Eugene and Springfield

Bill and I arrived in Eugene Tuesday afternoon and set up camp. My Brother, Keith, and Sister-in-law, Joanette, arrived a couple hours later. This is our first day of almost 3 weeks together in Oregon.

On the drive up from Redding, we passed one of my favorite sights in California, Mt. Shasta.

But, just before the mountain, we were treated to a nice sunrise over Shasta Lake.

The Lake has a lot more water than it did last August. And then, just a few miles later:

I was having some difficulty getting a nice picture at 70 miles per hour.

While we waited for Keith and Joanette to arrive, we just hung around camp.

I thought Mouse was in this picture, but he must be a little camera shy.

Once Keith snd Joanette arrived, we got settled in, had a quick dinner of Beef and chicken pot pies from Trader Joes and turned in early.

It had been a few days since I had been on the bike, so, on Wednesday, I got up early and rode down to the Willamette River, along its bike paths and back via the Rosa Parks Bike Path.

I had planned to ride along the southern river path all the way to the Knickerbocker Bicycle Bridge, just before I-5, but as you can see on the map, I had quite a detour through downtown Eugene and the University of Oregon, due to path construction along the river.

The river is shallow and has lots of small rapids in the Eugene area.

I passed a little garden with gorgeous sunflowers. It reminded me of the giant sunflowers that grew in our garden in Santa Fe.

I am impressed the bike system in Eugene and Springfield. In addition to the Ruth Bascom River Bike paths, both cities have large number of well marked bike lanes and separate paths.

In the 90s, Ruth Bascom was Eugene’s first female Mayor and was instrumental in the development of the river bike path system.

After I returned from my ride, the four of us biked to the nearby town of Coburg to check out the Bronco Saloon. I think we will meet there at the end of our 4 day bike ride along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bike Trail. I missed noticing it, but Keith noticed, across the street from the Bronco Saloon is Chiefs Brew House. I am sure there is a story there!

Later in the day, we took advantage of the campground location, right on the McKenzie River.

The rapids were moving along, but dumped us into a deeper and slower area, where we made our way to the shore. I couldn’t quite hold my butt high enough to avoid scraping along the rocks.

After the river fun, we grilled steaks on the campfire (well Bill did), had steak, corn on the cob and salad, accompanied by a nice Mourvèdre wine from Bar Z Winery’s Martin Vineyards in Canyon, near Amarillo, TX, of all places. Keith and Joanette had picked that up to share with us in Oregon. But, I have to say, bringing Texas wines to Oregon is a little like bringing coal to Newcastle.

After dinner, we turned in. Today, Keith and Joanette will drive us to Champoeg (pronounced shampooee) State Park, where Bill and I will bike the 138 miles back to Armitage County Park along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bike Trail. No we are not sleeping in tents along the way. My days of sleeping on the ground are long past. Keith and Joanette will head back to camp and cat sit Mouse.

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