Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Road to Salem

Summer is still months away with many rainy days to go between now and then, but this weekend has been absolutely lovely. Yes, it is windy and cold, but the sky is gloriously blue and filled with golden sunshine. This is the perfect sort of weather for a mini road trip. For a while now, my friend the writer and I have wanted to go down and visit some independent booksellers in hopes of convincing them to stock his book, so we packed a couple boxes of books into the car and hit the road to Salem. As it turns out, we were not completely unsuccessful. During our Ausflug to Oregon's capitol city, we managed to schedule a reading and to talk to someone from the Marion County Library, who is going to order books for their library system.

More than anything, though, it was good to just get out for a bit. These winter months always leave me yearning for travel and roadside diners and roads never before taken. While I'd been to Salem before, it had been long enough that city almost felt new to me. It had been years. I think the last time was probably in high school, when the great dinosaurs still roamed the earth. I pass the city often on the freeway, but stopping there is a rarely even considered as an option. Salem is located about an hour south of Portland, which means that on most road trips, it is too close to the start of the festivities to make a good first stopping place and too close to home for it to be a good resting spot on the way home either.

That said, the city really is kinda cute. Being a relatively small city, the capitol building and downtown are in pretty close proximity. There are a lot of older buildings like the lovely Elsinore Theater, which I really need to go back and photograph when I go to one of the showings in their Wednesday Evening Film Series, which I am now determined to visit (preferably sooner rather than later!). This is one of the great things about road trips (even mini ones!). They always feature things to go back and visit later.

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