First we went down the gorge and visited:
Dabney State Recreation Area. People were setting up for a wedding by the picnic shelter, so we got to see what it could look like if we were there, and we took some pictures. It looked really nice, but I'd like to go back and look at it again. (We got a year pass so we can go in all the parks without having to stop and pay the day use permits.)
We kept going up the Historic Columbia River Highway (stopping at Crown Point for a few pictures and a postcard to send to Brenda) and found Guy W. Talbot State Park, which we hated instantly - it's a tiny, hilly park right on the street, and there was no parking or restrooms. Nice for an informal picnic as you're hiking around to look at waterfalls in the area, but not nice for a wedding.
Then we headed down 205 to look for Milo McIver State Park, but after driving on backroads for a loooong time, we gave up and went back to the freeway. (I want to find it again, though. I thought we were close.)
We shot down I5 and visited Champoeg State Park, and walked through three different gatherings to get to the pavilion, which proved too public for us - we didn't want to be interrupted during our vows by some guy with a microphone down the hill saying "Hey kids, are you ready to do the three-legged race?" with a bunch of feedback from the speakers.
Near Stayton, we stopped at Silver Falls State Park and were disappointed - lots of mariachi music blaring from a picnic shelter, many many spots along the path that inexplicably smelled like badly kept outhouses, and fences across the tops of waterfalls (as if the paths weren't already lined with huge fences). I remember this place being so much prettier than it was! Grr.
So at the end of the day, we stopped at The Brick in downtown Salem and my order was messed up (how do you confuse a hawaiian sandwich with the "My Other Brother Darryl" sandwich?!) and I tried to feed a mangy pigeon (can pigeons be mangy?) at Starbucks with a pouch of birdseed we found under a chair at Silver Falls back where a wedding ceremony spot had been abandoned a few hours since. We were going to go to the Mary S. Young Recreation Area but we decided to wait until today. Maybe I can find better directions so we can go to the Milo McIver park too.
When I came home and checked email, Mom's mentioned that she and Haley bought some patterns for my wedding dress. I hadn't even chosen one yet! What are they doing?!