My Daily Kos political stories are here. I will no longer post links to the stories I post on Daily Kos here at halbrown.org. This will now be a blog with personal stories illustrated with my photos from my various trips discovering scenic and interesting areas around the Portland, Oregon suburb where I live. I am always on the lookout for unique restaurants frequented mostly by local residents like the Scream'n Chicken (in Gaston) and Carlton Corners in Carlton. Most recently I found The Hitch'n Post in Molalla. (scroll down for photos).
I just added a few new videos to my YouTube channel here. Check out the video of Willamette Falls.
Nov. 30, 2021
I decided to go to Molalla passing through Liberal, Oregon (click link below for more about Liberal)
Click the people photos to enlarge them.
The town itself is a far cry from most of the gentrified cities and towns nearer to where I live. There are a few modern buildings like City Hall but many of them on Main Street are very shabby on the outside, for example the store in the photo below (click to enlarge):
Annual cultural events
Molalla is the home of the Molalla Buckeroo rodeo (it began in 1913, the same time as the city was founded) and the Apple Festival. The Pacific Coast Freestyle Championships, a model airplane aerobatic tournament, has been held there for 14 years in late July. Several Latino rodeos are held at the rodeo facility by "LaFortuna" in spring, mid-summer, late summer and fall, bringing tens of thousands of Latino families to celebrate in the community. The Fourth of July Parade, sponsored by the Molalla Area Chamber of Commerce, often sports 50,000 spectators. Many other minor festivals—Halloween on Main Street, Christmas in the City, Spring Fling, Easter Egg Hunt in the Park, Fishing Derbies, Trail Rides, The Brew Fest, The North Valley High School Rodeo—all add to the quality of life in Molalla.
Museums and other points of interest
There is a miniature steam train, the Shady Dell Pacific Railroad, in Molalla Train Park three miles east of Molalla. An interesting and free exhibit of Rodeo History Honors the "Heroes" of Rodeo memorialized in large brass plaques placed in the sidewalks of Molalla's city core. The Horace L. Dibble House and the Fred Vonder Ahe House and Summer Kitchen are buildings in Molalla on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) that have been preserved by the Molalla Area Historical Society. The NRHP-listed Rock Creek Methodist Church and William Hatchette Vaughan House are also in the Molalla area.
Nov. 27, 2021
The lights go out at Costco
This is what it looks like when the power goes out at a Costco. Since they have skylights the the store wasn't plunged into near darkness and they didn't have to rely on battery operated lights (which I didn't notice). Shoppers were hustled out and there were very long lines at the checkouts. Having just seen an old movie, How To Beat The High Cost Of Living, about three women robbing a mall supposedly in Eugene (Oregon ) which involved cutting the power I thought this would be a scenario for thieves robbing the Costco. It just happened that when I left there was an armored truck in front and an armed guard carrying a money bag inside.
Nov. 26, 2021
Hal gets the finger.
The photo was taken in front of Mi Famiglia in Oregon City. I took this because of the items on the dashboard. I didn't see the woman behind the wheel and only saw she was giving me the finger until I looked at the photo. She got out of the car and belligerently asked why I was taking the photo. I said I had every right to do so. Apparently assuming I took it because I saw the red on the vehicle and thought it was blood she volunteered that it was candle wax which ended up there when she was having a fight with her boyfriend.
She did have a dog inside the car. It was a small terrier.
Mi Famiglia is rated one of the best restaurants in Oregon City.
Nov. 21, 2021
The town of West Linn is just across the river from Oregon City (Wiki). While I've eaten in several of the many Oregon City restaurants (Ranee's is a favorite) I'd never been to West Linn until today. I wasn't at all familiar with West Linn until I read about it in a couple of brochures. Between the park along two rivers and the downtown it seemed to be a worthwhile place to visit on a sunny but cool day which came after several days of rain.
Here's the website of the West Linn Historical Society.
Below: Back over the narrow two lane bridge on Rt. 43 to Oregon City. About the Oregon City Bridge.
Like just about all of the rural Oregon towns I've visited, and I assume this is similar to other towns more than a half hour drive from Portland, Eugene, and Salem, the politics can lean right or be downright conservative. Aurora is no exception. I was glad to see the signs in front of one of the historic homes in the town.
Above: Not exactly an outlaw biker club member, this patron is a member of Bikers for Christ (read article here).
Nov. 18, 2021
You can often see Mt. Hood (which as an inactive volcano could erupt) or Mount St. Helens (our currently inactive volcano which actually erupted) as you drive around the Portland area. Sometimes you will come across views where you can see the two of them at the same time, albeit far apart. Generally both are veiled in mist or overcast so it isn't possible to get a clear photo. Yesterday was an exception for Mt. Hood. Click to enlarge photos:
Nov. 17, 2021
I don't know if Carlton Corners is the best restaurant anywhere which is also part of an operating gas station/ convenience store. Link to website below.
Click images to enlarge. Carlton has many restaurants for a city of about 2,000. It is situated in the heart of Oregon wine country (scroll down to Nov. 3rd).
Nov. 3, 2021
Halloween drive in Oregon wine country - click photos to enlarge
The Srceam'n Chicken and the One Horse Saloon (or Tavern), right next to each other on the main drag in Gaston (pop 734, which is in the heart of WINE COUNTRY:
Not on Halloween: