Saturday, February 16, 2008

Salem and Eugene

(click image for larger view)
For those of you not familiar with our Willamette Valley lore, I should introduce you to our two sister cities to the south, not forgetting Corvallis, nor Albany for that matter, but both are tucked away from the principal artery, I-5.

Also, there's Springfield, on the east side of this same I-5, Eugene to the west, which road (or freeway) extends northward into Canada, southward into Mexico.

While in the USA, it's a part of the I-net or I-system, a set of freeways numbered with odds north and south (e.g. I-5) and with evens east and west (e.g. I-84, which also converges to Portland).

Another convention is to prefix a number, as in I-405 and I-205, also both in Portland. Those are sub-arterials or subsidiaries to the principals.

Out east, the I-count is higher. The New York to Philadelphia arterial, which continues all up and down the coast (a mirror of I-5 in some ways), is named I-95.

So Springfield is opposite Eugene, site of one of our major universities. Salem is the seat of state government, that state being Oregon, my early boyhood and later adulthood home.

Speaking of family homes, the March 2008 issue of National Geographic has a fun article on Bhutan (Urners lived in Thimphu for many years).