Friday 8/21/09 It's time to leave one of my most favorite spots on this trip, Silverton, OR, I sure hope someday to get to come back for a longer visit. Oh well you never know what tomorrow will bring. So we head off south on I-5 destination Eugene, OR. Wills ex brother-in-law & sister-in-law, Chuck & Madeline live in Eugene, OR & it has been years since he has seen them. We called to tell them we were visiting Oregon this summer & they were most welcoming & wanted us to stop by....so we will do that this Saturday, 8/22/09.
The trip to Eugene from Silverton is only about 1 1/2 hours so we take our time heading down the road. Unfortunately, there is no Coast to Coast or Passport America campgrounds so we have had to consult the expensive book Trailer Life. Very little to choose from so we pick the cheapest park (of course) www.shamrockvillagepark.com which is located on the Willamette River. We have no idea where it is, if it's located near our friends but cheap is cheap. We have the address in the girlfriend/GPS but unfortunately she takes us to the wrong place. We latter find out, after phone calls to the RV park, they are around the corner about 1/2 mile. Now I must say this neighborhood has certainly seen better days and when we arrive in the park it is mostly mobile homes & RVs that live there, actually this park would definitely qualify for a description of "trailer trash." A small section has been set aside for "travelling RV folks, next to the railroad tracks & on Franklin Ave, a very busy street. However, they have wi fi & no trees so we will get satellite TV....and that would be the Yankees & Red Sox this weekend. Once we are settled we need to find the Super Wal Mart in town but unfortunately I put the wrong address into the girlfriend/GPS and we go to the regular WalMart - clear across town. Will of course is calm and I'm pissed at ME but now put the correct address in & find the store was very close to our RV park. The upside of it was.....we got a nice overview of Eugene, OR. The sun is out and the temp is in the 80's, a beautiful day to shop and then do nothing, which is exactly what we did.
Saturday 8/21/09 We have called Chuck & Madeline & tell them we will be over at 10 am this morning to visit. I'm not sure how they will accept me as Chuck is Wills ex-wife's brother, so who knows. Chuck has been very sick for sometime but is feeling better and getting around and they really want us to come by. We find their condominium in the old historic downtown area of Eugene located directly across the street from a retirement home and beautiful park that has a trail that starts in this park & continues for 125 miles with OUT crossing a street.....now that's a hike!! After the introductions to these very nice people, Will visits with Chuck while Madeline & I go upstairs to see the house and talk. It is approaching lunch so they want to take us to a favorite restaurant of theirs....a pub, actually it is a chain of restaurants & we have one in Fresno across from FSC - The Bulldogs. It seems this place always locates in college towns and this is the home of the Ducks - University of Oregon. We have a great lunch/breakfast and the food is delicious, we must try the Fresno one when we get home.
After lunch they want to take us by the very famous Saturday Market, which is an arts & crafts show and ONLY artist made items may be sold.....no store stuff at all. Also along with this part is a Farmers Market with every imaginable piece of produce or baked goods. This whole area took up at least 5 city blocks. Now being that Eugene is a big college town, this is a VERY liberal area. I can't stress the amount of tie dye shirts being worn, the piercings, tattoos and even a smell of "Mary Jane" in the air. Across the street on one corner was the protest signs, the music with dancers, I'm sure all this was very similar to Berkley in its hey day or maybe still today. Now all of you who know Will can just imagine how he took to all of this, but being the good sport that he is, he got our trusty green chairs out of the trunk & set up a place for him & Chuck under a tree while Madeline & I dashed around the entire place - looking & buying. After about an hour or so we found them and Chuck was very tired but happy so we took them home so he could rest with the promise we would be back at 6:30 pm to take them out to dinner.
We were also exhausted & went home to take a nap and then headed back out to pick them up. Also the best part of this RV park it is one long ride down Franklin Avenue to their street....a right turn & 3 blocks and we are there. We couldn't have planned it more perfect if we knew where we were going! We get back into our car & they direct us to a Chinese Buffet that they say is good and that's all I need to hear....Chinese...not even if it's good! As it turns out it was great with a fabulous sushi bar which I have just come to love! Will couldn't believe they had frog legs which he hasn't had in years and years....he enjoyed it thoroughly. Most of all we enjoyed the company of Chuck & Madeline and had a great day and promised to come back and visit them again. We head home, filled to the gills & call it another "great adventure" day.
Sunday 8/22/09 This is going to be a nice easy day so after lunch we head on over to the campus of the University of Oregon www.uoregon.edu for a little exploration. This is a beautiful campus composed of many old brick buildings, statues around campus, an actual old cemetery, Pioneer Cemetery from the early 1900s and much more. Our first stop is the bookstore to get a map of the campus and then we head off. It is a tree filled campus and we just wander around looking at the buildings and the many artifacts on campus. We learn that the law school starts tomorrow but all other classes start Sept 28th so the campus is quiet. We do see some kids moving into apartments, we see frat & sorority row and then wander into the Museum of Natural Cultural History www.natural-history.uorgeon.edu for a look around. Latter we see the new sports arena that is being built at a cost of $250 million. It seems that Phil Knight, founder of Nike went to this school & is a BIG DONNER... the sports area is being named after Phil's son Matt Knight. The current sports area is called Mac something....so all the signs say around the building sight...from Mac to Matt - pretty clever for $250 mill. With that we have seen enough of Eugene and Will can't wait to get on the road tomorrow and out of here. Signing off with much love to family and friends.