The time is WWII. Pearl Harbor has happened, the Empire is eyeing the Alaskan islands, A Japanese sub has sailed up the Columbia river and shelled Ft. Stephens, a Japanese bomber has set fire to the forests around Tillamook, and Japanese "jelly fish bombs" have killed a pastor and his family on a picnic trip into the Oregon forest.
So in the face of these attacks what do the good farmers of Tillamook, Oregon think of?
The COWS of course.
The dairy cows that had grazed placidly on the green pastures of the Pacific Northwest were some of the finest, happiest, milk stock in the world. They produced cheese, cream, and sundry dairy products that kept more than one nation fat and happy and with the firebombings in the nearby forests (foiled only by the wet summer) they were in immediate danger. Clearly something needed to be done to safe guard this legacy but geography was a harsh reality. The very mountains that cradled the rich valleys were a barrier to the safe plains beyond them with only a few, narrow roads over them. So the farmers, determined to preserve their stock began hiking and walking, searching. They mapped out a route over logging roads, hunting tracks, and riverbeds over the Cascade mountains and to the safety of the dryer plains beyond. It would be a difficult and dangerous trek, complicated by the fact that the fat, happy cows of Tillamook had never walked further than from their warm barns to their green pastures. Many would undoubtedly die but they calculated that enough would survive to preserve the bloodlines and continue the industry.
Fortunately the feared attacks never materialized. Wet summers prevented the firebombing runs from doing much damage and the jellyfish bombs malfunctioned and drooped into the fathomless depths of the Pacific. The languid cows never had to leave their barns.
But somewhere in the ruddy red barns of Tillamoook, in a drawer with rusty nails and duct tape, sits a hand drawn map that winds over mountains from the deepest ocean to the dry plains beyond. The map that would save the cows.
Yes, this is honest to goodness REAL Oregon history. For more information visit the Tillamook Air Museum.