Thursday, October 28, 2010

Salem, Oregon

Thursday - October 28th

Just a couple of pictures from the very pretty campus of Willamette University in Salem, the state capitol. It was founded in 1842 by Methodist missionaries as the first institution of higher learning in the West. It is the oldest university west of the Mississippi. In 1997 they had the first female to ever play and score in a college football game. It is just across the street from the Capitol.

The Historic Elsinore Theater in the old douwntown.

Another building in the old downtown.

Salem Riverfront Carousel hand carved by volunteers.

The Willamette Queen at the Riverfront Park gives river tours and lunc and dinner cruises.

The Oregon Capitol is in Salem which is in the Willamette Valley nestled between the Cascade and Coastal mountain ranges. This beautiful fountain is in the park out front with rose gardens, walking paths and these inset diamonds with all kinds of information about the state.

And some interesting and quirky trivia.

The first two capitols burned down. This four-story structure of Modern Greek architecture was built in 1938 at a cost of 2.5 million and is the fourth newest Capitol in the U.S. The wings were completed in 1977 at a cost of 12.5 million.

The exterior is White Danby Vermont marble. The rotunda, halls and lobby areas are lined with Rose Travertine from Montana. The floor and staircases are Phoenix Napoleon grey marble from Missouri with borders of Radio Black marble from Vermont.

The Governor's public ceremonial office.

The ornate table in the reception area is made of 40 different types of wood and depicts the previous Capitol which was patterned after the U.S. Capitol.

House of Representatives Chamber made entirely of golden oak with douglas fir in the carpet design, symbolic of the state's important wood products and the state tree.

Senate Chamber with paneling and furniture of matched black walnut with alternating designs of wheat and salmon, symbolizing Oregon's agricultural and fishing industries.

Views of the back side of the Capitol from the university campus.

The Oregon Pioneer statue on the top of the Capitol represents the spirit of the state's early settlers. Cast in bronze and finished in gold leaf, it weighs 8.5 tons and is hollow inside.

The base of the 23 foot high statue is 140 feet above the ground. It is reached by 121 steps spiraling up into the tower from the fourth floor out onto a deck providing a spectacular view of Salem.

Five evergreens planted on campus 45 years ago. When you stand in the center, the opening to the sky forms a star.

Moving further south tomorrow.

Silver Falls State Park, Silverton & Mt. Angel, Oregon

Left Helena on Thursday, spent the weekend in Portland with Aunt Dorothy and David and Karen. Headed south for Salem on Monday.

Wednesday - October 27th

We took the scenic drive from Salem to Silverton and Mt. Angel by way of Silver Falls State Park, the largest park in Oregon by acreage. We saw fields upon fields of Christmas trees and other ornamental conifers along the way.

This is the South Falls on the Trail of Ten Falls in the State Park. The trail combines four different hikes for a 7 to 8 mile hike in which you see ten of the falls in the park.

The trail actually goes behind several of the falls.


As John says, "So that's what the back side of water looks like." You can see the walking bridge at the bottom in the background.

View from the side after we walked behind the falls. There are a couple of people walking behind it.

Walking bridge at the bottom. This park is so beautiful, especially with the leaves changing color. I totally recommend this place to anyone who gets a chance to come here and do some hiking.

Coming back up the South Falls Loop Trail. It is the tallest of the falls in the park with a 177 foot drop. The park is at the 45th parallel, halfway between the equator and the north pole.

This is the South Falls Lodge. The furniture inside was made from two donated myrtle logs 5 ft. in diameter and 40 ft. long. Myrtle warps if it is not properly dried. It was dried in a kiln for 60 days. It went in weighing 18,000 pounds and came out weighing 8,000 pounds. It made 25 tables (with three inch tops), 82 chairs, 11 wall benches and fireplace benches and one large bureau for dishes and silverware. It's the only heavy type myrtle furniture in the nation.

