Confluence Project

Grays River Bridge

Back in 2012 I photographed and briefly wrote about Tàishùn county’s covered bridges. As you can imagine, with all the rain and available timber, covered bridges are also seen in early 20th century PNW wooden truss constructions. Driving through Washington to get to Cape Disappointment, we stopped by the Grays River Bridge (Howe truss!) which was built in 1905 and renovated in 1988.


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Cape Disappointment Confluence Projects

Before my architectural education, Maya Lin was the first designer I ever consciously studied the work of. Now, looking back, it was the subtly of form and the pared down human experience of place that attracted me to her work. The Confluence Project is a sequence of public artworks and projects installed along the Columbia River river system. Each site aims to explore the convergence of history, culture and ecology, and therefore features local histories such as Native American myths or the Lewis and Clark Expedition. They stretch from the mouth of the Columbia River (Cape Disappointment) all the way to Hell’s Canyon, on Oregon’s eastern border. Following descriptions of Maya Lin’s projects are from the Confluence Project website:


Along one of several trails at the site, learn about Lewis and Clark’s 4,133-mile journey from St. Louis to the Pacific in their own words. Read text from their journals inscribed in a boardwalk that leads from an existing amphitheater to Waikiki Beach.


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Cedar Circle
In a secluded grove, cedar driftwood columns surround a cedar tree trunk that predates Lewis and Clark’s arrival.


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Fish-Cleaning Table
Near a viewing platform overlooking Baker Bay, you’ll find a massive, fully functional fish-cleaning table formed from a single polished block of native basalt.  A Chinook origin legend inscribed in the surface of the table tells the story of the interdependence of the Chinook people and the Columbia River’s salmon.


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On the Oregon side of the Columbia’s mouth is Astoria, founded in 1811, and its fantastic bridge.


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