We woke Saturday morning to 38˚F ( 3.3˚C) but the skies were clear and the forecast was for highs of 66˚F (18.9˚C). A perfect day for riding.
Time to dust off the bike, my gear, and also dust off the cobwebs of my mind. You know, the ones that accumulate over the winter months and cloud the mental acuity needed for riding.
Troubadour and I rode to Saturday coffee then headed out meandering across the valley in a southeastern pattern. Some back roads I'd been on before, some I'd never been on.
We found ourselves at Thompson's Flour Mill on Boston Mill Road. (Thompson's Mill was formerly known as Boston Mill). The mill is the same one in my header pic that was taken 3 years ago. It is an Oregon State Park Heritage Site, built in 1858, and is the oldest water driven mill in the state. It burned down in 1862 and was rebuilt within a year. It continued to grind grain until 2002.
The Mill was actually open so we stopped by and looked around and even took a free guided tour.
Once inside we were treated to working displays showing some of the belts, gears, grain elevators, and augers of days gone by.
The tour guide even guided is through the basement, opened the gates to the mill pond and started the last remaining turbine. When we went back to the main floor the mill was turned on and we watched all of the original elevators and belts move. It was quite a sight and must have been really loud and dusty back in the day.
As we went back outside we were greeted by the resident chickens, and one rooster.
A sign on the outside of the mill showed some of the old advertising from when they produced cattle and poultry feed as well as flours. (They mixed molasses with the grains)
As we walked back towards the bikes we noticed there were more chickens, as well as ducks and turkeys milling around the farmhouse yard and were starting to wander towards us. The park host had added a feeding station and they were looking for some grub.
They had the largest turkeys I'd ever seen. A park ranger came and talked a bit and said the poultry came with the place. A lot of them are heirloom and have just reproduced and kept the lines going. They were true free range and could wander at leisure. While it was fenced in front, they have 86 acres at their disposal at the back of the yard/property.
We had parked the bikes by some picnic tables so it was the perfect opportunity for a snack in the sunshine. We stalled and soaked up the sun for as long as we could then got back on the bikes and headed further east then south. Troubadour had a route in mind to find a few more covered bridges.
ToadMama - I think I need some of those stick-on googly eyes for my top case when it photo bombs.
Next up was Crawfordsville Covered Bridge in Crawfordsville, built in 1932 and spanning the Calapooia River.
Further south and we saw the Mohawk River (Earnest) covered bridge. The original bridge was built in 1903 but was replaced in 1938. This bridge was appeared in the movie Shenandoah filmed in the 1960's.
Back on the bikes and we came to the last covered bridge of the day, the Mill Creek (Wendling) Covered Bridge, built in 1938.
Wendling Bridge was the last stop of the day, but the best riding was yet to come. We made our way out to Marcola Road then south to Hill Road and east on McKenzie View Road. If you click on this LINK you can see part of the route. We were on the upper orange line between Hill and Coburg Rd. Fun bits of twisties in there with a little elevation change.
We went north on Coburg Rd into Coburg, then into Harrisburg and north on Peoria Rd and into Corvallis. From Harrisburg to home, it was a little blustery and the clouds rolled in. It cooled off but it never did rain.
We arrived home about 4:30 pm with smiles on our faces and tuckered out from not riding in a while. While Troubadour commutes by bike as often as he can, he hasn't been doing much pleasure riding lately.
It was only 110 miles (177 km), but it was a great day out on the bikes and a nice kickoff to riding season.
- Au Revoir
" Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawns." - Quoted by Lewis Grizzard in Kathysue Loudermilk, I Love You