Willamette Sternwheeler, Bush House

June 14, 2001

We left Eugene with some clouds but the sun did break out later. We drove up Hwy. 99, went through Corvallis and stopped at Helmick Park for our morning rest stop. We continued on Hwy. 99 to the historic town of Independence. We arrived at Salem's Riverfront Park, now home to the new Carousel and Willamette Queen Sternwheeler in addition to the A.C. Gilbert Village, which we toured in March. Our first stop was the Carousel, a real fun place for young and old. It opened on June 2 after five years of 160 artists having donated 80,000 hours to carve, sand and paint horses. Most of our group picked out a horse and climbed on (some with help) for a great ride. We left to board the Willamette Queen for our lunch and cruise at 12:00. Several waitresses hustled around bringing iced tea, coffee, etc., and we moved smoothly from the dock, heading up river for a short time and then down river while some of our party got to steer and received an elaborate certificate signed by the captain. The river is very shallow this year, which limited the distance we could go, but we saw many families of ducks, new developments along the river and the place where historic Mill Creek empties into the river and the location of early settlers. We returned to our bus and drove to historical Bush House, built in 1878, on Mission St. The group was divided for the tour so everyone had a chance to enjoy the Bush pasture containing a large rose garden, greenhouses and the Bush Barn Art Center. We left about 3:30, stopping for our afternoon rest stop near Jefferson, and arriving home at 5:30. Our bus driver, Darrel Whitaker, was a big help in getting us everywhere on time (he received a certificate). Many thanks to Mary Lee (who took reservations) and to the hospitality committee (Janet, Ethel, Mary Lee and Dora) who furnished cookies.

Riders were Ethel Allen, Mary & Richard Bentsen, Marian & John Borchardt, Ingrid Carmichael, Mary Lee Cheadle, Kent Christoferson, Doral & Rosemary Etter, Fay Eoff, Margaret Fea, Dora Harris,  Evelyn Hile, Mary Ann Holser, Corinne Hunt, Pat & Ben Jeffries, Tilde Jensen, Helen Knowlton, Mary & Kay Lemons, Cleora Mersdorf, Joyce Mixer, Maude Nilsen, Frances Newsom, LaVonne & Geroge Petersen, Liz Reanier, Edna Robertson, June Smith, Bobbye Sorrels, Janet & Richard Speelman, Peggy Sirotek, Louise Thurber, Dorothy Turner, Ruth Ann Watts, Marry Ellen West, Vera Woolley and Bette Hack (leader).

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