With a good forecast (70’s, dry & some sun) we wanted to see something on Monday. Our attempt to get to Ankeny NWR last week having been foiled, we decided to give that another go. Armed with sandwiches (so we could get past the Novak’s Hungarian Restaurant exit without stopping) we headed off for the day.
Ankeny is the only other of the three nearby NWR’s with actual observations platforms and decent places to view wildlife so we did want to get there during this stay.
These three refuges are all intended as over-wintering locations for Canada Geese that fly to the Arctic for breeding and the summer. As a result I don’t think they have seen very much visitor interest. There are lots of places where people think they can see Canada Geese.
We drove past a lot of lovely farm country. And groves of Hazelnuts. Did you know that Oregon grows 99% of the U.S. Hazelnut crop? They’re ubitquitous!
We spent a few hours at the refuge and had a blast. There weren’t many other ‘users’ of the refuge during our stay. The UPS driver stopped for his lunch. Two photographers were sitting with their cameras set up and themselves in easy chairs on the edge of the marsh. Beyond that, it was just us and the birds and critters.
I just can’t help feel comfortable in Oregon. There are certain commonalities with Wisconsin, but with an amped up lushness and agricultural emphasis. This is one place where we see farmers in their fields more than in most of the other states we have visited. It’s so far from Wisconsin and our daughter; and with their recent industrial/lofty renovation for Mike’s work and their home there’s not much likelihood that they would ever leave Wisconsin — so the likelihood of us ever settling here year round is slim — but you can love something without having to have it. And so, every chance to be in Oregon is a special treat for me.
We ferried across the Willamette River on a teeny ferry in Beuna Vista OR — the founder of the town once hoped that it might become the capital of Oregon. To his dismay, Salem got the nod and Buena Vista has dwindled to a few houses and not very many people. It’s a lovely little burg in a lovely valley. If you aren’t a farmer I don’t know what you could do for a living, and it’s a hefty drive to services but I really like the idea of Buena Vista. Maybe not so much the reality of living there.
On our way back home, as we were driving through Corvallis, we drove past an unexpected treat: The Olde Spaghetti Factory. If you’ve been following us you know that we love The Olde Spaghetti Factory! It’s a reasonably priced chain that has been around since 1969 and I’ve been visiting their locations nearly that long. We didn’t really need to eat quite that early but most days we only eat 2 meals and we weren’t far from our typical ‘dinner’ time so we stopped for a lighter than usual meal. A new appetizer on the menu is italian sausage and gorgonzola dip served with crostini — and it just sounded good. Along with two unlimited Soup & Salad lunches that was enough to get us to the end of the day! Perfection.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.
By the way…. I found an RV park only 26 miles from our Grand-kid’s apartment for Father’s Day weekend. We reserved for the weekend so as long as we get out of here in good time we’ll be set to seek Mike, Kathryn, Melanie and Drew (the B/F) a couple weeks earlier. that means Katy can move her visit with us from Thomson IL to De Soto WI a couple weeks later and that makes for a shorter hop up to Minneapolis to see Melanie later in the summer. Things are working out nicely.