Saturday was a good day to get out and do some valley-ing. We picked up our gear from the two departing volunteers and made short work of that.
On our way to exploring we were struck once again by how close to Spring the Oregon Coast has this early in the year. After a lifetime of long winters it just seems wrong for us to be so close to Spring so early in the year. But we are not complaining! It’s just that it’s so different from everything to which we are accustomed.
So, let me tell you about Ada. Driving US 101 just South of Florence is a small road heading East with a tiny road sign to ADA GRANGE. We have noticed advertising in the Oregon Mile by Mile brochure for Ada as a potential tourist stop and very little by way of details. So the ‘goal’ for the afternoon drive was to check out this tourist attraction.
The first thing we noted upon making our turn was that the road sign said it was 13 miles down the road.
Thirteen miles down the road in Oregon is not 13 miles down the road in Wisconsin! We are learning the joys of Oregon and the trials and testings of Oregon; one road at time – one valley at a time.
Even though it’s only February, it’s clear that the birds are already on their way North — well, some of them. We see more geese, snow geese and otherwise heading north. They spend a few days and then they are gone again. We are seeing different ducks than the overwintering ducks that never left. And for a Wisconsinite it’s nice to see a Mallard or two among them. We have so many of them in Wisconsin; I’ve missed them!
In Southwestern Wisconsin we have something similar to what we see here
In glaciated Wisconsin there are a lot of ridges where the glaciers stopped and dropped their load of crushed rock and soil. Adjacent to the ridges…. ta da!…. are corresponding valleys — not all that different from the ones we have here in Oregon — except of course for their origin. These valleys are the spaces between seismic activity and mountain building instead of the scraping of ice.
All of that notwithstanding — it’s pretty kewl to be able to drive down the road on most days with the temps about 50 or more in the middle of February and see GREEN in most places where you look.
On the other side… there ARE those roads… That 13 mile trip to ADA turned out to be two separate destinations. There is an Ada Grange. For those of you who aren’t into “farm stuff” A “grange” in the late 1800’s was a social group of farmers/ranchers that sponsored social events, provided community service/s and got active with political lobbying. I’m sure a ‘real’ farmer could tell you more about them, but the Ada Grange was such an entity and a building remains there. When you get to the Ada Grange you find there is a further destination ahead of you: Ada Station — which it turns out is no station at all — but there is a railroad track. I doubt there has been a ‘station’ there in 50 years — maybe longer — but there is a County Park (Lane County) and a fishing resort.
Getting there, however, is something else. Those last three miles are an experience. I have been on narrower roads (in Provence, in the mountains) but even the Forest Service roads are wider than this! The photo showing the single lane road was already at the end of the three miles and this stretch is actually logging road. Literally — as wide as a log truck, in the middle of a recently logged section of forest with scrub fires still burning. And the tiny resort at the end of the road qualifies as a fishing resort, in that there is certainly fish to be angled for but there aren’t many other features to be promoted. We were out of cell range, there were no sight lines to the south for people wanting satellite and a lot of folks would call it the end of the world if they were looking for amenities.
But, if what you want if peace and quiet; if what you want it to commune with your own soul; if what you want is idyllic and a step back in time, then by all means head off to Ada Resort and check ’em out.
And in the mean time …. we’ll find some more places to explore!
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow!