A quick trip to Eugene, 28-29 January 2022

Emee’s son had a robotics meet at a high school in the Eugene area on Saturday January 29th, so we decided to drive down on Friday night and spend the night. Even though I’ve lived in Portland for over twenty years, I haven’t spent much time here. I tended to either gravitate towards Seattle and Vancouver BC when I wanted to visit other cities in the Northwest. They have a lot going on, and most importantly there were friends I could stay with. Eugene by comparison seemed “quaint” and I didn’t know anyone there. So I always look forward to an opportunity to go down there.

We didn’t have much time, barely a day. We got down after dark on Friday, enough time to go out to dinner at The Wheel Apizza, a New-Haven meets West Coast pizzeria that we love going to when we are in town. It seemed colder than I thought, a temp around freezing. I didn’t really bring a lot of warm clothes, so I was worried. But the next day turned out to be bright and sunny with a high around 50F/10C. Perfect late January weather.

I had a couple hours that I could ride. One of the great things about now owning a Brompton is I can easily throw it in a pretty full van for a trip like this. Emee and her daughter went shopping, so I unfolded the Brompton for a nice loop. The first stop was up Skinner Butte, a sort of “mini Mount Tabor” that is right in the heart of downtown, across from the Amtrak station. It’s a good little grunt uphill, and the top has a nice little oak savannah and views of the city and The Three Sisters, a snow-covered volcano in the Cascades.

After the Butte, I took a loop along the Willamette River. One of the great things about Eugene is they have a series of paths and parks flanking both banks of the river, plus a number of car-free bridges crossing the water. Doing car-free loops here is easy, though on a nice day like today I definitely had to watch out for other folks.

And just like that, it was done. I got a nice 10.2 mile loop in those two hours. Then I met the rest of the family and we drove back home. A nice little getaway, for sure. I hope to get back to Eugene soon.

You can see the route of my ride here.

Beside the Willamette. Eugene OR, 29 Jan 2022
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