Sunday, May 6, 2007
May 4 -- Salem to Mt. Angel to the Pacific to Vancouver, WA
When we were in Rawlins, WY, we met an Oregonian who told us we had to go to Newport, OR, and eat at the Chowder Bowl on Historic Nye Beach. Since we were running ahead of schedule, we decided to do just that. Before heading on west to the Pacific from Salem, however, we went east from Salem in search of Cooley's--a mail order business with a large selection of irises. (Guess who wanted to see iris.) We not only found the store, we discovered field after field of irises and some were blooming. A very impressive sight. We also discovered the German village of Mt. Angel with Bavarian style houses and businesses (note the Glockenspiel) and a "Biergarten" where they have their annual Oktoberfest. And we discovered a covered bridge. It was called the Gallon House Road Covered Bridge. Built in 1919, it is Oregon's oldest covered bridge. We then drove on West to Newport. Our good friend Nancy Freauff, who now lives in Arizona, is an "elder" (sorry Nancy--the cats out of the bag) of the Grand Ronde Indian tribe. The tribe has a casino on their reservation, so we had to stop and check it out. It was very busy, Nancy, so you should be getting a big check this year. Our first view of the Pacific was in Lincoln City. We stopped and took pictures just south of there at Depoe Bay and then traveled on to Newport for our long anticipated lunch. The clam chowder lived up to its billing. A long drive for a bowl of chowder, but it was worth it. The next stop was the Yaquina Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in Oregon. It's now a National Park, so we got to use our senior park pass again. It was really nice to be waived in by the guard without having to pay. We have now more then recouped our $10 lifetime membership fee. Next stop was to be Vancouver, WA, where we were spending the night, however, we discovered a wonderful winery on the way. This part of Oregon is noted for its Pinot Noir and this winery had great Pinot Noir. Since we still had miles to go before we could sleep, the tasting was limited. We bought a bottle to have with cheese, crackers and fruit that evening. We were really anticipating our impromptu dinner, when we got stuck in Friday rush hour traffic in Portland. We finally made it to our hotel and the dinner was excellent. We slept well.