Monday, July 6, 2015
Chapter 21 - Portland to Corvallis, Oregon
Today the employers in Portland gave their employees the day off. This must be the case for I-5 through Portland had fewer cars and we sailed down the highway and into the Willamette Valley with no difficulty. For the first time in almost a week our drive was without stress. Our destination today is to reach Corvallis, Oregon which is only two hours south of Portland, and then check in at the Benton Oaks RV Park which we understand is very close to my sister Joan's home. Visiting my sister has always been the main goal of our whole adventure so today is kind of like the culmination of our entire trip.
Today being the 4th of July our plan was obviously to attend the 4th of July parade in downtown Corvallis. Also part of Terri's and Joan's plan was to take us to a Farmer's Market held every Saturday followed by a walk through the historic downtown area of Corvallis. It was very easy to fall in love with Corvallis. Most of the homes particularly near the downtown area were beautifully landscaped. Many of the front yards were completely covered with trees and plantings allowing no room for grass. Such an approach in design seems like a lot of hard work especially to maintain but the end result is perfectly charming. We also noticed while walking through the downtown shopping area that the streets were lined with trees on both sides. The end result of the trees while obviously adding beauty, also meant that the sidewalks were all under the shade of the trees. One other final observation was that almost all of the shoppes appeared to be owned and operated by locals as there were virtually no national chain stores at least within the main downtown area. We had been told that the 4th of July parade was opened to anyone who wanted to march in the parade. This turned out to be the case, and before I knew it both Joan and Kathy were marching with the hundreds of other folks down the parade route. Kathy who is never shy about getting involved, then started marching along with The Statue of Liberty. Oh the joys of living in a small town.
After walking along the Willamette River and then through downtown Corvallis, we walked through the local Farmer's Market where Joan and Terri purchased all kinds of berries. The market was really a special place for shopping with all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and meats, as well as plantings for sale, and here and there even groups of entertainers were playing music for donations.
We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at Joan's and Terri's culminating with a few glasses of wine and a great steak dinner. We returned to our travel trailer and had a great nights sleep as the outside temperatures slowly dropped.
This morning before we headed out to again spend the day with Joan and Terri, I decided to experience a few minutes attending the goat show at the Benton County Fairgrounds. The goat show, which they were calling the ABGA Goat Show (the American Boar Goat Association) was a contest where judges reviewed different categories of goats (young and old) and awarded ribbons for best in show. I was surprised to see how many goats were being judged, there must have been at least one hundred or more, and the wide range of ages of the owners presenting their goats, from preteens to adults. Most of the goats seemed to cooperate fairly well although the owners were constantly adjusting the goats legs and their positions. A few of the goats did not appear to like being pushed around and they protested with load BAAs. I spent only around 15 or 20 minutes watching the goats and their owners but I totally enjoyed watching the goings on. It was probably only a once in a life time experience for this elderly Florida resident. When I returned to our trailer I spent a few minutes cleaning off the bottoms of my new sneakers that were covered with fresh goat poop.
Tomorrow we all head for South Beach on the Pacific coastline where we plan to spend the next three days and four nights. Until then.