After visiting with my Mother and Grandmother in Kelso, Washington for the day, I set off back towards the Puyallup area around 5:00 PM. Instead of taking the very quick (boring) route on the Interstate (I drove it so many times), I decided to deviate and drive a different route back to Pierce County.

From Kelso, I followed Washington State Route 411 (also known as the West Side Highway) North along the Cowlitz River. It didn't take me long to realize that this was the same weekend as the Seattle-to-Portland (STP) bike ride. This event meant hundreds of bicycles on the road, luckily all in the opposite direction I had chosen.

Due to the extra traffic, I didn't make any stops in Cowlitz County for any photos. Once I got past Vader, the traffic had died down a bit. From Vader, I followed the Winlock-Vader Road (Washington State Route 603) Northbound through the rural farmlands of Lewis County. In this area I was able to capture the photograph above of the old barn off of Ferrier Road (one of the few photographs I was happy with along this stretch of rural highway).

Eventually Washington State Route 603 meets up and ends at Washington State Route 6 just West of Chehalis. Near this intersection of the highways is the small community of Claquato, Washington. I've driven by this intersection many times, but never paid attention that there was a small community just off the highway. With this new knowledge, I went exploring.

The highlight of this historic town is the Claquato Church (see the photograph above). The Claquato Church is an old historic Methodist church building. It is the oldest standing building in the state of Washington, a fact that I wasn't aware of.

According to Wikipedia:

"It was built in 1857 with a louvered belfry and crown steeple modeled after mid-nineteenth century New England meeting houses. The pulpit and pews were hand crafted. When the county seat moved from Claquato to Chehalis in the 1870s, the church lost its congregants and stood vacant until the 1950s, when it was restored. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973."

After photographing the old church, I explored the old town a little more. This is when I came across the old Dodge flatbed truck. If you've followed my work for a while, you know that I can't resist taking photographs of old trucks when I find them.

This short trip wasn't a very productive evening of shooting photographs (mainly because the direction of the light wasn't in my favor), however I captured a few images that showcase a few features of the area.

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