Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Last Train to Kelso

46°8'31" North, 122°54'22

Actually, there are no trains to Kelso.

Because these days it's little more than a fast-food stop along I-5 in Southern Washington right next to the Columbia River.

In the old days it was a bit of a boom town that ran on raw logs. Now there's not much left because it just doesn't have the charm of nearby Castle Rock, which was made famous by Rob Reiner's movie 'Stand By Me'.

Hell, things have been so bad in Kelso lately that last spring even the Highlander mini-casino/golf complex shut down.

I knew that mini-golf course well. It had some of the best gigantic paper mache animals anywhere and my kids were especially fond of the giraffe on the 13th green.

How do I know all this?

Well, the one thing Kelso's got going for it is that is exactly 1/3 of the way between Vancouver and San Francisco.

It also has a Motel Six.

So when we make the trip to Bagdad by the Bay, which we do regularly, we always stop in Kelso, both because the Motel has a pool and because we can always get a room.

This weekend though, you wouldn't be able to get the folks at the Motel 6 to 'leave a light on for you' or give you a room for love or money.


Because if that train did stop in Kelso, the Chamber of Commerce would be furiously working the Refs right now to have it renamed 'Mount St. Helen's Station'.

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