This is at the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton. It is an 80 acre botanical garden and resort with 20 themed gardens, trails, art, fountains and 103 garden themed rooms each with fireplace and patio. It has spectacular vistas and looks like a great place for a retreat or wedding and honeymoon. There is also a Frank Lloyd Wright house on the grounds. Silverton is a very pretty town and there are many murals around town depicting their past.

At Mt. Angel this paved walkway led uphill past the Twelve Stations of the Cross on the way up to Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary.

The Mount Angel Abbey was built in 1882 at the top of Tapalamaho, or Prayer Mountain. It was a sacred place to the Native Americans. Just down at the bottom of the hill is the Queen of Angels Monastery and Convent built the same year.

Just across the road from the Abbey was this field of hops, probably how the Abbey supported itself. Oregon grows 5,000 acres of hops. It produced 8.8 million pounds in 2006. There are 38 breweries just in the city of Portland, more than any other metropolitan area in the world. 42% of all draft beer consumed in Oregon is brewed in Oregon.
This 49 foot Glockenspiel in Mt. Angel was built four years ago. It is the tallest in the U.S. It chimes about a half dozen times a day. When it chimes, the bottom panel opens and the characters, representing their German/Swiss (Bavarian) past, rotate around while the music plays.

Their Oktoberfest mascot, Papa Oom Pah, plays the tuba. When the nun who started the convent rotates around, there is church choir music. When the monk comes around, there is musical chanting. There is an Indian with native drumming. The children on the swing come out at the end and sing "Edelweiss". There is also a dancing pioneer couple. An elderly gentlenan who was watching with us said they were his cousins and that they were the first couple married in Mt. Angel.
Touring the Capitol and downtown Salem tomorrow. On a side note, we paid $2.38 for gas in DesMoines and $3.05 in Spokane.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Historic Helena, Mt.

Oct.6th - 20th
Happy Halloween from Helena! This is an all brick house painted lavendar. Seemed like the perfect haunted house to me.
The Capitol is beautiful inside. They give guided tours or you can pick up a pamphlet for a self-guided walk through. Across the street is the Charlie Russell and Western Art Museum. In the summer you can hop on the trolley here for a historic tour of the town.

This is another painted brick home. There are lots of these in town. They have a wonderful walking tour of the historic district, but there are great homes all over town with unique architectural features.

Sorry about this being sideways, but for some reason, I could not get it to rotate. This describes the house below.

The historic district is only a few blocks from our daughter's house, so I spent an afternoon just walking around admiring all the beautiful homes.

There were lots of cattle barons, mine owners, railroad tycoons, etc. back in the day. These are just a few examples of the incredible homes they built here. This describes the house below.

They also have the Myrna Loy Center downtown with plays, concerts and films. For you youngsters out there, Myrna Loy was a very famous actress back in the 30s, 40s and 5os. She was from Helena.

Some of the homes still have hitching posts in front of them and lots of them have 2 to 4 stall carriage houses in the rear with servant quarters on the second floor.

Many blocks still have brick sidewalks and one corner house actually had an old boardwalk on both sides.

This describes the house below.

Helena is in the valley, surrounded by mountains on all sides. They have very mild winter temperatures. It has been around 70 while we have been here with lows in the 30s at night.

Helping with the bathroom remodeling project. It's amazing what our daughter can get John to do, that I never could.

Babysitting in the camper while Mom and Dad are busy with projects in the house. John had to take our granddaughter to go potty while I was cooking. He hollered to ask me what to do. I said to just pull her pants up. He said, "I'll just shake her." Then I heard him say, "She pooed, what do I do?" I said, "I can't hear you." I guess everything came out okay.

Montana cowgirl.

Neighborhood football team.

Up and coming quarterback.

You have pushed me too far!

Happy Halloween from the grandkids.

But some are! It's a sad day at our house. We had to retire John's favorite shirt. He got it a few years ago when he hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back, while I rode the mules with my girlfriends.

Tomorrow we make our sad departure from our kids and grandkids before the weather turns cold. We are going to Portland for the weekend to visit John's aunt and cousin and then south.
On the road again.