This is a picture of Holy Rosary Chapel on Crooked Finger Road, where J. and I will be married.....and where, 38 years and 3 days earlier, my parents were married.
I know that, from such a view amidst trees, it is hard to see the Holy Rosary Mission. But I couldn't resist sharing the photo of those trees that leave this tundra-dweller in a perpetual state of swoon. It is a breathtaking place.
I took this picture last week, while J., my brother and I were exploring the woods that surround the chapel. They are quite amazing to explore. One can see mountains, and white barns, and rolling foothills. And yet it feels incredibly private. So little traffic.
In addition to its beauty and privacy, the Holy Rosary Chapel has a lot of family significance. According to family legend, my father and his best friend first saw the Holy Rosary Mission whilst driving around the back, back roads of Oregon in my dad's VW van. He too, it is told, thought it beautiful. And it was my dad that suggested to my mother that they be married there. I have it on good authority that this is what my father would have seen at his first glimpse back in 1970:
Just about what J. and I saw at our first glimpse!
Our reception, guest accomodations, and several preceding events are being planned at Silver Falls State Park.
This is the dining lodge, at the park, where we are having our reception:
We are especially excited about all the potential offered by this firepit outside the dining hall:
There is also a lot of excitement about the Old Ranch House, where we are having a Hog Roast the night before the wedding and reception. The Old Ranch House is a big, historical bunkhouse inside the park that can sleep up to 76 people. The ceiling is made out of timber, and the bunk beds are all made of solid wood. The Old Ranch is surrounded by a big meadow, which is edged by more woods.
Add in a few haybales for extra seating, the Tallboys from Seattle, some lawn games for the kids, and lots of Oregon-fresh vegetarian side dishes for those that may not want a hunk of roasted hog, and we are quite certain that there is no better place - or way - to celebrate a bit of Iowa (J's home state) in Oregon (my home state).
The Old Ranch House also has a firepit. A big one. An indoor one.
Another great feature of the Old Ranch House is that those doors, like an old barn, open wide.
But I suppose the greatest excitement comes from the combination of all these excitements: that after a fun and delicious Hog Roast and an evening of great old-time string music, J. and I will be enjoying late-night conversations with brothers, cousins, buddies and other assorted hooligans (that we don't get to see nearly enough!) around a roaring firepit, with the barn doors wide open.
We are so excited about spending three nights with our friends and families at Silver Falls State Park, that we took the liberty of reserving all of the cabins and lodges at the surrounding Silver Falls Conference Center for three nights. And then, testing our luck, we allocated the best cabins (that look like the picture below and have private bathrooms and showers) to Aunt Margaret, Auntie Donna, and Eli and Bernie. Not that we want to pressure these dear folks into making the trip Out West, of course. We just want to ensure that every persuasion that could be made towards that end is made. Here is a picture of their accomodations:
In addition to these cabins, the Silver Falls Conference Center also offers several group lodges. We hope that many of our family and friends with children could be persuaded to stay here:
And this is a picture of the telephone option at our wedding reception:
OK. I'll admit it. I'm giddy. So giddy, in fact, I plead (in advance) you to forgive me if my next couple of posts seem Oregon-focused! But I just can't restrain myself from showing you the Old Ranch House, where we are having our night-before-the-wedding Hog Roast. Or the pictures of the lodges and cabins that we've reserved in the park for family and friends. Oh! And you certainly don't want me to restrain myself from showing pictures of all the fire pits and fire places at the lodges, cabins, ranch houses, and dining halls, around which smores will be roasted and popcorn popped....do you? Of course not!
It is fun to be so giddy.