East of Salem, Oregon’s capital, lies a picturesque countryside of gently rolling hills. It’s covered with vineyards, Christmas tree farms, and various other crops along with the requisite horses, goats, pigs, and chickens anchored by solitary farmhouses. Sprinkled here and there are small towns with interesting names such as Scio, Stayton, Lyons, Sublimity, and Silverton. The major tourist draw to this area is Oregon’s most renown state park, Silver Falls. Its 7.2-mile Ten Falls Trail is a hiker’s and photographer’s delight.
Beyond traditional picnicking and camping which are limited to warmer, drier times of the year, there are few restaurant and hotel options in the area. On our recent visit for a return to the Falls as an early anniversary celebration, we were extremely fortunate to find an incredibly luxurious AirBNB cabin on the Santiam River a few minutes from Stayton.
This cabin is amazingly well-appointed. The hosts literally thought of everything. We were so impressed upon arrival that we immediately added another night to our stay. While we did spend some time visiting the area and taking in the fall color, most of the time we simply relaxed in the cabin… reading, knitting, sketching, watching some of our favorite shows warm and cozy in his and her recliners in front of the fireplace, listening to music or just the rain, and reveling in the peacefulness of our surroundings. All this was complemented by some great food and wine that we brought along to enjoy as well.
During a stay at this cabin, guests have the opportunity to join the hosts in their cleverly-named “Artsy Fartsy Studio” to experience an acrylic pour. There are dozens of videos demonstrating this on YouTube if you are not familiar with the technique.
I was curious so I tried my hand at the process accompanied by a glass of wine and some great conversation with the hosts. I love creative projects and this technique is one with endless possibilities. I chose to do a “dirty pour” and layered my cup with turquoise, orange, yellow gold, white, and silver paint which I inverted on a canvas and released. Here’s my rather surprising result. Not what I expected but beautiful nonetheless.
All in all, we spent a wonderful four days in the country and look forward to planning another adventure to experience a different season at “our” cabin on the river.