Friday, August 29, 2008

Roadside Curiousities

Our trip last weekend from Portland to Roseburg, which is 3-1/2 hours straight through, took 6-1/2 hours down and nearly that long coming back. Why? Because after years of zipping up and down I-5 my curiousity is finally getting to the point where I can no longer pass by the signs pointing to little towns that I know nothing about.

Going down we took I-205 then 99-E to salem stopping for breakfast at woodburn. But then curiousity kicked in and We detoured to find the town of Turner, which is also my wife's family name. Turner is a leftover town on the railway line and if it had a downtown there's not really one left. There is a large mill like building of some industry though.

For years I've passed the big brown sign on I-5 advertising the Brownsville Historic Museum. I could no longer pass it up. We went to Brownsville. Brownsville immediately reminded me of Oakland Oregon. It has a preserved downtown core of historic buildings with good sidewalks and clean streets. This is a place I could retire to. We bought coffees at the cafe/ice cream place and walked around the town. Didn't have time for the museum sadly. It's in an old railway building and about 5 or 6 rail cars connected together. Brownsville has a quilt shop and of course Beth spent time there, both buying and selling.

Going home curiousity kicked in at the "Salt springs road" exit. This is an exit in the middle of the twisty part of the highway south of Eugene. According to the map there is a Salt Springs road, but we couldn't get to it. The northbound exit and entrance has a house with a large junkyard of commercial trucks and garbage, but we couldn't see any road. The exit tunnels under the highway with essentially a culvert barely wide enough for one vehicle. The southbound exit/entrance is there, but the road is a dirt road that's been blocked with a berm.

Then there's the green sign that says Scio. What's a Scio? A town, a place, what? To get to Scio means first going through Jefferson. Jefferson has a two block downtown but is mostly a wide spot in the road. Scio on the other had is a small town. There's a high school football field with bleachers and respectable town like feeling. There's a central area of business buildings but not the classic downtown of close buildings and sidewalks. Scio boast of being the Covered Bridge capitol. The only one we could find had a sign saying built in 1966. That's right 19, not 1866.

No comments: