Tag Archives: Columbia River

Columbia River, Maryhill, WA & Peach Beach Campground — August 10-12, 2018

On August 10 we drove up to the Peach Beach Campground on the north bank of the Columbia River, near the community of Maryhill, population 98.

Liz Kinney visited us there, as did Hilbruner’s daughter Anna & her husband Craig & their little one Axel.

After Liz and the younger Hilbruners returned to their respective homes, the elder Hilbruners went off to visit friends, and Barb, Colleen, Bill and I went to see the Maryhill  Museum of Art and the Maryhill Stonehenge.

Culled from a variety of articles in Wikipedia:

Maryhill is named after the wife and daughter of regional icon Samuel Hill (13 May 1857 – 26 February 1931), who purchased land and envisioned a community there shortly after the turn of the 20th century.

Sam Hill was a businessman, lawyer, railroad executive, and advocate of good roads. He used his Maryhill property to build the first paved roads in the Pacific Northwest, the Maryhill Museum of Art (originally intended as a grand residence for the Hills), Maryhill Stonehenge, a monument to the World War I dead of Klickitat County in the form of a Stonehenge replica, and a planned community. Hill intended the Stonehenge replica to express that modern warfare (like Druid sacrifices as he understood them) was a form of needless human sacrifice.

He substantially influenced the Pacific Northwest region’s economic development in the early 20th century. He devoted much attention to advocating construction of modern roads in Washington and Oregon. In September 1899 Hill created the Washington State Good Roads Association which persuaded the Washington State Legislature to create the Washington State Department of Transportation in 1905. Hill’s land around Maryhill proved useful for his advocacy. From 1909–1913 he laid 10 miles of asphalt-paved Macadam road at his own expense (US$100,000). It was the first such road in the Pacific Northwest and Hill experimented over its length with seven different paving techniques.

In 1907, Hill persuaded the University of Washington to establish the United States’ first chair in highway engineering. He could not persuade the State of Washington to build a highway on the north bank of the Columbia River, but in 1913 Oregon governor Oswald West and the Oregon Legislative Assembly visited Maryhill to inspect his experimental prototype road. Subsequently, the State of Oregon built the scenic Columbia River Highway, which linked coastal Astoria, Oregon and The Dalles, Oregon.

Although his promotion of paved modern roads is possibly his greatest legacy, he is now best remembered for building the Stonehenge replica.

Maryhill Museum of Art is a small museum with an extremely eclectic collection. Construction was halted upon America’s entry into World War I. The unfinished museum building was dedicated on November 3, 1926 by Queen Marie of Romania, and was opened to the public on Hill’s birthday (May 13) in 1940. Notable in the Maryhill Museum collection are:

• Plaster and bronze sculptures and watercolors by Auguste Rodin
• European and American paintings
• American Indian art, including baskets and beadwork from the Columbia Plateau region
• Mannequins and replica stage sets from the Théâtre de la Mode
• More than 300 chess sets from around the world,
• Eastern Orthodox icons
• Palace furnishings and personal items that once belonged to Queen Marie
• Memorabilia associated with the dancer Loïe Fuller
• Art Nouveau-era glass
• A permanent exhibit about Samuel Hill’s life and projects
• An outdoor sculpture park containing more than a dozen works by Pacific Northwest artists,

We later met the Hilbruners and their friends at the Maryhill Winery, where we had wine and snacks and then played some bocci on their complementary professional bocci courts.  Quite an upgrade from the semi-improvised games we’ve played in the Caribbean.


