Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sabbath Sites: Elkton & Fort Umpqua Days

(Excessive photo alert…)

Elkton – a town famous for…

…uh, being halfway to the coast from Roseburg?

With a population of 200, we’ve driven through it numerous times, but haven’t seen much reason to stop unless we needed an emergency potty break…

But they host a Fort Umpqua Days event each Labor Day weekend that inspired Esmé and I to check it out last Sunday. 

The event is held at the Elkton Community Education Center, home of the beautiful Butterfly Pavilion and kid-friendly Fort Umpqua.P1100061

We started out in the butterfly flight room, abuzz with flight.  I really tried to narrow down my butterfly pictures to just one, but I couldn’t! P1090978P1090987

Using our new-found monarch expertise, we can now tell you that this butterfly is a male…P1090989

Most of the butterflies were monarchs (which Esmé insists she’s never seen before), but we did recognize a few of our little Painted Ladies (the species we had in our terrarium last spring to watch the metamorphosis cycle).P1090991

The Flight Room contained all the life cycle at once!P1090990P1090999P1100006

I told Esmé she wasn’t allowed to touch, except for rescues (there were a few caterpillars getting squished on the pathway where people were walking), so she spent a lot of time looking for crawlies to rescue.P1090992

She found a couple of butterflies to rescue, too…P1100010

After a short break…P1100012

…we ventured out into the gorgeous butterfly garden.  Butterfly-friendly plants, interesting metal sculptures, this was the venue for a butterfly release later in the day.  P1090985P1100013P1100015P1100046

A trip to the gift shop netted a finger puppet butterfly who needed to visit the garden as well…P1100041

But it’s not all butterflies!  We’ve got to head to Fort Umpqua as well!P1100018

This is a replication of the southernmost outpost of the Hudson’s Bay Company and their second-most prominent fur collecting point in Oregon.P1100039P1100029

As fur trade declined, it became an agricultural center, with resources such as fruit trees and cattle.  Fort Umpqua was destroyed by fire in 1851, and in 1862, all evidence of the fort was washed out with a flood.  This replica stands about a mile downstream from the original fort.P1100030

First stop:  the trading post, with furs to feel:P1100031P1100020

And displays like this one of brick tea and more:P1100022

Then Esmé signed up for a stint with the Hudson Bay Company… P1100034

…with a quill pen, no less, something she’s long dreamed of writing with:P1100023

First assignment:  pumping water…P1100025

…to water the garden.P1100027

Next, some laundry to be washed:P1100028

She comments, “This is so much fun!  I can’t wait to see what’s next!”  And I wonder why she doesn’t get the same joy from work at home…  She does a stint in the kitchen, sorting beans and grinding corn:P1100032

And a reward for all the hard labor: an arrowhead!  Which Esmé absolutely treasures: “The first thing I’ve ever really earned!”  I maybe need to stock up on some arrowheads?P1100035

We took a quick walk down to the beautiful Umpqua River.  Not too comfortable down there (no shade and lots of sun), so we walked back up the bank and took a break where we could hear the river flow by and see glimpses of it through the trees. P1100038

No pictures, but the Outpost Café near the Butterfly Pavilion was the perfect place for us to cool down, with blended coffees, smoothies and soft ice cream options.

Last stop for us (though there was more to explore if we’d had more time):  a community-flavored historical pageant based on songs from Annie, Get Your Gun.  Not exactly a Broadway production, but  we got front row seats!  And the snafus, such as folks forgetting lines, contributed to the comedy of the concept that Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show would stop at a tiny place like Elkton.  The true test – it kept a 6yo’s attention…P1100051P1100053P1100056P1100057

When Esmé realized we were heading to the car afterward, she expressed “great displeasure.” 

“I wish when you picked a place to live, you picked a spot right here.  Close enough so I could walk here whenever I wanted!”

I don’t think a place can get much higher praise than that!  Well done, Elkton…

0 comments: