Our 33 Day, 6731 Mile Road Trip–part 6

>> Thursday, June 14, 2012

We arrived at our son’s home the afternoon of our 6th day, April 27th and stayed until about noon of May 7th, our 16th day.  During this time we visited several interesting places within driving distance of Salem. Oregon.

One day we took a drive to see several historic covered bridges, taking along a picnic lunch.  The first two were in the town of Sweet Home, Oregon.  Both are pictured below.

IMG_0586This is the Weddle Bridge at Sweet Home, Oregon.  Although the bridge is no longer in use by vehicles one is able to walk across.  There is now a park at this location and it was here that we ate our picnic lunch.

IMG_0588This small bridge is just a few feet away from the Weddle Bridge pictured above.  It was built for pedestrian traffic but it is closed to all traffic now.  It is the Dahrenburg Bridge.

IMG_0592The Short Bridge, as it is called, is still in regular use, being used to span the South Santiam.  This bridge is about 12 miles east of Sweet Home, Oregon.

IMG_0599The Crawfordsville Bridge spans the Calapooya River and it also is closed to vehicular traffic.  It is located at the west end of Crawfordsville, Oregon beside Hwy. 228.

On another day we spent a few hours at the Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill in Salem, Oregon.  The following information is taken from their web site.

“A visit to the Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill is a stroll through the history of the Willamette Valley. The five-acre campus is home to fourteen historic structures that present the stories and richness of Oregon's past.

Pioneer buildings at the Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill take visitors back to the early settlement of western Oregon. The 1841 Jason Lee House, arguably the oldest standing wooden frame house in Oregon, pre-dates the first wagon trains crossing the Oregon Trail. These structures provide a glimpse into the lives of the missionaries and pioneering families when these early founders were putting down roots in the Valley.

The 1895 Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, one of the best-preserved Victorian-Age factories in the West and designated an American Treasure by the National Park Service, vividly tells the story of industrialization in the West.”

I especially enjoyed the tour through the mill.  Even though it has been closed since 1962 all of the machinery is still in place and the tour guide did a great job explaining the entire process of taking the wool fleece and turning it into woolen blanket material. 

IMG_0615This photo is of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill.  The mill was in operation from 1889-1962.  The original mill burned in 1896 and was replaced with this brick building.  The entire mill was powered by water power, which turned a turbine.  A set of crown gears transferred the motion from the vertical turbine to a horizontal shaft that powered all of the machinery in the main mill.

One thing that Connie desired to do while in Oregon was go to the coast.  So, one day was spent driving to the coast, driving up the coast and driving back to Salem.  One of the first spots we visited was the historical Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.  It was only in operation for three years, 1871-1874.  The lighthouse lamps burned whale oil and could be seen for 12 miles.

IMG_0627The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was the only lighthouse in Oregon that provided living quarters for the lighthouse keeper and his family.  A larger lighthouse with a light that could be seen for 22 miles was built only 3 miles away and forced the decommissioning of this one.

IMG_0638Just a short distance from the lighthouse, in the town of Newport,  we were able to view these California Sea Lions.  These are all males.  The females never leave the waters of California and the males return during the mating season, spending the rest of their time along the Oregon coast.

We stopped along the coast for our picnic lunch at a popular whale watching site.  We looked but never saw any whales.  Our son said that on previous trips he had seen a few.  Here is a picture of the Pacific along the Oregon coast.


To conclude the visit to Oregon’s coast we stopped at the famous Tillamook Cheese factory at Tillamook, Oregon.  They seem to be known for their ice cream as well and we all had to try one of their cones before heading back to Salem.



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