The Halsey loop - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

June 18, 2020

The Halsey loop

Halsey, population about 1,000’, isn’t the most alluring destination in the valley.  At an elevation of 285’, it’s in the heart of a broad, totally flat basin without a significant rise above plane for miles in any direction.  An early train stop in the valley, it was founded in 1872 and named after an executive of a railroad company.  It has almost no iconic or heritage buildings, because most of the town burned to the ground in 1903.  It’s a clean enough and well maintained place though.  I suspect it mostly serves now as a bedroom community for Eugene, or for the employees of the nearby Georgia Pacific pulp mill we saw earlier.

We’re drawn to Halsey today not for the town itself, but for its convenience.  About 20 miles south of Corvallis, we’re using it as the base for a loop that ventures a bit further south than we’ve ridden so far.

We parked our car outside city hall, one of the brightest spots in town. Great mural!
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This is what remains of the iconic Halsey grain elevator, a 180’ tall wooden structure That was mostly dismantled in 2012 for safety reasons, because it was starting to lean. Built in 1956 from old growth Douglas fir, it replaces an earlier version that burned in 1953.
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Well, I’ve used up all of my time this morning and it’s time to ride, so I guess I’ll stop here.  Great ride though.  The photos and map tell pretty much the whole story anyway.  One thing you won’t see in them though is that I returned from the ride with the nape of my neck sunburned.  It’s gotten pale over the last few months, buried beneath a six month growth.    I very rarely get sunburned, but I’ll need to start protecting it for awhile.

Muddy Creek, from Lake Creek Drive north of Harrisburg.
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The great, grey-green giant of Benton County looks southward, silently surveying the savannah.
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Plenty of silos in the country, but I liked these for the color. Looks like most of the weather comes in from the north.
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Biking south on Peoria Road, Harrisburg-bound. It’s got a bit wider shoulder here at its southern end and is a more comfortable ride.
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Shoe tree, Peoria Road.
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Barn door, Peoria Road.
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The Rampy Building, built in 1887, was Harrisburg’s first bank. Now, it’s the place to go if you need your palm read.
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Eastbound on Priceboro Road. Totally flat, virtually carefree. I counted one car, one farm vehicle, and one other biker on this road over almost ten miles.
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Another flowering crop, different than the others we’ve seen so far. I took three shots of this, but this is the only one that wasn’t smudged by blurred bees.
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There. There’s your close-up. If I’m going to risk getting stung to take this, the least you can do is to tell me what this is.
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Bill ShaneyfeltMight be meadowfoam.

https://www.grandprismaticseed.com/natives/meadowfoam
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2 weeks ago
Now here’s an enticing nameless road, the sort that you’d really like to explore. It doesn’t even show up on the map though, so we don’t know where it goes. And then, there’s that gravel to consider.
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Nearing the end of Priceboro Road. Just before the hills it bends north and is rebranded as Gap Road, the one we rode a few days ago.
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Is this the wisteria in front of the Moyer House to which you were referring, Andrea? Gigantic is right! This must be an amazing sight when it’s in bloom.
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Jen GrumbyWow! The stories it could tell ..
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyYou’d think a limerick or haiku might tell them best, wooden yew?
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2 weeks ago
Or is this something else? I keep forgetting what this is, confusing it with a lime tree.
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like linden.
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2 weeks ago
Northbound, Brownsville Road. We’ve biked through Brownsville twice before but this is our first time taking this hillier route out of town. Really a beautiful ride.
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A few poppies, Brownsville Road.
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Along Brownsville Road.
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It was worth the whole ride to come upon this museum piece on Brownsville Road. It’s a 20 horsepower Gaar-Scott/Rumley steam traction engine. I don’t remember ever seeing a farm vehicle like this. It looks like a locomotive.
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A frontal view. What a beaut! Also, I’d never heard of a traction engine before, but I see that the word tractor must derive from it.
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Here’s another situation where it was great to have a zoom camera handy. Gaar-Scott began making steam traction engines in the mid-1800’s, but went out of business and was absorbed by Rumely in 1912. This one is branded to both of them, so I imagine it must date to about the time they merged.
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Bill ShaneyfeltRichmond, Ind..... That's only a half hour's drive from here in Dayton, OH!
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2 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltGreat! You should dash down there to visit the Gaar mansion and report back: http://thegaarhouse.com/
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2 weeks ago
Nice enough, but wouldn’t this look better drawn by a steam traction engine, a billowing white plume spouting up from its stack?
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Jen GrumbyYes! Someone needs to get that thing running again.
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2 weeks ago
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Ride stats today: Scott: 50 miles, 1,200’; Rachel: 55 miles, 1,200’

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