|Fall in Canby|
Historic Champoeg Park
Often we (meaning me) look at the long view and forget to look in our own backyard. Anne and I have spent plenty of time in Scotland trying to see everything there is to see, but I’ve never really explored some of the fascinating places close to home. Champoeg Park, less than twenty miles from Canby, is one of those places. On a recent morning I drove over to the park and found that I loved wandering the paths and trails of an autumn wonderland.
|The 1860s Barn|
A little history is in order. Champoeg (sham-poo-ee) in the 1840s was the site of the first provisional government of Oregon Country. In 1861 it was flooded under 17 feet of water by the swollen Willamette River. The park, sited in the north French Prairie area of the Willamette Valley, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
|Bluebird, but I don't think he will grow up to be a Camp Fire Girl.|
Today, the park’s main features are a pleasant Visitor Center (with bookstore, gift shop, and interpretive exhibits), the historic Newell House and Pioneer Mothers Log Cabin, the Butteville Store (the oldest operating mercantile in Oregon), the restored 1862 Manson Barn, a campground (with hookups, tent sites, yurts, and cabins), picnic areas, 15-hole disc golf course, and plenty of hiking and biking paths. More historical information can be found at www.champoeg.org.
I had a lovely time on a cool fall day wandering the hiking trails and photographing the fall foliage as well as a few of the more than 130 bird species in the park. If you are in the area, a stop at Champoeg Park is definitely worth your time.
Whitemoss Golf Club Owner
Early in our golf writing we had the opportunity to play Whitemoss GC off the A9 not far from Gleneagles in central Scotland. I had written to the owner and arranged permission to play the course complimentary. When we arrived to play we met the owner—he was friendly, but reminded me of a Hell’s Angel biker. As we set up to play we asked about the course. He told us how he bought the land, designed and built the course by himself, and was now both managing the course and doing all course maintenance. Then he asked us about our writing project. We explained that we were starting on our second book of Scotland golf and how we’d play the course, take some notes and photos, and then write up a few holes that were characteristic of the course.
He looked seriously at me and then said quietly, “You’d better say only good things or I’ll come after you with my gun.”
Anne and I talked about what the owner had said as we walked down the first fairway. We hoped we were wrong, but agreed that this guy might mean what he said.
The course was in fairly well-kept condition, there were a few interesting holes, and the price put the course in the very inexpensive category. We did write up the course in our second Scotland book, and we did make only positive comments (it’s not our practice to write about courses we can’t recommend). Just after our book came out in 2009, though, we heard that Whitemoss GC had closed and the land was sold off. At least we know it wasn’t our writing that did the course in,so….Don’t Shoot!
|Pardon me, but your bird feeder is getting low.|
Anne, Hide Behind Your Clubs!
Several times on golf courses Anne will end up with her tee box significantly in front of mine. I’ll leave my clubs by her tee box and walk back to my tee with the admonition to her to “hide behind your clubs” while I hit. When I get back to my teeing area and look down the fairway, there will be Anne bent down behind her clubs which are facing perpendicular to the fairway—in other words, she’ll be bending or crouching by the handle of her trolley and directly in back of her clubs, and completely exposed to my shot.
Anne is great with directions. She’s a wonderful navigator of the small roads in the car. When she has a caddy she will hit exactly where the caddy tells her to. But “behind your clubs” is a direction she has yet to master.
|Ironmonger in Callander, with an attitude.|