A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

No coronavirus in the open countryside

Written April 11th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

On Bryant Way, these cyclists asked if I was OK. I was.

One welcome side effect of the corona outbreak has been many more people on bikes in and around Albany, especially in the open country outside of town this sunny Saturday in spring.

My Corona Days ride this day found me on Bryant Way, where I stopped to admire the young hazelnut orchards on both sides of the road.

Years ago these were mostly grass-seed fields. Then for a few years they grew wheat. The widespread change to hazelnuts is an indication of how farmers in western Oregon have had to adapt to the many factors that affect their occupation, from regulations and weather to market forces around the world.

What the coronavirus outbreak is doing to farming in Oregon has yet to become evident. But if you want to see some well-tended filbert trees, now well on their way to greening up, take a ride out Bryant Way and Drive, like this:


4 responses to “No coronavirus in the open countryside”

  1. Lundy says:

    A friend, who lives alone, and I celebrated Easter with a 6-mile hike on and around the OSU campus, including walking past the Irish Bend Covered Bridge. We encountered many others walking, biking, running, etc., including a chance meeting with an 86-year-old acquaintance strolling briskly and cheerfully down Campus Way. Thankfully the CW bike path remains open unlike other seemingly just as safe outdoor exercise locations.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      I agree about other just-as-safe locations, but would point out to those who are unfamiliar with Campus Way that it’s a full-width street, hard-blocked to motor traffic at the western end, and sign-posted at the eastern end. There’s very light, official OSU traffic to farm operations. I’ve bicycled it hundreds of times the last 20 years. There’s something uniquely exhilarating about it, even though it sometimes stinks from cattle outputs. In my version of heaven, every street would be like it — cars relegated to a crawl or totally absent.

  2. Al Nyman says:

    You’re getting old Hasso. As somebody who lived on Bryant Way for 40 years I can tell you the older trees are about 10 years old and the younger ones about 3. The road when I moved in was called Bryant Drive and the road going straight ahead had a sign calling it Cherry Lane. I think the post office might have requested the change but I don’t know as we used to be 2981 SW Cherry Lane.

  3. Patricia Eich says:

    When the industry changed the name from filberts to hazelnuts it took me years to get used to that. They will always be filberts to me. Many years ago that older filbert orchard was full of plum or prune trees. Also quite a long time ago I participated in many 10K runs that went out on Bryant Drive. The Timber Carnival parade used to be preceded by a run.


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