by Arlene Williams

March 14th was a super day! Some of my friends joined Best Oregon Tours to visit the Albany Historic Carousel and Museum. I had seen the carousel before, but this trip included docents/guides that briefed us on the history and took us downstairs to see the figures being carved and painted. The process is fascinating, taking years before the final figure is placed on the carousel. (Judy, who works at the SSS front desk, has sponsored a unicorn to honor her daughter, who died of cancer.) We saw the unicorn in its unpainted state.

Next, a visit to Brick and Mortar for a delicious lunch, with time to browse through antique stores, and wander the Amtrak station. There we met a waiting passenger, who travels the country house sitting or pet sitting. Go to to discover more about that occupation. I learned about the Bolt bus line for the first time.

Riding the bus through the areas of town containing Victorian houses built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was a special treat.

Next Stop! Albany Regional Museum. It’s docents very knowledgeable about Albany’s history. We learned about their monthly luncheons called History Bites. This past month was about Nutria. Did you know that there is a nutria farm in the Albany area that raises nutria for their fur? Or that nutria fur is ranked higher than a beaver’s fur?

As it became time to head to Salem, Clem, owner/driver, decided to return via Independence. Such lovely landscapes out every window! Once in Independence, we headed to the Pink Café and dessert! This wasn’t listed on the itinerary, but no one complained! Bread pudding, berry cobbler, flan, brownies, all served with ice cream was the perfect ending to our day!

Enjoy spring with a jaunt. Check the the travel desk at SSS to discover what trips you can be part of! A perfect way to spend time, see our area, and meet new friends.

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