Portland

Portland Section

Cabin Fever Cruise 1.0

Cabin Fever Cruise 1.0

Portland
Saturday, June 13, 2020 - 9:30am
Salem
Oregon

On Saturday June 13th the Portland Section held our first attempt at a group event since the COVID-19 lockdown began. A group of about 23 people in 15 cars (we limited the group to 25 people) took a two hour drive through Marion and Linn county back roads.

 

Our route started at the Fred Meyer in South Salem. The weekend forecast had been fairly wet, but very few drops fell on us as we gathered in the parking lot and reviewed the route. I was encouraged by the response and met quite a few members that I had never met before, including Guillermo Giannico who has been a member for 6 years but was joining us in his silver 2001 SL500 for his first ever club event. 

 

After leaving Fred Meyer and making our way south along Liberty and Skyline roads, we stopped briefly to make sure everyone made it through the traffic lights before continuing on through the curviest part of our route - across the hills of south Salem and down to River Road. Crossing the Willamette River, we drove through Independence, which is currently experiencing a renaissance of sorts with new construction and general sprucing up of the already cute downtown area. Then we skirted around the edge of Monmouth, driving right through the campus of Western Oregon University. Heading west and south from Monmouth, we continued to the Kings Valley Highway through beautifully green fields and rolling hills. After joining the two-lane “highway”, the pastoral view gave way to more wooded scenery as we entered the foothills of the Coastal Range. Soon enough, we reached our stop at the Ritner Creek Covered Bridge. The bridge sits alongside the current highway so you can’t actually drive through it, but it’s nice because you can enjoy and inspect the bridge up close, without fear of traffic. They actually have some picnic tables on the bridge itself.

When legs were sufficiently stretched, and the portable facilities used, we continued south along Kings Valley Highway before turning back to the east. We drove right by the Airlie Winery, which looked like it might be a good stop for a future re-drive of this route. Once again in the fields of the Willamette Valley, we crossed highway 99E at Suver and followed the Willamette River in to downtown Albany and Monteith Riverpark. Even though it was a little chilly for a picnic, members enjoyed milling about (at a distance from each other) and chatting about the drive and the cars and the crazy times in which we find ourselves.

Regardless of the forecast, most of the drive and every stop we made were essentially dry. We only passed through one downpour after our mid-point stop. Otherwise the clouds and the occasional bit of blue sky just made the greens of the fields and trees really pop. It was a beautiful drive and I received lots of positive feedback. It was good to see so many new (at least to me) faces. That tells me some more events in the Salem area might be in order. If you’re in that area, and you would like to help organize a drive or another event (with help from the board) please let me know! ([email protected]) And if you’d like to take yourself on a drive of this route, here’s the Google Maps link. Photos of the event can be seen on our SmugMug photo site.