Sunday, July 10, 2011

Silverton and Salem Oregon in the Willamette Valley

The population of Silverton, Oregon is less than 10,000 people.
Salem is the capitol of Oregon.

How easy those state capitols are forgotten at my age.  I wouldn't have remembered -- Wayne reminded me.  We toured both cities today in beautiful, warm 80+ degree sunshine.

Our first stop was to see Oregon Garden, a botanical garden display. Seeing the size of the gardens and knowing the content, Wayne wasn't really excited at the prospect of paying $10 to see flowers so we didn't go in.  He did walk Lexie while I amused myself for a few minutes in the gift shop.

Wayne and Lexie enjoy a stroll around Oregon Gardens

Lexie like it!

The only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the Pacific Northwest, open to the public, is on the Oregon Garden property.  It didn't exactly "move" me as I'm not a big fan of FLW, but here it is.
The Gordon House.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Silverton is a really nice community. It is a city of murals with some 17 of them within the downtown area alone. Two are outside the downtown area. 

This is a picture of the artist working on this mural.
It's title is "Four Freedoms" and it is a replica of  Norman Rockwell works from 1943 Saturday Evening Post Magazines.  The mural represents four core values of Silverton residents:
Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want and Freedom From Fear. 
That's paint all over the seat of the artist's pants.

This is Lexie and me.  Nothing special... just taking a pee pee break in the nice soft grass.  Lexie, not me.

The Adventures of Bobbie
This statue represents a Scotch Collie named Bobbie who was traveling with his Silverton family in Wolcott, Indiana in August 1923 when he became separated from them. Bobbie the Scotch Collie walked all the way home to Silverton,
arriving in February 1924 -- six months after he was lost.
Looking at the murals in Silverton and reading about them convinces me that the city remembers every special event and person and has each memorialized in a mural.  I think this is terrific!

8,000 acre Silver Falls is nearby with ten waterfalls within the state park but we didn't make the 20 minute drive to see it.  Instead, we drove into Salem to see the Capitol.  It was unremarkable but we saw it and now you can too!
Oregon's Capitol in Salem.

We returned to Silverton and stopped by to see the Gallon House Bridge. It was built in 1916 and is the only covered bridge in the county that can still be drive through.  The Gallon Bridge was given it's name during Prohibition, when it became the place to buy a gallon of moonshine.
Gallon House Bridge
The Willamette Valley is a really beautiful place. Everything grows here.  Berries, nuts, grapes, shrubs, flowers... it's a lovely sight. Some of the farms look like patchwork quilts when we get a glimpse from a good distance.  

Here's something else we saw but didn't recognize.  Do you know what this is? It appears to be a vine-like plant that grows along the wires that criss-cross 15-20 foot over it.
This is hops. An ingredient in beer making.  It's almost ready to harvest.

This is the guy who told us about the hops.
Yes, we asked...

I don't know if this is an alpaca or llama but he sure liked having his picture taken.

That's us in the middle front facing the right.

The Silver Spur Campground in Silverton, Oregon has gravel roads.
Lexie does not walk well on gravel so we'll move along tomorrow.

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