Fall Colors: Spirit Mountain and More

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Leader: Ray Jensen

ON A BEAUTIFUL CLEAR MORNING of October 4, 2011, our rest stop was at the Santiam River, where we enjoyed our usual great snacks and goodies. We then went through Salem and west on Hwy 22 to the Grand Ronde Reservation, where we found major changes in what had been a rural slum. Improvements include an administration (governance) building, health and medical facilities, social services, churches, housing units, and an educational cen-ter. Education and efforts to preserve their cultural heritage are emphasized. For example, classes are held twice weekly to study Chinuk Wawa (Chinook Jargon). All these are from casino earnings, which are well spent. A picture stop was made here at their well-designed Veterans Memorial to honor vets from the tribes and locals. Then it was on to the casino for lunch and unnamed vices. No reports were given of any winnings—a popular resort and great food. There is a Spirit Mountain, just north of the reservation. To experience a huge contrast, we went to the Brigittine Monastery, near Amity on the South Yamhill River. This Order was established in the 14th century by St. Bridget of Sweden. The eight monks produce delicious chocolates as their only source of income. It is excellent quality and most of us purchased the 1 lb. boxes. At 3 pm we went to the chapel for the announced ten minute prayer. Instead, it was Vespers, a 40 minute liturgical mass, including prayer, chants, readings, music, a sermon, communion, but NO offering. All the brothers wore the traditional drab brown hooded robes. It was a very interesting, even inspirational experience. Because of rainy weather and limited fall color, we opted for a direct route home via Perrydale and Corvallis, with driver Richard Patch returning us to Shopko at 5:30 pm.

Members: Jensen, Ray, Allen, Ethel, Anderson, Alice, Arthur, Bill, Beard, Barbara, Beard, Paul, Beard, Paula, Cheadle, Mary Lee, Devine, Leona, Etter, Rose Mary, Flanders, Barbara, Flanders, Dennis, McManigal, John, McManigal, Lenore, Payne, Barbara, Payne, Don, Reanier, Liz, Ringsdorf, Ardys, Snell, Julie, Speelman, Janet. Nonmembers: Blankenship, Jean, Hammer, Velma, Hughes, Doug, Hughes, Maxine, McClatchey, Natalie, Philips, Judith.

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