Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Week in Silverton, Oregon

We’re spending a week at Silver Spur RV Park in Silverton, OR because it was about the only place we could find that had a vacancy. Luckily it turned out to be a very nice RV park, with well-spaced sites and great bathrooms and laundry. It’s a bit closer to the highway than we like, but the location is good, about a mile from Silverton and 12 miles from Salem, and we’ve found plenty to do in the area.


It was in the upper 80s when we arrived on Wednesday, but we had clouds and 60s on Thursday, so we took advantage of the weather and washed the car and the Lazy Daze. I didn’t see anything in the park rules about not washing vehicles, so I called the office and was told it was fine, but that the water was hard and would leave spots. It took us most of the day, but we finally got all the salt water film cleaned off both vehicles and the bikes. With it being overcast we were able to chamois off the water before it spotted up.

That evening we went to downtown Silverton to walk around the historic district and check out a brewery. It’s a very cute town on Silver Creek, and the downtown is full of restaurants, bars, antique and other shops, and lovely old restored houses on tree-lined streets. Murals abound on many of the old buildings.






My favorite was this elaborate wall with the story of Silverton Bob, a Scotch collie that got lost on a family road trip in the 1920s, then somehow traveled 2,551 miles from Indiana to his family’s home in Silverton.



We stopped at Silver Falls Brewery for a beer and discovered the Old Oak Oven just across the street.


You order from this old food cart, and can take it to the brewery to eat with your beer. Doesn’t look like much but the pizza was great.


And right next door to the pizza cart is The Lucky Leaf marijuana dispensary. Beer, pot and pizza all within just a few steps of each other. You have to love Oregon!


I liked this sign on the brewery’s bathroom door.


On Friday we drove 15 miles to Silver Falls State Park for a hike. We actually stayed at the state park campground for a couple nights back in July of 2014 and hiked the Trail of Ten Falls, but since it’s the only real hiking in the area and a beautiful park we decided to do it again. We only made it to nine of the ten falls the last time because Jim lost his sunglasses and we turned back to try and find them, so this time we started from the north side of the park to pick up the one we missed, Upper North Falls.



North Falls is nice because you can walk behind it, where we sat on a bench and had lunch.

Silverton, OR

You can also walk behind Middle North Falls.

Silverton, OR5

Even where there are no named falls, the scenery on the trail is lovely.

Silverton, OR3

I won’t bore you with photos of the rest of the falls. A few of them had very little water since it’s been such a dry summer, but it was a good 6 mile hike and we made it to eight of the ten falls this time so we have now seen them all. Silver Falls is a popular park but the entire loop around is almost nine miles with multiple starting points so people are spread out and it doesn’t feel crowded.

The next day we went to Salem to check out the Saturday Market, where we picked up some produce and had vegan paella and a marionberry sweet roll while listening to this interesting string band, Wild Hog In The Woods.



Can’t escape political commentary even at a farmer’s market.


We brought our bikes so we could ride from Riverfront Park across the bridge over the Willamette River to Minto-Brown Island Park, where there are 29 miles of paved and dirt trails for walking and biking. What we didn’t realize was there was some kind of festival taking place so we hit a traffic jam in the parking at Riverfront Park. I rerouted us across the river in the car to what I thought was the park we wanted but it turned out to be the wrong one. It worked out okay though since we were able to cross the Union Street Railroad Bridge, which is a pedestrian/bike only bridge that took us back to Riverfront Park where we weaved through the festival to get the other bridge.

Union Street Railroad Bridge.


Willamette Queen sternwheeler.


Trying to get through the crowds of people was entertaining but we managed without incident and made it to the Minto Island Bridge, which just opened up about a year ago.



Views from the bridge.



The bridge and downtown Salem from Minto Island.


I failed to take any photos while we were riding around the island but it was a mixture open meadows like in the above photo, along with forested areas and a couple miles along the river. Very scenic and flat riding on both paved and dirt trails, and not many other people.

Today we walked around Silverton and just had to see what was going on at the Homer Davenport Community Festival, which started Friday. Homer was a political cartoonist from Silverton who is honored with this festival every year, which includes a parade, craft fair, food court, cartoon contest, and the event which appealed to us the most, couch (aka davenport) races. We had no idea how they would get couches to race, but we found out. Silly fun!



After the races we walked to the other brewery for lunch, Seven Brides, where we had a spent grain black bean burger, a good IPA and a summer saison. We were surprised that for a town of only 9,500 people Silverton has two breweries, but we’re not complaining.


We’ll be here a couple more days and have a few other things planned before heading to Portland.


  1. The NW Lazy Daze group may be meeting at Silver Spur RV Park next May so nice to know there is plenty to do in the area! Thanks for the update.

    1. I think this would be a great place for a get-together. So many options for things to do in the area and the RV park just recently opened a pool and jacuzzi.

  2. In five years I never go bored in Oregon. Even the alkali flats in south east Oregon weren't beautiful but were interesting.

    1. Oregon is a diverse state. We have always enjoyed spending time here.

  3. This is such s great area. Glad the temps stayed down. The waterfalls look so refreshing as we are "enjoying" the high heat and extreme humid again...99 and dew point in the high 60's here in Pawhuska, OK. I LOVE the Salem farmers market. The mixed crates of fruit were heavenly. Lots of baking went on during our visit.

    1. It's heating up again for the next few days but nothing like 99 and the high humidity that you are having!

  4. Beautiful pictures of your fun time at Silver Falls. Standing in the cool mist behind the falls is a real treat. Couch racing? That's a new one!

    1. It was so calm we didn't even get any mist behind the falls.
      We had no idea what to expect but the couch races were fun to watch.

  5. Couch Races...yet another reason to love Oregon. My first exposure to its quirkiness was meeting Kent Couch, the man who flew a lawn chair attached to helium balloons across the state. But now I think I may have to add couch races to my bucket list. ;-)

    1. I remember the story of the guy flying on a lawnchair. Don't put the couch races too high on your list :-)

  6. We really enjoyed our stay in Silverton and I visited the beautiful Oregon Garden on my own, it's lovely!

    1. We just got back from the Garden and Jim was actually glad he went!

  7. Great that you could get a spot in a park that is nice and allows you to wash your vehicles which seems never to be the case Silverton looks like a great little town. Love the murals. Thanks for showing them. LOL at beer, pot and pizza. Sounds like a great combination. I always thought Oregon was a quite a liberal place until the latest news from Portland. Probably like what happened to poor Charlottesville, another sweet little town. The bathroom sign is PERFECT. Seriously “whatever”. As you know I LOVE waterfalls. Love your pictures. Sounds like the park for me. Sympathize with Jim, I lost my sunglasses on a hike too and they were my favorites. Love the races. What a fun place!

    1. Portland is very liberal, which is why the demonstrators chose that location.
      Our Lazy Daze has only been really washed anout a half dozen times in the past 10 years of fulltiming since it's not easy finding places to wash it.

  8. Oh goodie, I think you've helped us plan a stop on our way back to Ashland in September. The Oregon Gardens have been on our list for a long time, and Silverton looks like a fun little town! Thanks for the ideas.

    1. I think you will like Silverton. The Garden is lovely!

  9. Another place to add to the travel list. There is so much to love about Oregon.

    1. This is our 4th time in Oregon and we keep discovering more. I'm sure we'll be back again.

  10. Gotta' love Oregon, for many reasons.