Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Off the Beaten Track: Wheatland Ferry
I was rushing to get to a shoot for Food Farmer Earth a couple of weeks ago and, as usual, I was a little behind schedule. Most of the farms featured are out in the boonies—meaning, to me, outside the city limits—and, as usual, I had no idea where I was going.
Called the Wheatland Ferry, it's been carrying loads across the Willamette since the 1850s. The first ferry, named the Daniel Matheny after the man who began the service and was its first pilot, was a wooden raft powered by men with wooden poles. Every time a new ferry is commissioned (they've been motorized since the turn of the century) it is renamed the Daniel Matheny and is given a Roman numeral connoting the generation. The current ferry is the Daniel Matheny V, has a capacity of nine cars and makes almost 250,000 trips a year across the river.
For me, it was a chance to slow down, take a deep breath and experience the joy of a beautiful fall morning on the river. What a gift!