It was a long old drive across Washington state but what a beautiful drive it was!
The varying terrain from mountain passes, rivers and trees to prairies and corn fields, back to mountains kept the journey interesting. I am a great lover of mountainous scenery, clean mountain rivers and vast expanses of forest. There was no shortage of that here.
As I descended from the mountains towards the coast I found myself in a quiet little town called Raymond. This little town was clean, welcoming and almost a vision of a stereotypical quiet American town. I was glad to get settled into the motel and rest after the days drive, refreshed for the next days visit.
The place I had come here to visit was the North West Carriage museum. I had found this museum via an internet search and was hooked from day one. It had formed one of my definite stops on the journey, being on the West coast in a position ideal for me to end the journey and leave the country. In this museum is housed a beautiful collection of horse drawn carriages, in excellent condition. The collection boasts not only a wide selection of carriages but a keen interest in educating the public about the history of the carriages and Wheelwrighting.
Most of this collection contains the finer end of horse drawn vehicles from manufacturers worldwide including makers in England. Some of ‘pride of the collection’ vehicles have featured in films such as gone with the wind, a great tourist attraction that leads people’s interest towards the rest of the story behind the vehicles and history.
Within the museum is an educational area where children (and adults) can learn more about the making of the wheels, the tools used and can take part in activities. They can even dress up in period clothing and have pictures aboard one of the vehicles or have a go at steering a horse and cart (stationary model of course).
I have been really taken by this museum, not only because of the collection and location but by the attitude towards passing on history and the love for the collection. The museum is also currently under expansion with a new addition (‘extension’ back home) that will house more of the working vehicles that would have been used in order to show both ends of the scale.
The staff at the museum are passionate, friendly and extremely knowledgeable. It’s this kind of dedication and passion to the history that has made my project so exciting and interesting. Laurie, Jerry and Mary had made me feel so welcome and right through my journey Laurie had keep in touch and helped out with recommendations for places to visit and stay. As with all my visits so far I will be forever thankful for the kindness I have been shown and the great hospitality.
Leaving the Museum felt like the end of an era for my journey. Although this will not be my last stop on the journey, thanks to some welcome recommendations from Jerry and Laurie I will be heading onwards to another visit in Canada! and it sounds a fascinating place.
On the way out of the USA I have another stop or two to make that could prove interesting….
Final goodbye USA video…