunch will be on September 21 at Rosburg Hall.

Word for the week: Falling Leaves.


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