Junction US 99W—Sheridan—Willamina—Valley Junction—Grand
Ronde—Otis Junction; 45.1 m., State 18.
Asphalt paved road.
Greyhound Stages serve towns on route.
Small hotels and tourist camps in town.
State 18, the Salmon River Cut-off, the most direct route between
the upper Willamette Valley and the central part of the Oregon coast,
follows what was first an Indian trail and then an artery of white
travel. It was traveled by Jason Lee and his bride on their honeymoon
trip to the seashore, by settlers driving oxcarts piled high with gear, and
by army wagons laden with rations for Fort Yamhill.
For several miles the route follows the South Yamhill River, called
by the Indians Yam-hel-as—Yellow River—because of the ochre color
of the waters that are churned to a foam by the rocky bed. In the early
days the Yamhill played a part in the development of Oregon. Ware-
houses and wharfs were built, saw a period of activity, then decayed
along its banks. During the days of river transporation, quantities of
wheat and other farm products were taken down-river from this district
to Dayton. But even before the advent of the steamboat, the Yamhill
knew the Hudson's Bay bateaux, manned by Klickitats and loaded
State 18 branches southwestward from US 99W (see TOUR 10),
0 m., at a point at south edge of McMinnville. Skirting a grove of ash
and oak, it cuts through a prosperous farm section where in late sum-
mer and autumn melons, pumpkins, and squashes lie plump and bright
on the dry ground, or await purchasers in wayside stalls. The old white
farm houses and big red barns of the Yamhill Valley give an impression
of economic stability.
BELLEVUE, 7.7 m., a crossroads hamlet, lost importance as a rural
trading center, when good roads were constructed to carry farmers to
places with larger stocks of goods.
The South Yamhill River is seen at 11.1 m., crowded between
abrupt hills. Recesses along the bluff (R) are still smoke-stained from
the signal fires lighted at intervals by the Indians to announce that
some of the maidens of the tribe had reached marriageable age.
SHERIDAN, 11.9 m. (189 alt., 1,008 pop.), divided by the South
Yamhill River, was founded by Abe Faulkner and named for Phil
Sheridan, who, as a young lieutenant, had been stationed at Fort Yam-
hill (see below). The village lives on the trade of farmers and also