Polk County/Bellevue Erratic

April 13, 1993

As usual, we departed promptly at 8:00 a.m. with a coffee stop on Hwy. 223 at the Ritner Creek Covered Bridge, now preserved as a Wayside by donations from schoolchildren of Pedee. Next to Falls City for the Little Luckiamute Falls, which were roaring at full force. On to the Polk County Court House built in 1899 with local limestone. The court room itself has an early 20th Century flavor with a unique decorative ceiling. We lunched in the Dallas City Park located alongside Rickreall Creek. The park’s 35-acre arboretum suffered severe winter storm damage. An unexpected treat was our tour of the Muir & McDonald tannery built in 1863. An old-fashioned vegetable tanning process requiring four months is used to produce high quality cowhides. Their small museum displayed many examples of excellent leather products. Dallas has the feel of a mid-West town complete with a noon whistle from its large sawmill. Next we traveled to the Bellevue Erratic. Ewart Baldwin gave us a wonderful geology lesson while standing atop this glacial rock. This and many other erratics were transported from ancient Lake Missoula during the breakup of the Ice Age about 12-15 thousand years ago. Its transporting agent, an iceberg, amazingly landed on this small hillock near Sheridan. We then went to the Brigittine Monastery near Amity. A special privilege was attending the monk’s 10-minute prayer service held in their beautiful modern chapel. About 16 monks in hooded robe chanted and prayed — a most impressive service. We viewed two short videos describing their Order, their life and their delicious chocolate which many of us purchased. We continued on back roads near Perrydale, enjoying scenes of velvet green farmland with the Coast Range in the background. And finally, after a brief look at the pioneer Bethel Church, we returned to Eugene via Hwy. 99, arriving about 5:30 p.m.

A delightful day with nice weather by Ewart & Margie Baldwin, Marian Borchardt, Ingrid Carmichael, Mary Lee Cheadle, Lee Coleman, Clair Cooley, Bill & Marge Eaton, Jan Gund, Bette Hack, Miki Hutchison, Mae Jackson, Tilde Jensen, Barbara Kiser, Dody Leppman, Helen Lynch, Mary McLaughlin, Cleora Mersdorf, Frances Newsom, Jan Pattison, Kathleen Schlenker, Lois Schreiner, Betty & Harvey Speck, Louise Thurber, Bonnie Tull, Dorothy Turner, Christy White, Vera Woolley, and leader Ray Jensen.

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