Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's at a Chateau

We were lucky enough to stay at the Chateau at Oregon Caves.  I was humming the opening to "A Weekend in the Country" during our stay ("just think of it Petra / it's at a chateau..").  It's a small hotel with about twenty rooms.  The Chateau was constructed in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). 


The instide reminded me a little bit of the Inn at Old Faithful.  It was dark, which encouraged looking out the large windows at the forrest outside.  There used to be a short balcony running along the west side of the building, but the snow load was too great in the winters and they were removed.  The interior was a kind of mix of Arts-and-Crafts and pioneer. 
What was amazing to me was that the hotel was in the middle of a steep ravine.  The lobby was on the street level on one of the hotel, but on the other side it was on the forth floor.  The stream from the Oregon Caves was mostly diverted around the hotel except for the bit collected in a reflecting pool uphill from the building.

In December 1964, there was a huge mudslide caused by a pinapple express melting all the snow uphill.  A seventeen foot high wall of debris barrelled down the ravine and through the hotel.  It knocked the hotel off its foundation and they had to use hydraulic jacks and chains to put it back.  As a result, there are places where the doors are not square with their jams, and if you look at some of the support beams in the gift shop, you can see they aren't square.

I think I'll live with the clay ground making our house foundation move a little.
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