Home Sweet Home
"Home Sweet Home"
We have a house on Green Mountain in between Woodland and Kalama. We are at 900 feet so we often get snow that disappears once you come down the mountain. We have a view of the Columbia River and love the wildlife we get to spot up here.
We've had a deer lay down right outside our back porch, just chillin. We got to see a bobcat hunting what looked like a black rat in our yard (ew). I never get bored watching the eagles and hawks. I was super surprised at how big racoons were. There were four all running together one day & they looked like they could take Kasey on easy. We saw a herd of elk further down the mountain and I've seen the tracks up here. Thought for sure it was an earthquake but who's to say? I also saw a super cute coyote mouse or mole hunting. The coyotes up here are way cuter than the ones in the desert. We also saw a badger trying to get out of the snow. Pretty cute.
Kalama is also known for being the high school showed in the Twilight movies. It's really small. Woodland is actually closer for us for shopping.
Wayside Stop with Huge Totem Poles
At one time, Kalama was a fairly important place for the railroad between Portland and Seattle. Until the very early 1900s, there was no direct railroad line from Seattle to Portland. Instead, the railroad on the west side of the Columbia River was used to a point across the river from Kalama, and the trains were brought across the river by "car ferry" (a ferry for moving railroad cars - not autos) to Kalama. This was as far south as the main line railraod came on the Washington Side of the River.
In 1904, the bridge over the Columbia River in Portland was completed, and construction and improvements of the current main line completed soon afterward. Kalama became a bit of a backwater.
Today, the Port of Kalama is an important port for grain and wood products. However, the vast majority of people simply pass through it on their way between Portland and Seattle.
By far the most known feature of the city of Kalama these days are the huge Kalama Totem Poles, the tallest of which is 140 feet (43 meters) in height - made out of a single piece of wood. These were carved by a local artist that was well known for efforts to preserve Native American art forms. As well as being visible for quite a distance from Interstate 5, and a monument to Native artists whom we will never know the name of, these also serve as a memorial to a certain local citizen that was well liked in her community.
There are several beaches along the Columbia River at Kalama, and one long segment of beach is accessible through Louis Rasmussen Day Use Park, which also has a playground, picnic facilities, and other features that people coming through on Interstate 5 may find useful.
Kalama also has a Columbia River marina, and running south from the Marina to an undeveloped park that sits hidden within the industrial Port of Kalama lands is the Kalama Riverfront Trail, which also helps with the beach access.