GRAVESITES TO FROG FOOTPRINTS

Ready for another photo shoot journey, we headed north this time.  Our goal was to take a good look and pictures on 99 E. from Junction City through Jefferson. 

The road from Eugene to the intersection of Hwy 99 and Hwy 34 to Corvallis is familiar to us from many trips to visit grandchildren in Corvallis.  Still there were surprises, even the spotting of a Greyhound Bus, updated in two tones of blue, no longer frequently seen on Highway 99 where it passes through small towns.  There were pictures we hadn’t taken earlier: different crops ripening, wheat where I didn’t expect to see it, New Century Farm signs are up and I notice some old signs are now missing.  The Jenks egg farm buildings are still there but the sign is gone.  Maybe the family retired.

A roadside pause to wait for traffic to pass gave our camera man a chance to get a good picture of an old house on the other side of the road.  I spent the few minutes watching a finch feed her demanding young.  It made me smile inside.  Yesterday a mother crow out my big window was refusing to feed her almost grown but demanding youngster.  The more he fussed the more she turned her back to go on getting her own meal.  Evidently even birds have a little trouble giving the young all the tools they need to be independent. 

As we passed through Harrisburg, Halsey, Shedd and Tangent, we found remnants of life along Highway 99, some from earlier to marvel over and photograph.  Old gas stations, false front businesses, and houses both tiny and plain to decorative and large.   Every so often we came across an auto repair or mechanics shop where a hanger type roof had been added-maybe in honor of the increasing influence of airplanes.  Certainly true in Tangent where one building with a metal roof had the name of the town on the south side roof of the building and an arrow with flying directions to the airfield on the north side roof.

Our lunch break was in Albany, Waverly Lake Park, bordered on the north by the Old Salem Rd.  In addition to the pretty lake, great walking paths and picnic tables under a grove of old oak trees, Waverly had another point of interest.   It is nestled next to  a pioneer cemetery with grave sites dating to the 1850s.  Across the Old Salem Rd. is another cemetery with a sign indicating it is the Jewish cemetary but I didn’t investigate–maybe another day.

Between Albany and Jefferson, we drove through an industrial area: Wah Chang, Willamette Industries, Palm Harbor Manufactured Homes and many others.  Past that stretch we turned under the freeway to Jefferson.  The 1933 concrete bridge over the Santiam River is one of the prettiest of inland Oregon. 

This month is the Jefferson Mint Festival celebration, obviously a big event.  Since Jefferson is also the Frog Jumping Capital of Oregon, we walked on green painted frog footprints as we discovered this fascinating piece of Oregon History.  We took pictures here: of a building faced with old boards that has an incredible mural of the cars that would have been on Highway 99 all the time it was a U.S. Highway,  a historic home being used as a public library, old business buildings, and a tiny smoke shop in a very old building.  Even the fire hydrants were freshly painted.  It was the perfect place to end our tour so we got ice cream cones and drove on through a rural area until we came to the next place to turn south for home again.

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