Saturday, July 23, 2011

World's shortest river

As you drive south on Highway 101 in north Lincoln City, Oregon, a bridge sign proclaims the creek you're driving over is the world's shortest river. It empties Devil's Lake to the east into the Pacific Ocean to the west. The water way is maybe a hundred feet or so long and only a few feet wide at its widest point.

As a kid, I remember wading in the D River on the ocean side of the bridge. Though it's not very deep at that point, the water seems to be rushing out. Even today, I usually cross the D River where it's much slower and only a couple of inches deep.

I wonder what possessed people to call this stream a river, When I think of rivers, I think of the Mississippi, the Nile or the Pacific Northwest's own Columbia, which starts in Canada and divides Oregon and Washington on its journey to the sea.

Maybe it's called a river as a publicity stunt by coastal fathers. Just like some Montanans who cleaned up an old ditch, some 70 feet long, and then proclaimed it as the world's shortest river. Whatever. But the D River has held the title longer than the Montana water way.

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