Drive OR-99W into McMinnville.
Now, West Coast wine aficionados know this town as a great collection of wineries. Airplane buffs, know it as a town which “stole” Howard Hughes’ famous “Spruce Goose” from Long Beach/CA. (If you’re unfamiliar with the full “Spruce Goose” story, do a search… it’s a rather bizarre, yet fascinating insight into “The Aviator” Howard Hughes).
A family, the McMenamins, have carved out an unusual collection of venues in Oregon. Some are relatively standard bars, some are exotic. McMinnville’s Hotel Oregon falls somewhere between, so choose to breakfast there. (Staff and food are wonderful; friends who’ve STAYED there praise it).
Then wander McMinnville’s collection of old buildings in “Historic Downtown” along 3rd St. Am delighted at a “Children Reading” sculpture outside their library. (Waiting for library to open, ask a young man in a baseball cap and “lumberjack” shirt “The Question” and his reasoned reply on why “The Drug War” should be ended proves fascinating. “Weed is to OUR generation, what booze was to yours. Yeah, ya gotta do something about hard drugs, but putting people in jail isn’t having much effect. Maybe our new healthcare bill will allow treatment instead of prison, but we really need to change our current approach”).
Later, drive out to tiny Amity’s Brigittine Monastery. In a tiny chapel and outside on deserted grounds, find peaceful solitude… somehow, quite easy to just sit and allow “unnoticed” thoughts pass through my mind… hard to describe a state where your mind is “running”, but there’s just no “rational” assessment of thought processes. (Am also, somehow, reminded of Thomas Merton and his long delayed contemplations as a silent Trappist monk).
Slip onto OR-99W and pause in Dayton, as, in their Legion Field, they’ve reconstructed old Fort Yamhill.
Finally, as afternoon light begins to wane, pass through a series of small winery-laden towns, hop onto US-26 and head into Seaside to see what improvements friend Trung has made to her restful hostel.