Upon exiting Champoeg State Park, I saw the first sign for the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.
I don't know why I didn't see it yesterday...
This morning before I got out of my tent I wrote down the turn-by-turn directions for today's route. I needn't have done that as there were signs the entire way. I guess it was nice to know how far before the next turn. The rain had stopped sometime during the night, and it was cloudy with bits of blue sky here and there this morning. I looked at the weather, and the chance of rain was pretty low. Yay! My shorts might actually get dry hanging on the back of the bike!
I was packed and on the road by 8:00. Said goodbye to Alex, he would be heading out to the Coast. Once I was truly heading south, I noticed the wind. It was pretty flat, yet I was only going 8 mph. I decided to focus on...well, the only thing there was to focus on was the various agriculture. There were hops strung up on tall posts.
There were fields of harvested Cauliflower.
At least that's what it looked like.
Of course, there were orchard after orchard of hazelnut/filbert trees.
Sometimes you feel like a nut...sometimes you don't...too bad, nuts everywhere!
There were also lots of nurseries, baby trees and plants galore. The best nursery was the field of irises.
Alongside the road there were lots of blackberries. The ones with a southern exposure were nice and ripe. I stopped and ate a few handfuls. They were delicious!
As I was riding along, a couple came up behind me on bikes. We rode together for awhile. They were from Portland, and we're just out doing an overnight to Corvallis. Turns out they had been at Champoeg last night, but came in late. Their names were Jade and Annie. Nice kids. I lost them in Keizer (I stopped for lunch). Also saw a guy going the other direction (lucky him). His name was Vince. We talked for a short bit.
Just before coming into Keizer, I noticed a large number of birds circling overhead. I know I was going slow, and maybe appeared to be dead meat, but...no, a farmer was on a tractor in the field. I think the birds (mostly turkey vultures, and a couple of hawks) were looking for prey being rousted by the tractor. The photo I took with several of the birds did not turn out well. Here's one with just one.
Earlier I had seen a turkey vulture sitting in a tree, just waiting until he could swoop down and make a meal of the dead raccoon in the middle of the road.
I worked my way through Keizer, then into Salem. The route went through various parks, and right by the Capitol building.
Salem, the capital of Oregon.
The route was well marked through the parks.
The bottom arrow says "Scenic Bikeway".
For the briefest of time just out of Salem, I had a tailwind. It was glorious! Then, back to the headwind. It was okay, I only had about 8 more miles to go to tonight's destination--Riverview Park in Independence. It's a little bit of a strange place. It's a big field (that is also part of a disc golf course) with H/B sites around the perimeter. It's funny, the sign says first come, first serve, no reservations. With the exception of maybe being short on picnic tables, there is probably room for 100 tents!
There is also a shower of sorts. It's an outdoor shower, and it's cold water. Fortunately, it was pretty warm when I got here, so I didn't mind the cold shower. I was able to wash my shorts too. With the wind, they might just get dry tonight!
The host, Larry, just came by to collect the $10 fee. He said there's a music festival going on in the park next door. There are also some food vendors. I might go over for dinner if this wind doesn't die down. Unlike Champoeg, there is no shelter. Wind, great for drying laundry, not so great for cooking.