Saturday, August 18, 2007


Mama had things to do, and I didn't feel like laying around the living room for another Summer Saturday. So, the girl, who is currently going by the enigmatic name of "Moolah," and I set out toward the south on a wild photo safari of the eastern Willamette Valley.

Our first destination, of course, was Starbucks for the traditional Saturday coffee (hot chocolate) and doughnut. The doughnut selection was sparse this morning, but Moolah is becoming quite adept at gnawing through the old fashioned glaze.

Our next stop was only a short distance across the parking lot to Target, where we acquired the necessary hot-pink faux-snake-skin adventure gear. These boots, it seems, were made for walking. They were also made for taking names and kicking ass.

Ahoy there matey, our sea-faring friend, Amanda, has been dry-docked for health reasons, and is currently rehabilitating with mom in the fine city of Salem, the Cherry City, the State Capitol.
Therefore, the girl and I slipped south on the freshly repaved freeway, down to Salem, to pick her up. Always pleasant and Blithe, Amanda brought along her cheery disposition as she joined our crew.

Being the multi-cultural-minded parent that I am, and as long as we were in Salem, I thought we should make offerings of sacrifice at the temple of Shiva before continuing our journey.

Offerings complete, it was time to hit the first highlight of the day, the old-timey Salem carousel. Moolah is a sucker for wooden horses that go up and down in a circle, and Amanda and I took turns playing the stable jockey. I asked her to show me her ride token, but she her attention was firmly fixed on other things.

Then we saw a river. Actually, it's a slough, but she's two and a half, and I didn't feel the need to elaborate.

Then, we visited the Dick Cheney Global Conquest Memorial.

Then, we literally danced on a pole. I have no further comment about this. And really, neither do you.

Amanda tried to convince Moolah that she was a movie star. Moolah called Bullshit.

Each year, the State Bar holds a photo contest for the cover of its annual membership directory. My entry this year will have something to do with this statue, called "The Circuit Rider."

Mama and Daddy met in law school, but Moolah had never actually visited the school. As long as we were across the street, I though we should stop by.

As most of you know, after In-n-Out, Del Taco is my most-missed fast food chain. Finally, they have arrived in Oregon, but in only three locations, none of which are in Portland. Fortunately, one of them is in Salem. So, we stopped for lunch.

Leaving Salem for the greater stretches of the eastern valley, I took her to see her first serious waterfall. Silver Falls is really a very large waterfall, despite the fact that it looks like a miniature fountain in the photo.

After exiting the park, and having taken a rather unfortunate and dusty detour, we cruised cautiously through the quaint hamlet of Silverton. Apparently, office space is at a premium, as we came across this rather-shabby commercial structure in mid-move...

Next, we passed the stately village of Mt. Angel, home to wicked nights of Oktoberfest debauchery. Apparently, and surprisingly, segregation is alive and well in rural Oregon.

Mt. Angle is, of course, home to a famous abbey and a historically-grand cathedral. I though it prudent to introduce my daughter to religion in a town made famous by brewer-monks....

Amanda demonstrated the the concept of sin's slippery slope on the steps of the church for the girl...

In the end, I was quite pleased to see that my daughter had the appropriate response to religion.

Between naps, Moolah demanded with increasing force and persistence, that we: "RIDE THE BOAT, DADDY!!!"

Yes, I had promised a ride on the Canby Ferry, and after much driving we finally arrived. This short journey back across the mighty Willamette marked the end of our adventures. We were, after all, just down the rode from home. The ferry ride, with its inspired awe and wonder, cost a buck fifty. Money well spent.

Twelve minutes after driving off the deck of the ferry, we were home. It was an ambitious day, but it did not disappoint. I suspect there will be more days like this to come.


  1. Surprisingly, with very little modification, that describes my day as well.

    Admit it, you miss living in Salem.

    But then I guess I miss living there too.

  2. I don't. You're all hicks.

  3. I love those boots..

  4. The Salem area has *two* Del Tacos. Trade you one ... hell both ... for a Sonic.

    I miss inog living in Salem. At least I can come here to see where in the world he is on any particular day.

  5. Amanda's is hot

  6. Don't tell her that, it'll go to her head.

  7. I tell her she's hot on a daily basis

  8. First - Most of Brian's "dates" start with buying hot pink cowboy boots for SOMEONE.

    Second - I am delighted to see that Salem now has a Del Taco. At least that frees you from the oppression of that "Taco Time" absurdity.
    Of course, its just a hop, skip (and two hour plane ride) jump to the land of mexican food - Yes, imagine it now, pink stucco buildings with bins topped up with spicy carrots, jalepenos, onions, and radishes; and of course, horchata.

    South of the border cuisine was definitely something I missed while up there.


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