Coast to Coast Update

Greetings Indoor Rowers,

This week finds us still on the west coast—traveling from north to south. Our departure point was Vancouver, British Columbia. Having cleared customs and the feared (but overrated) pat-downs, we made it as far as  Washington last week.

Washington is known for many things, but I want to live in Wilbur!

Mount St. Helen’s lost 1,131 feet of elevation in the May 1980 eruption and spewed forth about one cubic mile of dust, ash and debris.  The blast leveled over four billion feet of usable timber, enough to build 150,000 homes.

Everett is the site of the world’s largest building, Boeing’s final assembly plant.

Seattle was the first city in the US to play a Beatles song on the radio.

The highest point in Washington is Mount Rainier. It was named after Peter Rainier, a British soldier who fought against the Americans in the Revolutionary War.

It is illegal to display a hypnotized person in a store window in Everett.

Mt. St. Helen’s erupting in 1980.

The state of Washington is the only state to be named after a United States president.

Seattle built the first revolving restaurant in 1961.

Washington is home to three National Parks, nine National Forests, and 100 State Parks.

Washington state produces more apples than any other state in the union.

On the afternoon of July 4, 1947, Frank Ryman, an off-duty U.S. Coast Guard Yeoman, snaps the first photograph of an alleged flying saucer from the yard of his home in Lake City, north of Seattle.

Washington state has more glaciers than the other 47 contiguous states combined.

In Wilbur, it is against the law to ride an ugly horse.

Medina is the home of the United States wealthiest man, Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

The Northwestern most point in the contiguous U.S. is Cape Flattery on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

Spokane was the smallest city in size to host a World’s Fair in 1974.

The world’s first soft-serve ice cream machine was located in an Olympia Dairy Queen.

Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world was founded in Seattle.


Seattle sells more sunglasses per capita than any other major city in the nation.

A badly worded law in Washington states that when two trains come to a crossing, neither shall go until the other has passed.

Washington is the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix in Seattle and Bing Crosby in Tacoma.

X-rays can not be used for shoe fittings.

The world’s first gas station opened in 1907 at Western Ave. and Holgate St.

Seattle was the first American city to put police on bicycles.

In Seattle, it is against the law to carry a concealed weapon that is over six feet in length.

In Spokane, it is against the law to buy a television on Sunday.


“Yes”, a very small group of OAR members have actually rowed on water this past week, but the weather conditions of late have forced most of us indoors. To which I reply “Erg!”

This week we have a few more participants in our program: Dean–who is training this winter for some very long endurance bike races next year, Chad—returning from some knee problems,  Andy—who has probably rowed at the lake more than the rest of us in the past week, plus a growing number of novices.

Total distance to date is more than I expected. Last week (including later reports was 494 K and this week was 475K.)  We are past Eugene and actually made it as far as Grants Pass. Map below.

Grants Pass, almost named Louse, is still a few kilometers from the California border, but we’re well on our way!

Grants Pass may be the largest community in Josephine County, but it is by no means the oldest. People living in the area prior to 1865 had to go to Rock Point to get their mail. There was a stage station several miles north of present day Grants Pass, located on what we now call Granite Hill Road on the Oregon-California Road. Called the Louse Creek Station, it was run by Ebenezer Dimmick. Dimmick, Thomas, Croxton (who was Dimmick’s brother-in-law), and John Wheeler wanted a post office so that residents of the area would not have to go 17 miles to pick up their mail. The three men petitioned the Post Office Department for the establishment of a local post office. They did not think the name of Louse Creek would draw people to the area, so they decided to name it “Grant” in honor of Union General U.S. Grant. Croxton received his appointment as postmaster, but was told to select a new name because a Grant, Oregon already existed.

A few interesting things about our state. I didn’t know this about the Tillamook Rock lighthouse!

