Saturday, October 18, 2014

Santiam River Wayside

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A couple of years ago, I was on my way back from the McDowell Creek waterfalls near Lebanon, OR, and stopped at a highway rest area north of Albany, where Interstate 5 crosses the Santiam River. After using the facilities, it occurred to me that it was a fairly scenic spot by rest area standards and I figured I'd take a few photos while I was there. First order of business was the bridge, actually. It's a nondescript modern concrete bridge, but I was heavily into the ongoing bridge project at the time and felt I needed an example of the style, such as it is. I also ended up with a few assorted photos of the river, and a few of people boating and fishing, and it occurred to me there might be a second post in those photos. And behold, here they are.

This is not the beginning of a highway rest area project, just to be clear on that point. Creepy urban legends aside, it just seems like a weird and unrewarding undertaking. Which is saying a lot considering all the other weird projects I've gotten into over time. I might make an exception for the one just south of Wilsonville if I get around to it, since it has a weird bit of Cold War history to it. Apparently it was designed to double as a military staging area in case of emergency. Which I imagine means it would've been outside the presumable blast zone if the Rooskies had nuked downtown Portland. (Meanwhile, city officials and VIPs would have ridden out the attack in the city's old nuclear bunker at Kelly Butte.) Maybe the Santiam one was designed for a similar role, in case the Rooskies ran out of major cities to nuke and went after Albany instead. I have no actual information to that effect, but it's possible that's still classified or something.

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