World Forestry Center and The Rice N.W. Museum of Rocks

October 25, 2007

Following our coffee break at the Wilsonville Rest Area, we arrived at 10:30 at the much improved W.F.D. We were introduced to forests around the world, with an excellent short movie. The Museum includes hands-on displays, walk through alcoves about facets of forestry practices, also basic natural information, and of special interest, was the exhibit CAROUSEL OF THE ANIMALS.

At noon, we went west on HWY #26, beyond the high-tech congestion, into unspoiled farmland. The community of Helvetia (Roughly Latin for Switzerland) was settled by Swiss-German immigrants and has remained rural. The rolling hills, green meadows and autumn colors on this sunny day, were a delight.

Meeting us for lunch, were Evelyn Hile, formerly the Bus Committee’s Treasurer, her daughter Barbara, and Husband to-be Keith Claycomb. Evelyn and Keith are to be married November 3rd. We toasted them, and presented flowers, along with our best wishes.

At 2 p.m., on to the nearby Rice Museum, housing an outstanding collection of gems, minerals, thundereggs, petrified wood, fossils, crystals etc. and showcasing the rare Rhodochrosite.

Robert and Helen Rice, (both deceased), began picking up agates in 1938, adding many exceptional items over 50 years. Their modern 1952 ranch-style home has been converted to this museum, and is now on the National Register of Historic Homes. It is in a nice site, amongst a grove of Douglas Fir.

Leaving at 4 p.m., we traveled through Oregon’s version of the Bermuda Triangle (Hillsboro-Beaverton-Tigard), with driver, John Goddard, piloting us over infamous HWY 217, dropping the Beards off at Wilsonville, and returning to Eugene at 6:25 p.m.

Riders were: Ethel Allen, Ewart Baldwin (co-leader), Barbara Beard, Paul Beard, MaryLee Cheadle, Kent Christoferson, Sharon Cutsworth, Barbara Flanders, Dennis Flanders, Dora Harris, Ray Jensen (leader), Rosella Jones, Dot Leland, John McManigal, Lenore McManigal, Barbara Payne, Don Payne, Liz Reanier, Paula Sievers, Julia Snell, Dick Speelman, Janet Speelman and Vera Wooley; and nonmembers: Hal Abrams, Jane Bikelow, Tilde Jensen, William Olson, Shelly Turner, Carol Vollesky and Walter Youngquist.

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