The surrounding trees of L.L. Stub Stewart State Park blocked the sun and allowed us to sleep in late. Usually I’m up with the sun.
After breakfast, we finished the final 12 miles of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail and stopped for a coffee. In Vernonia we met Dot & Ron, retired farmers, from Iowa. They were touring the area and invited us to join them at their table.
We passed a thoroughly enjoyable morning discussing a wide range of topics including water rights (which we’ve become acutely aware of while traveling across the USA), corn, soy, hogs, and hay. Apparently his hay is of such high quality that he ships it all over the country.
After discovering Sarah was from New York, he recalled shipping some hay to Oneida, New York, when flatware was still manufactured in the namesake town. The recipients were so impressed that they sent a nice “thank-you” letter which he held on to for years.
We are now in logging country. In fact, Vernonia, Oregon is home to two featured crews of the show “Ax Men“.
Logging permeates the surrounding communities. We saw multiple examples of clear-cuts and re-plantings of this renewable resource. Timber company signs dotted the landscape noting the harvest date “Harvested in 2011” and planting “Replanted in 2012”. Timber sales exploded after the last housing boom and appear to be picking up again based on the constant flow of logging trucks. It is in demand, not only in the USA, but also in China.