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Old 06-08-2010, 11:53 PM
3,828 posts, read 5,529,178 times
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Just got back from a week in delightfully wet Oregon including three nights in soggy Eugene. My friend and I needed a break from the parched desert and this was a most welcome change.

We rented bikes and hit the bike trails along the river banks on the first morning which was predicted to be dry. The Willamette was at flood stage and part of the trail was underwater... with ducks swimming on it! Waves were lapping at the park benches next to the DeFazio bike bridge. Loved it. Rode the trails on both sides of the river for the whole length of the system, from the Knickerbocker Bridge to the Owosso Bridge and back, were sorry when we were finished. The Owen Rose Garden was gorgeous, with lots of poppies and other colorful plantings. There were some vagrants here and there along the trails, including one with a cat that rode on his backpack as he walked. Cool! Also saw many senior citizens enjoying the trail on foot, some with walkers, which tells me they feel it is a safe place. Left the trail to stop for lunch at Steelhead Brewery which served really good fish sandwiches and beer.

Downtown has some really nice areas, liked the Pearl/Broadway area with Full City/Plaza Bakery (very strong coffee!), also tried Mezza Luna pizzeria (very good). Zenon and Sweet Basil Thai looked pricey. Loved the Public Library, heard some music there, and when the sun came out one evening we sat on a bench facing the fountain in the uninterestingly-named "Park Blocks", it was most pleasant. Wondered why the place wasn't full of people. Driving around downtown is tricky, with its one-way streets that change their minds after a few blocks. Even walking it was easy to get turned around and lost. As a pedestrian I found drivers to be courteous and careful.

The U of O campus has gorgeous landscaping, and everywhere we were impressed with the huge trees and moss. So different from where we live. Nice natural history museum. Smith Family Books is awesome, they had to kick us out at closing, it may be the biggest used bookstore I've ever been in. Liked the espresso place on 13th St. and tried the Glenwood Restaurant, which earns another superlative... the LOUDEST restaurant I've ever been in!

Also discovered the Yumm bowls at Cafe Yumm, which were indeed tasty and seemed healthful, too.

Drove around town some, didn't find the large population of hippies (maybe a few burnt-out ones), wayward youth here and there, sure, but nothing to write home about. A very white and very pale population overall, they were upset that the sun wasn't shining yet. Heard "it's June and the sun is supposed to be shining!" a few times, but I loved the green and the rain, my soul (and nasal passages) really needed the moisture, and when the rain fell it was so soft and delightful. Drove to the top of Skinner Butte in the rain and saw the bald eagles nesting there, thanks to some photographers who pointed them out to us.

Explored some of the area between Eugene and Portland and did feel an allergic reaction driving in the sunshine between Corvallis and Albany, with eyes swelling up and some sneezing, so had to roll up the windows. I didn't know if I was smelling grass pollen or paper mill emissions. Didn't have any problems in Eugene, but the rain there would have tamped down any pollen.

Overall Eugene seemed a very livable place, a manageable size with good cultural and recreational resources and good food. Not much cultural diversity compared with most places I've lived, and not much sense of history, not sure how I feel about that. It may still be a place to consider when retirement rolls around... who knows?
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:19 AM
Location: Beaverton
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Eugene; my home town and my first true love. Thanks for the memories. I would live there forever if my husband could get a job there, but his company doesn't have a store anywhere near it. I can always visit, but the joy of Eugene is in living there.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:16 AM
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Thank you for coming back and sharing with us. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit. We might have passed each other on the river trails - wasn't the river wild that day! So cool! Something I love about living in Egene is that the more time I spend here, the more treasures I unearth. It's not a place that broadcasts itself loudly, so you have to have a seeker's spirit to really see it.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:02 PM
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Thanks to you, haggard, and others for the helpful information on things to see and do! You are a great resource. Didn't get to hike Spencer Butte this time, maybe next, nor did we get to Crater Lake. Would love to post some of my Eugene pics here if I could figure out how to do that from a Mac, or I could link to a Picasa album when I get that together. We saw very few other cyclists out on the trails, that would have been Thursday morning, June 3rd. I got kind of chilly with just a light jacket over a short-sleeve shirt. Very nice trails and well-maintained. Wanted them to be longer! Rented bikes at Blue Heron on 13th by the campus, where we picked up the city bike map, very helpful young woman set us up there. Stayed at Broadway Inn which made it easy to walk downtown and to the campus.

Saw lots of attractive bus stops with raised platforms, and lots of covered bike racks around town-- that was a first! I guess rust can be a problem without them, it's a nice courtesy.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:20 PM
Status: "He/him" (set 5 days ago)
Location: Raleigh, NC
5,718 posts, read 7,133,184 times
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Thanks for your post. I'm a grad of the University of Oregon. I'm sitting inside a bookstore in Raleigh NC where the outside temperature is about 92 F. I miss Eugene. Your post mentioned a lot of the places I used to hang out, Glenwood Restaurant, Plaza Bakery etc. The bakery used to be very different before Full City took over. I used to bike or walk over from campus to sit there with some coffee and a cookie or pastry. The "old" bakery is where I learned about Wandering Goat Coffee Co. which has the best coffee in Eugene.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:02 PM
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Owen Rose Garden

Bike trail...with ducks!
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:10 PM
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this is great to hear. I accepted a job offer in Eugene, and will be moving up there (from SoCal) on the first of August. I'll be satying at my Dad's house in the Oakridge area until I can find an apartment in Eugene. I can't wait. I've visited Eugene for the Country Fair in July a few times, and have found it totally enchanting.

My new Job will be located at 11th and Charnleton... I'd like to live close by if possible, anyone know of any decent 1 or 2 bedrooms near there?
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