Greetings lovers of everything great beyond the walls of the Pool of Human Suffering that make up the bulk of what we do, and welcome to the Spring edition of TEMPEST RIDES. "April showers bring May flowers" is spoken to bring hope to those who don't like the "Showers" of Spring. Well, it is what it is, and it is Flower Season! During the next four months Crocus, Daffodills and Tulips will begin a series of blooms that take us through Cherry Blossoms, Rhododendrons, and the City of Roses namesake. It extends through late Summer and higher elevations.
This month's ride is short and at lower elevation so as to stay away from the serious cold that can still be seen as white on the foothills of the Cascades as I write this, and it takes advantage of the bloomage that is celebrated this time of year. My starting point is Oregon City, which at one point had hopes of being the State Capital as it was Capital of the Oregon Territory from 1848 to 1851. We head south on Hwy 213 headed to Molalla. The route takes us quickly out of the Historic City to rolling hills that support small ranches and sprawling homes, green and cool with meandering streams and choking blackberry patches along the way. Rolling through Molalla to Silverton we enter more vinyards, farmland and flowers in bloom everywhere. Once in Silverton there is the Oregon Garden, more than 80 acres and 20 specialty gardens that will inspire any landscaper who visits it beautifully sculpted grounds. Who needs to travel to BC (Buchart)! It's a well spent $11 to spend an hour or so taking in the flora in Oregon's Garden. If hunger begins to set in, Silverton has a few eateries that will inspire, either due to the historic false front construction or the streamside seating that calms and relaxes the "Heightened Awareness" that sets in and wears us down.
Leaving Silverton, find OR 214 and head north to Church St., turn left and then right on Railroad Ave. About nine miles out of town is the small burg of Mt. Angel, famous for it's Oktoberfest Celebration, complete with an Abby on the hill. Head north on OR 214 a couple of miles, turn right on Monitor finding S. Meridan a couple of miles north and stop at 33814 S. Meridan. You're here! Welcome to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.
Throughout April and into May the Wooden Shoe is awash in color as the Tulips and Daffodils are in full glory! The color is blinding and they celebrate with a festival that goes through May 5th. $5 for motorcycles and $10 for cars load gets you in ffor a great kid friendly time with a "Cow" train, pony rides, a rockwall, zip lines, hot air balloons and wine tasting. Oh, you can buy flowers too! Plenty of fun may be had by all.
When you've had your fill, head north to Hwy 99 and go through Canby, only because I try to avoid Interstates generally, and find your way home. This route is less than 80 miles round trip but an absolute feast for your senses. Google Map references are as follows:
Oregon City-Molalla-Silverton-Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm-Canby-Oregon City
Thanks for reading and remember to Live Your Adventure and Choose Your Battles! Rubber Side Down.