- Kate Barker
The Road to Vernonia…home of the Ax Men, Ring of Fire, and a charming little town!
One Sunday we took a leisurely drive from our St. Helens home near the Columbia River to the historic town of Vernonia. Winding our way from the flat lands up towards the gossamer clouds it would be easy to pretend we were entering Misty Mountain territory from Lord of the Rings.
It takes about an hour to travel the twisting thirty-one miles into tall-tree country. (That is if you don’t stop for pictures)
Vernonia’s history is rooted in the timber industry. Magnificent giant trees dwell on hillsides like skyscrapers dominate downtown San Francisco.
Vernonia’s famous Big Gun Logging team is part of the History Channel Ax Men series.
And the 1961 film Ring of Fire, starring David Janssen and Frank Gorshin, was partially filmed in Vernonia.
Arriving in this charming town, with a population of a little over 2,200, we were greeted by a winsome old hip-roofed barn.
I am crazy about bridges, and could not resist getting a photo of this stalwart structure…..
Imagine this gallant framework resisting the menacing floodwater of the Nehalem river….
The Nehalem River did jump it’s banks and flooded this quaint little town in December of 2007.
We found parking next to a grocery store that is definitely “parent friendly!” I’ve NEVER seen this before. I’m impressed. How accommodating…how touching….how thoughtful!
We strolled down the sidewalk to the Black Bear Coffee Company on Bridge Street.
Our delicious hamburger was only outdone by my fantastic Bloody Mary…and it was true, as one of my friends noted, “there’s a salad on top of your drink.”
The service was terrific and the atmosphere delightful. We’ll be returning to the Black Bear Coffee Company.
Leaving the carpets of ferns….
….and the moss covered tree trunks….
….felt like we were leaving a fairy-tale world….
….but I know that the road leading out of Vernonia, can take me back anytime I want!
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