Thursday, October 7, 2010

The World's Shortest River - A Battle Between States

No trip to western Oregon is complete without a stop off at the coast. So with grandparents in tow, we made a mad dash to Tillamook, to see cheese being made...

...and Depoe Bay, to see salt water taffy being made, although the machine wasn't running while we were there.

But, that's okay, because buying salt water taffy from Ainslee's, in Depeo Bay, has been a solid family tradition, for my family, on every visit to the coast, since the store was opened. It's not really a trip to Oregon, unless you can make yourself absolutely sick on the way home, eating salt water taffy.

And, between Tillamook, and Depoe Bay, we stopped off at the beach in Lincoln City, where there is a sign proclaiming the World's Shortest River. The children ran out to dip their feet in the freezing water...

...except for A, who being a true Montanan, wouldn't take her boots off, even for the beach.

We had a great time playing in the surf, but I was bothered the whole time, by the thought, that we had already seen the world's shortest river. I was pretty sure on our last trip to Great Falls, we had read about a river running from a natural spring into the Missouri river, being the world's shortest.

So, when I got home I checked it out on Wikipedia, and sure enough there has been a battle between Oregon, and Montana, over the title.

  • "D" River was listed as the shortest river in The Guinness Book of World Record's at 440 ft., from Devil's Lake to the Pacific Ocean.

  • In 1989, the title was lost, when elementary school children in Great Falls, MT, measured the Roe River at 201 ft., from Giant Springs to the Missouri River.

  • The people of Lincoln City, then remeasured "D" River, at extreme high tide, and found it to be 120 ft. long. I'm guessing that's when the sign went up.

I have to say, I think Oregon is cheating a little. But, the Man of the House, a native Oregonian, finds it all very fair, and above board. The Guinness Book of World Record's, apparently, quite carrying the category of "shortest river", in 2006 - a very wise move on their part. Wars between the states have been known to get ugly.

For more fun geography, and history facts, and activities, check out the weekly link-up at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn. Or, for more first hand accounts of the Oregon coast, visit Pebblekeeper's Beach Schooling blog - homeschool on the beach - wow!

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Hallie said...

My husband is from Montana but we are living in WA state for th time being and aren't too far from where you've been visiting! Going to see cheese made is already on my must see list but I didn't know about the taffy! Thanks so much for sharing! It's amazing what you learn about your own area from ready other people's blogs! lol

pebblekeeper said...

Looks like a quick drive up the coast! Hope you Honked at the D River for me!!! We live on Devils Lake - Hubs works at the BiMart. :) But not this week. :) He's hunting. They make all the kiddos dump sand into the river so it shortens it. . . . ;) The big kite festival will be there at DRiver this weekend. :)Heart is sad we didn't get to meet - but Joyful you got to enjoy my favorite spots!

Raising a Happy Child said...

I love to explore geography in road trips. DYK that I never tasted salt water taffy? I guess one of these days I need to make sure we'll buy some - I think they also sell it in Old Sacramento. The battle between states is rather amusing.

Ticia said...

Hmmm..... I don't know how much I'd accomplish if we homeschooled on the beach. But, I guess after a while the novelty wears off.

Looks like everyone had fun. My kids haven't had saltwater taffy yet.

Christy said...

I love saltwater taffy. Yum.

Interesting about the river battle!

I want to go to school at your house (and on your road trips)!

phasejumper said...

"Wars between the states have been known to get ugly" ha ha!!!

Brimful Curiosities said...

Never thought much about shortest rivers. That's neat that both of them are relatively close to you (at least a lot closer than to us). I just tried to figure out what the shortest river was in WI but didn't have much luck.

Debbie said...

I never really knew about the shortest rivers. I am going to keep that in mind. Funny how your daughter wouldn't take her boots off not even for the beach!