From our apartment, Salem is an easy 30 minute drive down I-5 South and a city definitely touched by the past. It is the Oregon state capitol with a population of around 150,000. There are a few possible sources for the name, but my favorite is that it was derived from the word, “shalom,” meaning peace. 🙂
While laying in bed the night before Memorial Day, John and I were brainstorming things to do on the day off and decided it was high time we visited Salem! So the next morning, we woke up around 5am, shortly before sunrise, ate breakfast and hit the road. It’s a sweet drive, with the sun gently rising on your left as you pass miles and miles of farmland. We arrived in Salem around 7am, parked the car downtown and started wandering.
Only the pigeons and a handful of people were awake this early on the holiday morning.Salem is full of vintage signs and historic architecture.The Native Americans who originally inhabited Salem called it Chemeketa. In Santiam, the language of the Kalapuyans, it means “meeting or resting place.”We found this sweet artwork depicting the chakras in the window of a building, but couldn’t locate the artist’s name. 😦 We walked around downtown, sipped on a cup of coffee at The Beanery, then wandered towards the capitol mall. Perfect timing! 😀 The YMCA building, which has been at this location since 1926 (and in Salem since 1892) houses this beautiful artwork.John enjoys being a subject for the paparazzi… 😉 Also, we are lovers of the color blue!Last but not least, we have the juxtaposition of the past, present, and future of the automobile. One day we will own a Tesla! 😀After Salem, we jumped down to Eugene (where the University of Oregon is located), ate lunch and dropped by a sweet natural grocery store, then headed back home, stopping by the Tesla supercharging station in Springfield. John and I both agreed that Salem is definitely worth another visit in the future since most everything was closed due to the holiday and we didn’t even get a chance to visit the waterfront. I will keep you posted!