Willamette Valley - Buena Vista Ferry
I rode a 50 mile loop around Oregon's middle Willamette Valley today, including a crossing of the Willamette River on the Buena Vista Ferry. I started by leaving Albany and heading north on Spring Hill Road, and then catching Buena Vista Road to the ferry. Pics:
1. The state of Oregon has designated this area as part of an official Willamette Valley bicycle route. Buena Vista Road is a nice ramble, but Spring Hill Road from here to Albany has moderate 55mph traffic and no shoulder. It can be scary.
2-3. Buena Vista Road has very little traffic and a nice mix of scenery as it passes through woodlands and farmland.
4. I make a self portrait attempt.
5. Buena Vista Road offers views of the Coast Range along the western edge of the Willamette Valley. Camp Adair (which I have photographed previously) is in the lowlands near the back of this photo.
The Buena Vista Ferry operates Spring through Fall and offers bicyclists free crossing over the Willamette River.
1. On the east side of the river, Talbot Road passes through the small farming community of Talbot and past grass seed fields.
2. Talbot Road crosses I-5, the west coast's main north-south artery.
3. In Jefferson I stopped for a picnic lunch.
4. East of Jefferson, boaters enjoy a float on the North Santiam River.
5. My route passed many abandoned farms like this one.
1. Thankfully not all of the farms I passed were abandoned.
2. Cosmopolitan Crabtree consists of a post office, a fire department, some empty buildings, and a tavern. The Cascade Mountains loom in the background, marking the eastern edge of the Willamette Valley.
3. Heading back west towards Albany I crossed the South Santiam River, source of my town's drinking water. It flows clear, thankfully!
4. My last stop was the Cottonwoods store for a snack. This store located on US-20 between Albany and Lebanon sits near the location of the former Cottonwoods Ballroom, a popular concert and dance hall from the 1930s to the 1960s. During World War 2 it entertained soldiers from Camp Adair, and over the years became a draw for such national acts as Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington. All that remains of the Cottonwoods Ballroom today is a decrepit, rusting sign at a bend in the highway.
A free ferry ride and tubing in the river plus all them empty roads.
We gotta get up there this year.
Originally Posted by the_dude
nicely done. that ferry is pretty sweet.
Thanks! There are a lot of nice loops in the area that can incorporate the Buena Vista Ferry. It happened that I had the ferry to myself on my crossing, but I saw many other cyclists in the area. I imagine that a lot of Salem-area riders loop down through Buena Vista. Another Willamette River ferry is the Wheatland Ferry just north of Salem.
Looks like a nice loop.
I've never incorporated a ferry into a ride before.