On Monday, October 3, 3016, we drove up the Cowlitz River for the length of Washington State Route 411.
A state highway to be known as state route number 411 is established as follows:
Beginning at a junction with state route number 432 in Longview, thence northerly to a junction with state route number 5 at Castle Rock.
In the industrial area of southeast Longview, SR 411 begins under this overpass, which is partly SR 432 and partly a city street, in the middle of a simple interchange.
We soon leave Longview and enter residential West Kelso, with the Cowlitz River to our right. We pass below SR 4, without a junction between (although there used to be a spur connecting them, eight years ago). We pass below a high, wooden railroad bridge as it crosses the river. We roll alongside the river and soon we're in the suburb of Lexington. We continue out of town and reach the halfway point of Highway 411 when it starts to curve, as pictured above.
We curve and climb through the wooded hills and small farms with occasional glimpses of the Cowlitz River below. Not much space on the west side of the river. At a stop sign in the middle of a long straightaway, Highway 411 takes a right turn. We cross the Cowlitz and enter Castle Rock. Old quiet downtown. Left at a stop sign in the heart of town, then a mile up the hill to the junction with I-5. SR 504 continues the road straight ahead.
SR 411 is a paradoxically quiet yet busy back road. I might use it again, between hither and yon, just for a change of pace.