The Amanda Trail has been reopened and the Amanda Statue donated by Beth Cook and Joan Wikler is now facing her homeland in what is hopefully a safer location. A big storm a number months ago washed out the Amanda Trail Bridge and carried away the original statue of Amanda.
Today, there were Siletz Nation tribal representatives recounting the story of how the statue came to be and why its story must be told again and again to prevent such horrific abuse and death of so many Native Americans. A young Indian girl named Amanda was among those forced to march to an unknown area and a foreboding future. She watched as so many died of starvation and disease as they were forcibly removed from their native lands near Coos Bay and forced to walk every foot between Coos Bay and Yachats where they were ordered to resettle, for a time, in the Yachats Valley. Until these Native Americans mastered farming under quite different coastal conditions, many died of starvation.
The “Amanda Song” was played by Doc on his redwood flute – the notes floating through the forest and into the hearts and minds of everyone in attendance – a melody of healing, now forever found along the Amanda trail and in her statue.
So many from the Yachats Trail Committee, Forestry Service and others poured their hearts and souls into this Re-awakening. Yachatian Joanne Kittel worked tirelessly on the restoration. The grotto looks completely different and, fortunately, a portion of the old bridge was able to be salvaged and re-adapted for use as a crossing to the next portion of the trail.
Photos and story by Kerry Terrel with additions from News Lincoln County archives.