With nearly a thousand miles of coast between Los Angeles and north Oregon, the prospect of ever identifying the location this photo was taken seemed slim. Then one evening, persistence and luck allowed the author to identify the exact location using Google street images!
The couple stopped to capture their photo of the “Pacific Ocean” along Hwy 101 at Gold Beach, OR! They were about 66 miles up the coast from their photo taken of the Klamath River bridge in California Redwood Country.
A similar challenge occurred with attempting to identify the location of the above photo. The Columbia River after all is over 1,200 miles long! Although the ornamental lamps and stone wall in the foreground hinted at a possible dam or bridge abutment, image searches of each of these possibilities came up empty. Then, the photo below appeared! Another traveler stood at the exact same location in 2011 that Earl and Ethel did 74 years before and took the same shot. Further research revealed the location was not so random, but was a rest stop built as part of the first planned scenic roadway constructed in the United States, the 75-mile-long Columbia River Highway. (photo permission allowed through traveljapanblog.com)
And some rest stop it was! Completed in 1918 the graceful octagonal stone Crown Point Vista House is situated atop one of the most beautiful scenic points on what is now called the Historic Columbia River Highway. Vista House is located about 15 miles east of Portland, 733 feet above the river gorge below and is considered a “destination unto itself.” The structure is on National Register of Historic Places and after an extensive five-year renovation was rededicated in 2006.
(the post card and Vista House photo are Common Use through Wikipedia)
The scenic road the couple drove on was replaced by Interstate 84 down in the valley, but the two-lane road they traveled east to Yellowstone on remains today to be experienced much as they did then.
Drinking fountains were an intentional design feature for the nation’s first scenic highway. Image searches on the internet turned up several similar roadside drinking fountains. Just not this one!