  1. Oregon’s state flag pictures a beaver on its reverse side. It is the only state flag to carry two separate designs.
  2. Oregon has more ghost towns than any other state.
  3. The Columbia River gorge is considered by many to be the best place in the world for windsurfing.
  4. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and is formed in the remains of an ancient volcano.
  5. Oregon and New Jersey are the only states without self-serve gas stations.
  6. Eugene was the first city to have one-way streets.
  7. Pilot Butte, a cinder cone volcano, exists within the city limits of Bend.
  8. At 329 feet the Coast Douglas-Fir in Oregon is considered the tallest tree in the state.
  9. At 8,000 feet deep Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America.
  10. The hazelnut is Oregon’s official state nut. Oregon is the only state that has an official state nut. The hazelnut is also known as the filbert.
  11. Oregon’s state birthday is on February 14, Valentine’s Day.
  12. The “Oregon Pioneer” statue that tops the capitol building is a work by Ulric Ellerhusen. This heroic figure represents the spirit of Oregon’s early settlers.
  13. The state park system has 159 yurts located in 19 parks. Yurts are a circular domed tent suitable for camping.
  14. Navy blue and gold are Oregon’s official state colors.
  15. The Chinook salmon is Oregon’s official state fish.
  16. The Willamette River was discovered in 1792.
  17. In 1858 the richest gold find in the Cascade Mountains was discovered in the Bohemia Mining District at Sharp’s Creek near Cottage Grove.
  18. Dorris Ranch in Springfield became the first commercial filbert orchard in the state.
  19. In 1876 the University of Oregon opened in Eugene. Deady Hall was the first building on campus and still exists.
  20. In 1880 a sea cave was discovered near what is now known as Florence. Sea Lion Caves is known to be the largest sea cave in the world.
  21. The nation’s most photographed lighthouse is the Heceta Head Lighthouse located in Lane County.
  22. Darlingtonia Wayside is Oregon’s only rare plant sanctuary.
  23. Oregon’s second highest waterfall is Salt Creek Falls in the Cascade Mountain range. It drops 286 feet.
  24. The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest is one of the largest long-term ecological research sites in the United States.
  25. Eugene is rated by “Bicycling Magazine” as one of the top ten cycling communities in the United States.
  26. There are nine lighthouses standing along the coastline. Five are still being used; the others are designated historic monuments.
  27. Portland is an example of outstanding urban planning. The city is known as The City of Roses.
  28. High above the city of Portland the International Rose Test Garden features more than 500 varieties of roses cultivated continuously since 1917.
  29. At 11,239 feet Mount Hood stands as the tallest peak in Oregon. Mount Hood is a dormant volcano.
  30. Silver Falls State Park is the Oregon’s largest state park. It features 10 waterfalls and contains a wide variety of forested hiking trails.
  31. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. It was formed more than 6,500 years ago. Its crystal-blue waters are world renowned.
  32. Discovered in 1874 the caves located in Oregon Caves National Monument are carved within solid marble.
  33. The world’s largest rosary collection is exhibited at The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center. A local resident collected the exhibit.
  34. The Carousel Museum contains the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of carousel horses.
  35. Fort Clatsop National Memorial contains a replica of Lewis and Clark’s 1805-1806 winter outpost.
  36. The small village of Bickelton is filled with bluebird houses seen on the posts of every house.
  37. The Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area is a spectacular river canyon cutting the only sea-level route through the Cascade Mountain Range.
  38. The Ries-Thompson House is the oldest remaining residence in Parkdale. Built circa 1900 the home and area offer a commanding view of Mount Hood.
  39. Tillamook is home to Oregon’s largest cheese factory.
  40. Florence is known as Oregon’s rhododendron capital.
  41. The Oregon Legislature designated the Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium) as the Oregon state flower by resolution in 1899.
  42. Oregon’s capitol building is located in Salem. Earlier capitals include the cities of Oregon City and Corvallis.
  43. The Columbia River forms most of the northern border between Oregon and Washington. The Snake River forms over half of the eastern boundary with Idaho.
  44. In 1905 the largest long cabin in the world was built in Portland to honor the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  45. A treaty between the United States and Spain established the current southern border between Oregon and California. The treaty was signed in 1819.
  46. The Oregon Trail is the longest of the overland routes used in the westward expansion of the United States.
  47. The Tillamook Naval Air Museum is housed in the world’s largest wooden clear-span building.
  48. Haystack Rock off Cannon Beach is 235 feet high and is the third largest coastal monolith in the world.
  49. The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, built in 1880, is currently used as the site of the final resting place of up to 467,000 cremated individuals.

This week should find us near Redding California as we travel further south on our journey. One of the topics in the Roylerow notebook that I find useful has to do with flexibility. You will find it in Section 3, beginning on page 4. Many of you will immediately respond saying “I’ve never been very flexible”, as if it came naturally to “other people.” Regardless of preconceived notions, I believe that you can improve your flexibility—by trying a handful of these. Think of ways to incorporate them in to your daily routine. For me, it’s one dose in the morning—right after my shower, and another at night—right before bed. If I work out at noon, another dose is “taken” then. This doesn’t take long: five minutes max, but it does help loosen up the joints. I know it’s a stretch to fit one more thing in to your workout routine, but try to show how flexible you are and bend your routine a bit. You’ll be a longer person for it in the end.  Cheers!

Dave Horton




Posted on December 13, 2010, in Training and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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