Saturday, April 22, 2017

First of the Summer Bucket List ~ Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest

Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Forty-three years I’ve lived in Oregon, and there are so many things I’ve never seen. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest was one of them, so it was added to the 2017 Summer Adventure Bucket List. We had gorgeous weather forecast for Friday, so I put it on the calendar.

My second son was so excited for all our summer plans. He wanted to see All the Things.

Friday morning came, and he wasn’t so thrilled. Why hadn’t I warned him ahead of time? Who wanted to see tulips?

So we got out the door later than I had hoped and with bad attitudes (primarily mine) and traveled an hour north where we discovered who wanted to see tulips:

Everyone in Oregon. And their brother.

But the weather was a balmy 62 degrees and the sun was shining and Mt. Hood was out in all its glory. The fields were in peak bloom.

There was mud. Lots of mud.

The littlest child begged for a pony ride (she didn’t get one). The bigger children begged for food (they purchased expensive toffee and shared).

Tulip Fields @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I managed a few carefully staged photos that didn’t show a thousand people or cars.

Tulip @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The older children have stopped allowing me to dress them. And they aren’t forced against their will to stay by my side at all times, so they rarely show up in photos any more.

Tulips @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We watched a man carving wooden shoes for a few seconds. Lola and Leif enjoyed the (free) water trough rubber duck races. I tried to get a picture of Mt. Hood without people or cars in the way.

Woodburn Tulip Fest @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesTulip Festival @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Clearly I’m not much of a festival-goer. As we left, the cars were backed up on the road for what seemed like miles, waiting to get in to the tulip festival. I’m glad we arrived (and left) when we did.

We had a gorgeous drive through the countryside, through charming Mt. Angel (if I weren’t festival-phobic, we’d put Oktoberfest on the bucket list), past the abbey on the hill, with Mt. Hood following us all the while.

We ignored the GPS and took the road with a sign indicating a covered bridge.

Covered Bridge @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

We meandered through agricultural country until we arrived at the Willamette Valley Pie Co. store where the kids played on the play structure and we sat in the sun at the picnic table eating homemade chicken pot pie, scones, and raspberry rhubarb pie a la mode while tractors lumbered by.

My morning-reluctant son declared that this must be heaven.

Playing @ Mt. Hope Chronicles Pie Company @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesCountryside @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Then we drove home just in time for swim practice.

One down. A whole summer ahead of us.


Jill Foley said...

We were there on Friday, also. But we arrived 10 minutes early and left by 10:30 when the crowds were arriving. I love that people are getting out and enjoying the beauty of Oregon, but I hate that everything is so populated now. I hate the feeling that I'm fighting with others to see the beauty.

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Mia White said...

So cool-- we just moved "home" to Oregon and were there at the tulip fields the same day! And I snapped nearly the identical pic of the wooden shoe carver! Oh and WVFC is one of my faaaaaavorite Willamette Valley secret stops. Small world :)