Friday, April 2, 2010

Salem Oregon

We drove northeast yesterday from Waldport into the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Driving through the coastal range we saw a few hills completely denuded of trees- apparently clear cutting has been done on those hills by the logging industry. Many large trucks carrying logs passed us on the road. The Willamette valley of Oregon is quite picturesque with its large Christmas tree farms, fruit (mainly blueberry and apple) orchards, and fields of sheep. Coming closer in toward Silverton, where we are now parked, we saw a field of daffodils with a sign which read: "U-Pick". We discovered later that this area mass produces nursery stock (bulbs for daffodils,tulips and irises) and grass seed. Today, driving into Salem, I saw my first hazelnut tree orchard. We have gotten our wet and windy weather back. The Mission Mill Museum seemed the best place to tour with the unpredictable weather. John's cousin Grace (who lives with her husband Peter in Silverton) drove us for this excursion and gave us a quick tour around Salem after we toured the Mission Mill. The museum has on its grounds the Thomas Kay woolen mill which was in operation from 1889-1962.
Two Methodist Parsonages have been moved to this museum. The one pictured below was the home of Jason Lee, the leader of the Methodist Mission to Oregon. His family and three additional families lived here in 1841. It was fascinating for me to learn of Oregon's state history- that it was the Methodist missionaries who were instrumental in bringing it to statehood. They were also the founders of Willamette University. You may notice a contrast in weather in these two pictures. All day we had brief showers followed by a burst of sunshine. This seems to be characteristic of Oregon weather.

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