Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bicycling the Capitol

Nanci, a friend of mine has been working on a project for me, a memory quilt for Rachel. I'll post more about that later, when I have some pics, but on Friday I went to pick up the quilt and on invitation from Nanci I brought my bike along so we could go for a little ride.

I've wanted to explore Salem, Oregon for some time, but it's always tricky to find the best routes in an unfamiliar town. I was pleased to have an opportunity to have a guided tour from Nanci.

We headed north towards the state capitol. The cherry trees were in full bloom, so it was a must-stop on our ride. I've never visited when the trees are in bloom, and today they were gorgeous.
Cherry Blossoms 
Oregon State Capitol
Afterwords we headed out north of town for some quiet country roads and a quick stop at the Spongs Landing on the Willamette River. It was very pleasant sitting and watching the river roll by.
Willamette River at Spongs Landing
We returned to Salem and stopped for lunch at a little bakery down town then popped over to the riverfront park and a stop at the Eco-Ball. Pretty cool, it was my first time for a close up look. For some reason I didn't think to snap a photo.

We headed up Commercial Street until we could connect up with part of the scenic bikeway through Salem. Much nicer riding through on quiet residential streets rather than busy Commercial. Although Nanci said it would be climb, we decided to ride up to visit Mahonia Hall - the Governor's Mansion. It's nice that a Governor is once again in residence there. Again it was a first visit for me, and it's a lovely place. We couldn't go past the gate of course, so we snapped some photos from the driveway all the while wondering if somewhere we were also on camera. Nanci thought they sometimes open the Hall for tours. I would love to see inside.
Mahonia Hall, Salem Oregon
We returned to Commercial St. for the ride back to Nanci's house. It was busy but there's a good bike lane and only a few tricky intersections to cross. We rode about 22 miles give or take.

14 comments:

  1. Lovely cherry tree pictures, definitely means spring has sprung. We have lots of lovely trees in bloom in Victoria, pollen season has begun. Glad you had such a lovely ride!

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    1. Hi Dar,
      Ah yes, the pollen season. I don't have too much trouble with allergies this time of year, but my neighbor really suffers.

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  2. Beautiful cherry trees... wishing I was back on the wet coast.. not much blossoming to report from the Black Forest just yet.

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    1. Hi Sonja,
      Hopefully you won't have too much longer to wait. :)

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  3. Really nice cherry blossoms, too bad there wasn't blue sky in the background. And, BTW, it looks like someone stole the dome from the capitol building...

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    1. Richard, we were lamenting the lack of blue sky. All week had been clear, but on Friday the grey clouds rolled back in.

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  4. Salem is such an interesting and beautiful place when the weather cooperates. The Capital mall with the cherry trees and landscaping can make you forget it's all about government. I attended a, "girls" lunch at Mahonia Hall when Barbara Roberts was Governor....seriously I was the only man invited, I have great luck :) It's a grand residence and as you said, it's nice to have someone living there again.

    Don

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    1. Hi Don, It felt more like a park than a Government building. Children were already playing in the fountains. I'd say you have very great luck! :) How much fun is that - being the only guy. I hope they open it again for tours sometime.

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  5. Wow. So beautiful. The mansion is gorgeous outside and inside. Absolutely dreamy springtime scenes.

    Our snow is gone here and that's enough to feel liberated. Green grass and tiny leaves will be here mid April.

    I look forward to seeing the quilt.

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    1. Hi Martha,
      I'm glad the snow has finally gone. It has been one crazy year! We have a spot on our wall to hang the quilt, but need to get some mounting hardware. I can't wait to get it up.

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  6. Daring to ride in Salem. Especially Commercial Street. I didn't realize there were bike routes through Salem.

    Sure is pretty with all the trees blooming.

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    1. HI Trobairitz,
      I was surprised at the route we took through downtown. I didn't know how bikeable Salem would be, but it wasn't too bad. Traffic was light, and most of the lanes were wide or had a bike lane. It was a circuitous route though, lots of turns. I'm not sure if I could find the same roads on my own. The best part was riding through the lovely old neighborhoods. Perfect time of year for that with all the flowers in bloom.

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  7. Those Cherry Blossom Trees look better than what I recall the same type trees in our Nation's capital.....

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  8. Hi Dom
    Of course! Trees are our specialty. :)

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