Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wings of Wonder

Brent, the boys and I drove to the little place called Buena Vista, which is located about 20 miles Southwest of Salem. We went there because we wanted to see the butterflies that fly around in a large building that has tropical plants inside at Wings of Wonder. The inside temperature is around 80 degrees and very humid. This is their second summer that they have been open to the public. Here are just a few of the many pictures I took while there (be sure to click on the picture to see the detail:

Since the lifespan of a butterfly is so short, here at Wings of Wonder they breed and raise their own butterflies. I was amazed at how government regulated breeding butterflies is. They have a very nice lab to do this in.

Most of the butterflies that they raise go to replace the ones in the big display room.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mission Mill Museum

I was fortunate enough to take a guided tour of this museum. Thomas Kay founded the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill here in Salem in 1889. It flourished until 1963. The mill was remodeled in 1941 when they added the two top floors. At one time, about 20% of Salem's working force was employed at the mill.

Until 1941, the only power for the machines was a water turbine. The water for the mill race comes from a river 15 miles to the east of Salem.

Their main product was woollen fabric and wool blankets for the military in WW I and WW II.

A lot of wool fabric was used to make shirts for miners and farmers.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wheatland Ferry

Time for another engineering post for the guys at the Wednesday luncheon. I took a drive over to take a look at the Wheatland Ferry that crosses the Willamette River about 10 miles north of Salem, OR. It only travels about 600 feet (depending on the height of the river). It can carry 9 cars or a max. of 40 tons.

What I found to be very interesting is the fact that it is powered by electricity. The ferry has a diesel engine to power a generator, but they found they could save about $1,500 a month by running it on electricity. They rigged up a trolley affair over the river and is pulled back and forth over the wires by the overhead guide cable. (Click on the pictures to enlarge)

A crew of two just have just enough time to collect the $2 per car before the ferry touches shore on the other side of the river.

Pedestrians can ride free so I rode back a forth a few times taking pictures and talking with the crew.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Some Assembly Required

One of the first things I did in Salem was help Brent assemble a slide for the kid's Fort. It came in a box with a hundred bolts and MUCH ASSEMBLY REQUIRED!!

We did have fun working together again on a project. When Brent asked me, "Where are the plans for the slide?" I said, . . . . .

. . . ."What plans? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKEN PLANS !"

There! That looks straight enough for government work! The inspector is giving it his OK.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Salem Tuckers

Well, as you can see I am with my son and his family in Salem, OR. You have seen my son, Brent, and two grandsons, Aaron (left), and Andrew (right), when we were at the Train Mountain doings last month. Brent's wife, Marlene, is seated. I was invited over to have dinner with them one Sabbath.

When I arrived, Brent had the boys enrolled in Tennis Camp and Swimming Camp for that week. Aaron's tennis camp was mostly exercising and it was warm so he was glad to get to the drinking fountain.

Aaron loves to have his picture taken and he wants to see it on the digital camera as soon as you take it.

On the other hand, Andrew returned a ball that was over his shoulder and kept it in play.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Special Post For Jim

I finally arrived in Salem and as far as this blog goes and can post items of interest regarding my stay here. One of the things I need to do up font, is to show Jim the fire engine that is for sale. Since I can't attach the pictures to my e-mail account (too big a file), I'll post them here. So HERE THEY ARE! Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Train Mountain Part 5

As we proceeded to the station, we passed another train full of happy passengers.

The trestle below is on the rail line that will someday go over the same highway that we went under. There is a lot of red tape that has to clear before they can start on the overhead bridge to extend the rail line up to Caboose Ridge.

We are about to enter a single track tunnel. It goes under part of the parking lot. It is over 200 feet long and has to have a vent in the middle.

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Just after we emerge from the tunnel we are faced with a series of signals that control the yard entry.

Finally, after more than 2 hours, we arrive back where we started from.