Thursday, July 5, 2012

Canyonville Scenic Drive -- A Goldrush past and present

Our base in Canyonville, OR is at the Seven Feathers RV Park, which is a beautiful RV park that is part of the Seven Feathers Casino operation. 

 The Casino is a beautiful structure and Rick was especially struck with this magnificent sculpture of a swooping eagle catching a salmon. Very cool!

The RV park (and Canyonville) is not surprisingly located in a canyon! We loved the mists that seemed to cover the mountains surrounding us each morning. 

 The mist looked like smoke rising from the trees and added a very eerie atmosphere to the area. We learned that there were a couple of scenic drives that were a bit off the beaten path -- sounded perfect for us!

 Right off the bat, we learned that there were two historical business occupations in this area -- gold mining and lumbering. In ;ate 1800's we learned that there was a huge gold rush through this area and that the mining claims are still active today.

We even found out that we could try a little panning ourselves, but decided that we would take a pass since we did not have a pan (or any experience). Plus, it looked like this area had been panned pretty completely in the past. 

Of course, if there was a gold rush, the railroad would not be far behind. This line was built in the late 1890's and this bridge is over 100 years old!

 Rick is very impressed to see this bridge, which is still in operation and serving the railroad well. They really new how to build 'em back then.

 This stone wall was built by the original railroad construction crew out of hand carved rock in the late 1890's. Interestingly, this track bed location is a couple miles away from the first construction which was destroyed when a huge rock slide destroyed several miles of track and buried several construction workers.

Today, one of the biggest industries here must be the lumber business. Given the fabulous stands of timber, this is not surprising. Still, to see the vast lumber ready to be milled is impressive (and this is a small fraction of what we saw). 

 Here are the finished results -- miles of boards ready for home construction all around the country. Wow -- there are millions of board feet of finished lumber here. Rick, as an old woodworker, was really impressed!

This turned out to be a great scenic drive that proved very interesting.

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