We spent Saturday doing yard work. Weeding the front yard then hauling and spreading 42 bags (84 cubic feet) of bark mulch.
Sunday we decided to play. A few weeks ago I hastily scribbled down some cryptic directions to several covered bridges in the Cottage Grove area, south of Eugene and about 75 miles away. There is a cluster of covered bridges and it was a good destination for an all day ride.
Troubadour rounded up some snacks for a picnic lunch, the scribbled notes, and a Benchmark map book. He put them all in his saddlebags and we headed out about 11 am.
We meandered south along our favorite back roads. South of Veneta we were on the hunt for Coyote Creek Covered Bridge, aka Battle Creek Covered Bridge, just off of Battle Creek Road. It was surprisingly easy to find even going from memory of our notes. We've passed by a lot of times and never knew it was there, visible from Territorial Road if you look through the trees.
COYOTE CREEK COVERED BRIDGE
|(Coyote Creek Covered Bridge, built in 1922 - 60 ft long)|
Back on Territorial we headed further south then turned east at Loraine onto the Cottage Grove/Loraine Road. Such a beautiful road, full of 20-25 mph twisties up over a hill through some logging areas. You know the kind - sheer drop off on one side, no shoulder and no guard rails. Unfortunately that means no room to pull over and take pictures either.
Once in Cottage Grove we stopped at the Safeway to fuel the bikes and use the restroom facilities. We took a peek at the map and headed east.
The next Bridge was Stewart Covered Bridge which crosses Mosby Creek at Garoutte Road.
STEWART COVERED BRIDGE
|(Stewart Covered Bridge, built in 1930 - 60 ft long)|
We stopped here for a bit and had our picnic lunch of bananas, some pistachios and trail mix washed down with some cold water. It was nice sitting on the rocks under the bridge and listening to birds. The view from the bikes of Garoutte Road below.
This fun bit of road looked like it went where we needed to go for the next bridge so we followed it to where it joined Shoreview Drive/Government Road around Dorena Lake.
At the corner of Government Road and Row River Road is the Dorena Covered Bridge, aka the Row River Covered Bridge.
DORENA COVERED BRIDGE
|(Dorena Covered Bridge built in 1949 - 105 ft long)|
|(See what happens when I realize there is a camera behind me)|
A left turn onto Row River Road and the loop brought us around the lake to Layng Rd. We turned left on Layng Road. It was closed up ahead for construction, but we made it to the Mosby Creek Covered Bridge..... sort of. It is Lane County's oldest bridge having been built in 1920.
MOSBY CREEK COVERED BRIDGE
|(Troubadour really wanted to get closer)|
|(Mosby Creek Covered Bridge built in 1920 - 90 ft long)|
|(I went to take a picture of the bridge in my mirror)|
|(Troubadour's picture of me taking the picture in my mirror)|
Not much traffic on a closed road so we were able to stop and see the cows.
|(How you doin'? ... or is that How you mooin'?)|
We rode back to the intersection of Layng Rd and Row River Road for the Currin Covered Bridge, also aka Row River Covered Bridge.
CURRIN COVERED BRIDGE
|(Currin Covered Bridge built in 1925 - 105 ft long)|
Our loop around Dorena Lake complete, we returned to the Safeway in Cottage Grove This time to drink an iced cold yummy Starbucks since the temperature had climbed into the high 70's. Iced soy chai latte for me and a 'soy chai no whip frappucino' for the gentleman. Or as he likes to call it a "Fluffy Chai" since it's blended
We stopped for about a half hour break and then went back on the bikes to search for the last two bridges in Cottage Grove. One we passed on the way into town so we knew where it was. The following bridge took a smidge of looking.
CHAMBERS RAILROAD COVERED BRIDGE
The last covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi is the Chambers Railroad Covered Bridge and it spans the Coast Fork of the Willamette River in Cottage Grove.
|(Chambers Railroad Covered Bridge originally built 1925 - 78 ft long)|
|(Interesting metal sculptures lined the walls)|
One last stop for the Centennial Covered Bridge. Nothing like stopping in a bicycle lane on a corner and standing in the middle of a road to take a picture. Good thing Brad had his hi-vis Stich on.
CENTENNIAL COVERED BRIDGE
|(Centennial Covered Pedestrian Bridge - 84 ft long)|
(Built in 1987 from timbers salvaged from the Burmbaugh bridge)
From this bridge we went back home the way we came. Over the CG/Loraine Road to Territorial to Veneta and home via Bellfountain Rd. We arrived home at 6pm, seven hours after leaving the house and roughly 200 miles (321 km) later. We were tired, but had a great day out on the bikes.
- Au Revoir
" We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment." - Hilaire Belloc