Thursday, October 28, 2010

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.

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