Saturday, August 24, 2019
As you can see on the map above our travel day is really short. A lot of RV park management don’t appreciate early arrivers so we did our best to not come into Silver Spur RV Park in Silverton too early. We took the dogs over to the big field which is designated as a dog exercise area and let them run and sniff, cleaned up the inside of the RV twice, rotated the air in all ten tires, and waxed the armadillo before we left and still arrived an hour and a half early. Yep, we were chastised for coming in early. We took our punishment and settled in to site B6.
Our route Thursday morning was all country roads- just the way we like it. Interesting to me is the fact that we came in from the south on I-5, exited at the Gervais offramp and took country roads to Champoeg. On the way to Silverton we backtracked to Gervais but on a completely different set of roads. From Gervais we were on virgin roads to us as we had never traveled on them until we got to familiar territory in Mt. Angel.
There are many reasons to visit the Silverton (9200+ souls) area. The Oregon Garden is in town and Silver Falls State Park with its spectacular display of 10 waterfalls is a half hour up the hill. We like to visit Mt. Angel Abbey, a Catholic Benedictine monastery and seminary. Downtown Silverton is straight out of the early 20th century and might take up a couple of square blocks of real estate. The farmland nearby is beautiful.
Mt. Angel Abbey:” The monks of Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon form a Benedictine community founded in 1882 from the Abbey of Engelberg in Switzerland. We maintain a monastic tradition that has been a vital part of the Roman Catholic Church for more than 1,500 years.”
Honest Folks, Our Selfies Are Getting Better……..
The Abbey includes a seminary, a guest and retreat house, a library, its own post office. Mass is celebrated once a day and the Liturgy of the Hours 5 times. The church has the largest bells in the west.
New since 2018 is the Benedictine Brewery. Hey, Trappists brew beer, why not Benedictines? This complex sits on top of Mt. Angel, a 450 foot hill, encompasses 340 acres and lies next to the town of Mt. Angel. The grounds are beautiful and so are the services.
Mt. Angel (3200 souls) was founded the same year as the monastery in 1882 by German settlers. The townsfolk built a church which was outgrown after three years. The parish moved into the church built by the monastery but it burned down. A third church was built and outgrown within 17 years.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Mt. Angel OR
The fourth church and current church was completed in 1912. Its soaring 200′ bell tower can be seen for miles. Everything in this town oozes German- the architecture of its buildings, the glockenspiel, the food- everything. During Oktoberfest the population swells to over 350,000!
Nope, the mutzos are not admiring the view of the Willamette Valley from Mt. Angel, they are waiting for their Mom to come out of the retreat office.
Our next blog will focus on downtown Silverton and the Oregon Garden. Until then, Safe Travels!