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Oregon

Although this post has nothing to do with Japan or Denmark, it does have a bit of a travel element to it so I thought I’d share anyway. For the past couple of days I’ve been on a fieldtrip with my daughter’s 4th grade class. Even though I’ve lived in Oregon for almost 8 years now, I had never been to the Oregon State Capitol (Salem) or Silver Falls. In fact, I had never even heard of Silver Falls, which is a shame because this place is only a few notches below Yosemite in my book.

We arrived and parked on the Willamette University campus.

Willamette University

The place was beautiful with rhododendrons in bloom, and the stream running through campus was refreshing on this hot day. (You can click on any of these images for a much better view.)

We walked through the campus on our way to the capitol building which is immediately adjacent.

Oregon State Capitol in Salem

We toured the house and senate chambers and went on the roof for a close up view of the golden pioneer on top. The statue is something like 25 feet high and 20,000 pounds. He was actually painful to look at from that close with the sun glaring off of him–sort of like staring at the sun. He is made of bronze but covered in gold.

golden pioneer

From up on top of the capitol building, one can enjoy great views of Willamette University,

Willamette University

Mt. Saint Helens, and Mt. Hood.

Mt. Hood

I’m pretty sure this was the first capitol building I’ve ever bothered to enter. I enjoyed the tour of the building more than I had anticipated.

Afterwards, we spent time on campus hearing some of the traditions and campus lore from my daughter’s teacher who is an alumnus. Looking up from the middle of the grove of the “star trees” we learned that this was a good make-out spot.

We then headed east towards Silver Falls State Park where we would spend the night. The drive was beautiful as we passed loads of grass seed and Christmas tree farms. I caught sight of this rather unusual Christmas tree; instead of a star at the top it had a moon.

I’ll save our Silver Falls adventures for tomorrow.

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