July 26, 2014
One hundred ten miles after we left our house, we pulled into Jantzen Beach RV Park in Portland. After getting the RV set-up and the car unhitched, we drove the distance to Chris and Kima’s house. We had a wonderful afternoon with them, to say nothing of how much we enjoyed Leo and Sadie.
Leo was most happy to show us his newly built play-building in the back-yard. It has a sand-box on the first floor. A sturdy ladder accesses the second floor from which Leo can go down the slide. And then there’s the swinging rope.
Chris and Lon, Kima’s dad, recently built this project. It’s a first-class multi-use playhouse for Leo. And in a few months Sadie will have her fun in there, too. Day Two
July 27, 2014
After church the next morning, we crossed the Columbia River back into Washington. At the north end of the I-5 Bridge, we made a “right turn” onto SR 14. We were on the north side of the Columbia, a route many call more scenic than I-84 on the Oregon side. Whether it’s scenic or not, it is a more leisurely drive. And, it was a drive I’d never taken before. I’ve probably driven the Oregon side of the river close to seventy-five times. This was the first time I’d gone on the Washington side.
We drove through places with names like Washougal, Skamania, North Bonneville, Stevenson, White Salmon, and Wishram Heights. The highway took us alongside the river and up over Cape Horn. Then it was in the trees, away from the river. The last hour or so, we were in arid, very much “not-green” terrain!
Mid-afternoon, one hundred ten miles from Jantzen Beach RV Park, we arrived at Maryhill State Park. The temperature was ninety. The humidity was eighty-four percent! Muggy!
After setting-up the RV and unhooking the car, we drove back up the hill to the Maryhill Art Museum
. The building has a dominating view above the Columbia River. Built in the 1920s and hoping that his wife Mary would move into it, Sam Hill put this building up above the Columbia River on his six-thousand acre ranch. By this time Sam had built roads in the area, and had convinced a friend to build the scenic Multnomah Highway along the Columbia River. In 1921 he built the Peace Arch monument in Blaine, Washington.
He’d thought of establishing a Quaker Community in that area, but that dream fell flat.
It also turned out that Mary didn’t want to move that far from Seattle, so she never occupied the house.
Whereupon, Sam Hill turned the house into an Art Museum. Many years earlier, while Hill had been selling war bonds in Europe, he’d met Queen Marie of Romania. A friendship developed and endured. Not only did she attend the dedication of the museum, but Queen Marie also donated many of the pieces. The museum was opened to the public in the 1940s.
Speaking of Sam Hill’s friendships. While on a speaking trip in North Dakota in 1928, he met a woman who gave birth to Sam Hill’s second son. Sam prevailed upon a cousin to marry that woman. The son was named Sam B. Hill.
In the 1970’s, while living in Lancaster, California, I met and became professional friends with Sam B. Hill. He was a psychotherapist. He told me about his father, Sam Hill, who had fathered him just a few years before his death. There were strong familial similarities between the painting of Sam Hill in the museum, and the appearance of Sam B. Hill.