(Aberdeen, Wash.) — Astoria — Seaside — Tillamook — Newport —
Marshfleld—Gold Beach—(Crescent City, Calif.); US 101.
Washington Line to California Line, 394.4 m.
Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railroad parallels route between Astoria and
Seaside; Southern Pacific Railroad between Mohler and Tillamook and between
Reedsport and Coquille.
US 101, which closely parallels the rocky Oregon Coast and affords
striking views of sea and shore, follows in part an Indian trail over
which, according to legend, passed Talapus, the Indian coyote god,
when he was fashioning the headlands and bays and setting a limit to
the tide. Traders early followed the stretches of beach below the present
route before covered wagons had flattened the underbrush on higher
land. But most travel along the coast in early days was by water, though
boatmen had to be exceedingly careful in the treacherous coastal tides.
From 1853, when Ferrelo, under orders from the Spanish viceroy in
Mexico City, pushed up the coast in search of the mythical Straits of
Anian—which were supposed to provide a passage across the continent
—until long after 1792 when Robert Gray entered the mouth of the
Columbia River and Lieutenant Broughton explored it, the shore waters
were the scenes of perilous adventure.
South of the tidal estuary of the Columbia, the salt marshes and low
sand-spits of the northwestern rim of the state, cliffs crowd close to
the ocean. Construction of a motor road along the coast, to be called
the Roosevelt Military Highway, was begun in 1921 after long urging
by Benjamin F. Jones of Newport and in the face of derision because
of the difficulties of the project. The highway was completed in 1932.
It was only then that along the coast real development began. Their
long isolation has given the sea-board towns a certain individuality
though they share the characteristics of villages on any coast subject
to violent storms. Summer cottages here and there are trim and brightly
painted but the majority of the houses have a haphazard look; each has
been placed where its owner thought he could gain the most protection
from wind and waves. Most of the weatherboarding, locally called
shiplap, and shingles are a uniform silver gray. Formerly shingle "sec-
onds" could be had at the mills without cost, or for very little, and
many coast homes were covered with them. Shingles over shiplap were
considered the best walling though discouraged coasters insist that a
weatherproof house simply cannot be built—the wind will whip rain
through the most cleverly joined and mortised walls. The same wind