That bundling of logs is a faint echo of the massive “cigar rafts” that used to be towed from the Columbia River to the California mills:
"Cigar Rafts, gigantic masses of logs chained together in the shape of a cigar for towing through rough Pacific waters, belong to an era long gone. …
The final cigar raft was made up in Coal Creek Slough at Stella (in 1921). Stern wheelers of the Shaver Transport Co. towed the monster boom downriver below Astoria where seagoing tugs took over for the thousand-mile journey to San Francisco. Pilings from that load still support piers and terminals from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Embarcadero. These colossal rafts in their heyday contained eight million board feet of wood, enough to supply a modest sized sawmill for a year.
The Robertson Raft Company, the team of Robertson and Bain, built cigar rafts in Coal Creek Slough as early as 1895. Their first small raft broke at sea. Bain left the business, but Robertson tried again the next year, with success.
It was sheer size and three-inch chains that finally made the cigar raft work. It was much like building a ship. The raft began taking form in a huge wooden cradle shaped like the bottom of a ship. The logs were hoisted by cranes powered by small donkey engines. These cranes had 110-foot swing booms which carefully piled the logs in layers, taking care to overlap them precisely so that the structure of the raft itself would contribute to its strength. At the bow end a great steel prow was anchored by a huge center chain which ran from one end of the raft to the other. Side bracing was accomplished by cross wires and wrapper chains. The chain links were as big around as a man’s wrist.
These wrapper chains were made fast and tightened by turnbuckles. When the cradle was full, the largest rafts would be 1,000 feet long inside, 55 feet wide, draw a 28-foot draft and have a freeboard of 17 feet above sea level. Then the retaining pins of the cradle were pulled, the side braces were parted, and the cradle opened to set the raft free at high tide. …
_The rafts made at Stella were piling, Benson’s rafts, made on the Oregon side, were saw logs only. Hammond Company made rafts at Stella. The shape of the rafts made it possible to tow them from either end. At times, during a storm at sea, the raft would be cut loose to roll and then be picked up again after the storm was over. …" _
Source: Stella Historical Society, 1984, “History of Stella”, vol.1, excerpt written by Lester Howard.
Typical Benson rafts were 800 to 1000’ long, 55’ wide and 35’ top to bottom with a draft of 26’-28’. They held 4 to 6 million linear feet of logs and were wrapped by 175 to 250 tons of chain of up to 3" link thickness. They were typically made up around Clatskanie about river mile 50. The typical 1100 mile tow to Benson’s mills in San Diego took 15 days if weather allowed. The cigar rafts were generally so stout that they could be cut loose if the weather got really heavy and the picked up again. They were towable from either end. Between 1906 and 1941, 120 cigar rafts left the Columbia River for California and only 4 were lost. Sometimes, they were even loaded with “deck cargo” of sawn lumber on the top.
More interesting stuff about cigar rafts, and pictures at https://oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/timber_industry/#.WtoQWC_MzMUhttp://columbiariverimages.com/Regions/Places/log_rafts.html