How I found myself in Wahkiakum County
I’ve mentioned this before. Please bear with me. I’m not proud of the fact that on Labor Day Weekend, 2016, I got very angry at a houseguest. I took off with the excuse that I had legal work I needed to take care of in northern California. (I did, indeed have paperwork to complete, but it could have been done by mail.) Along the way, I spent a couple of days driving Washington Highway 14. That road runs along the Columbia River on the Washington side. I took lots of photographs for possible inclusion in my coffee table book Evergreen: A Photographic Portrait of Washington’s Thirty-Nine Counties. One of the scenes I captured was the scenic Skamokawa Slough.
I spent my first night on the road at the charming Cathlamet Hotel in the Wahkiakum County Seat. Wahkiakum is the smallest county by total area in Washington State. It lies on the north bank of the Columbia, northwest of Portland, Oregon. I was able to get some decent dusk photographs around the city itself. The next morning, the sun and I were both up before the hotel served breakfast.
Yes, there’s a sales pitch
The photograph is available from my Etsy Shop, LightIntoArt, in a wide variety of sizes and formats. Choose glossy photo paper prints in three sizes: 8×10, 11×14, 16×20. Or if you prefer something larger, choose canvas prints in 16×20, 24×36, or 30×40 inches. Finally, for a spectacular display, you can get this image in 3 panel side-by-side canvas prints at 24 x 72, 36 x 72, or 40 x 90 inches. The video below gives you an idea of what these sizes are like in a living room, bed room or office setting.
Driving through Wahkiakum County
A photographer never wastes sunlight. Therefore, I grabbed my gear, jumped in the car. I started by crossing the Juliet Butler Hansen bridge to Puget Island, a seven mile long island in the Columbia. Having driven the various back roads around the island, I returned to my hotel, ate breakfast, and packed the car. Driving west on Washington Highway 4, I stopped several times to photograph buildings and landscapes I found fascinating. Wahkiakum County is not on any major highways, and this was my first time visiting the county.
Heading west on Washington Highway 4, I stopped in the small town of Skamokawa. After photographing the local Methodist Church, I crossed the road and looked behind the town’s shops which backed up to the waterway known as Skamokawa Slough. I loved the color and the light afforded by the overcast sky, and gladly shot away, hoping to capture good images of the scenery.
The town is registered as a National Historic District and is well-worth a visit should you find yourself in southwestern Washington. In the meantime, you can pretend you’re there by hanging this portrait of the town on your home or office wall. The video below consists of several photos I took in western Wahkiakum County. These include the Skamokawa United Methodist Church, a farm on the western end of the county, and pilings from the old cannery at Any of the images can be made into wall art. Just ask in your comment.