Three Brothers — Wenatchee & Leavenworth, WA; June 30 – July 9, 2017

Of the five surviving brothers of Barb, three now live in Washington State: Dan, George, and Hugh.  We spent an enjoyable time visiting them and seeing some of the beautiful area.  Knowing that we intended to be in the area for some time, we had, three weeks earlier, arranged for the cracked left pane of the RV’s windshield to be replaced in Wenatchee.  Alas, the replacement windshield was delayed and had not yet arrived when we did.  No matter, the brothers and their families were attentive hosts, and that part of the world is gorgeous.  Early in our visit we took a side trip northward along the Columbia River to Chelan, where we visited the  Fielding Hills Winery before continuing on to Manson for lunch.  When we returned to Wenatchee, we joined the pool party/cook out in progress at the home of Dan and Candy (they also own a home in Leavenworth), already attended by the extended families of all three brothers.  George and Hugh have separate businesses in construction; Dan & Candy together own an Italian restaurant in Wenatchee and another in Leavenworth perhaps more well know:  Visconti’s.  I say only half jokingly that Dan must have some kind of hormone problem:  in addition to the two aforementioned restaurants Dan and Candy also have two additional eateries in Wenatchee in the Pybus Public Market — a Gelato and Crepe shop called ICE, and a Pizzeria called FIRE.  They also have several additional businesses in Leavenworth: a cheese and sausage shop, an open-air sausage “garten” a gelato shop, and, believe it or not, down in the basement of Visconti’s, a facility for making their own sausages, called CURED.  See what I mean about hormones?

George and Hugh seem similarly afflicted:  among other things they have each been buying homes and then renovating them for resale.  When we arrived in Wenatchee, George was just in the process of moving into his impressive new home which he almost entirely built by himself.

George’s new home, by the way, is on property adjacent to the beautiful Ohme Gardens.  From the Garden’s page on the internet: 

In 1929 Herman Ohme purchased 40 acres of land for an orchard. Included was a craggy, dry, desolate, rock-strewn bluff with a breathtaking view of the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River valley. Herman and his new bride, Ruth, began dressing up the bluff for the their own enjoyment.

Small evergreens were transplanted from the nearby Cascade Mountains, native stone was hauled to form paths and borders, desert sage gave way to low-growing ground cover, and pools took shape adjacent to massive natural rock formations. It was hard work, done mostly by hand, and truly a labor of love. In the beginning, sustaining the Gardens meant hauling water in five gallon buckets from the river valley below, but eventually the Ohmes constructed an elaborate irrigation system that pumped water to the site.

Initially intended as a private family retreat, the interest of friends and community members prompted the Ohmes to open the Gardens to the public. The Ohmes continued to perfect the Gardens for 42 years, until 1971 when Herman died at the age of 80. The couple’s son Gordon and his family then assumed responsibility for the Gardens, and in 1991 Washington State Parks and Recreation purchased the Gardens and surrounding property. The Gardens are currently owned and managed by Chelan County.

We had an enjoyable time in Wenatchee.  Dinner several times at the Wenatchee restaurant, visits to George and his wife Anne and their daughters at their new home, and visits to Hugh and his S.O. Patty at their isolated home on the edge of town up high enough to give a commanding view of the orchards below.  We also visited Hugh’s most recent renovation, located just two doors down from Dan and Candy’s home.  And the extended families all attended the July Fourth fireworks display on the waterfront in the Walla Walla Point Park, which we accessed by parking at the restaurant and then walking to the venue.

The uncertainty concerning delivery of the RV window pane restricted our ability to commit to extended time in either of the two near-by RV parks, consequently we were forced to make last-minute reservations that were hindered by unavailability.  So we found ourselves bouncing back and forth between the Wenatchee Confluence RV park and the Wenatchee County Park.   But both had their charms; Barb was happy to get some fit-bit steps while I focused on bird photography.

We took the RV up the scenic highway to Leavenworth, where we parked in Dan’s yard.  The town was packed with visitors there to enjoy the Bavarian theme that permeates the entire village.  Dan’s Sausage Garten was packed; understandably so:  the various x-wurst sandwiches, potentially garnished with any of approximately one thousand different mustards, and accompanied by German-style potato salad and locally-brewed cold beer, were delicious.

The Wenatchee River borders Leavenworth to the east; about half of that boundary is given over to a lovely park offering shaded walks along the river, which, on the day of our traversal, was filled with inner-tube floaters (featherless bipods) and ducks (feathered bipods.)

All told, we had a great time visiting warm and friendly people in some lovely parts of Washington.  We’ll be back.


Here are some of the birds seen during this time frame.