Before there was an Interstate 5, or even a bridge from Portland, OR to Vancouver, WA…

To get from Portland to a northern city like Tacoma or Seattle, a person would have to first board a ferry in Portland. That ferry would travel West on the Columbia River to a port town called Kalama (now a 20 minute drive from Portland – probably took a lot longer on the ferry). In Kalama, one could board the steam train north – with probably quite a few stops to pick-up and drop-off passengers and get more water to operate the steam train. InterstateBridge1917Just for the record, you can drive from Portland to Seattle in 3.5 hours (depending on traffic) today. This journey sounds like it could take a couple days. Thank goodness for the interstate bridge, completed in 1917! If you board the Queen on the West in Portland, just look behind the paddlewheel to see that fantastic bridge that has made it safe for people to cross the Columbia River for decades.