I was heading out on a birding trip on this sunny Sunday morning, and as I crossed the bridge into Salem, I looked over at Waterfront Park and knew I had to investigate.
What I discovered was the Voyage of Hurlothrombo tied up at the docks. This flotilla is basically from San Francisco, and this is their second summer to drift a section of the Willamette River, this year from Corvallis to the falls at Oregon City. The fellow in the orange striped coveralls calmly answered the hundreds of questions I peppered him with. He himself is from Eugene but spontaneously jumped on at Corvallis to lend a hand.
This could be considered the mother ship I think. It is actually a trailer serving as a barge with buoyancy provided from donated plastic drums. The kitchen or galley area is in the front; on the side behind the grey tarp is the stage upon which this whimsical group performs.
The human powered Ferris Wheel sits on a second trailer/barge behind the mother ship. Three plastic chairs allow the participants to sit and provide power to the amusement ride by pedaling.
At the very back is a home-made tug boat to aid navigation of the two barges.
This additional living quarters is called the Pine Cone. (I did notice a pine cone sitting on a bedside table.) I guess the green kayak allows them transportation options.
This was an interesting adaption, starting with a canoe, adding a couple of inner tubes for balance, a flat platform with mosquito netting, a bamboo pole and umbrella. Add sleeping bags and you are set. In fact when I first arrived at 8:45 there were couples sleeping here, and in the Pine Cone, and on top of the mother ship. Seemed like a simple peaceful life. Of course I was reminded of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, and found myself dreaming of drifting day after day carefree down the Willamette River.