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Eugene, Oregon…

Posted by on June 28, 2014

College football at the University of Oregon in Eugene is a really big deal. The whole city turns out to watch the “Ducks” play ball.

JUNE 28, 2014. We just arrived in Eugene, having left Washington mid-day and driving all afternoon in the rain.  We’ll be here only a day or two. We’ve specifically come to have our windshield re-set at a specialty RV Glass facility. We’re getting an extremely noisy whistling sound around the windshield.  It’s upsetting when these “out-of-the-blue” maintenance and repair stops are necessary, but we’re talking to other full-timers and beginning to realize that they’re just necessary from time to time…can’t be avoided…part of the journey.  And, as I always remind myself, in retirement: “What’s the rush?” Although we’ve had to backtrack and change our route to the East Coast a bit, we really need to have this work done and this is only one of a couple places in the entire US that specializes in this. Turns out that RV windshields…especially the huge one-piece Greyhound-bus types like we have are notorious for getting out of alignment and causing the whistling noise we’re experiencing. It’s not something we’re willing to ignore or “live with” as we drive all the way across the country.

THE LANDSCAPE IS BEAUTIFUL, BUT…Eugene is one of the largest cities in Oregon. It’s home to the University of Oregon’s “Ducks.” College football rules! The city is also know for its natural beauty. These things about Eugene I like. But in addition it’s home to a huge left-leaning population and even a substantial group of anarchists. That I don’t like. I’d never be comfortable living in this political climate. This is where the “tree-sits” and forest defense camps were in the ’90’s and where “eco-terrorists” hang out even today. In January, 2006 the FBI conducted Operation Backfire, which led to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Eugene indicting 11 people. Two pleaded guilty to $20 million of arson destruction committed thumbbetween 1996 and 2001. And on and on. I believe in conservation. I believe in treating our great outdoors as a precious national resource. I believe in leaving a campsite cleaner when departing than when arriving. I also know that moderation is the key to most things and that a certain amount of asphalt is needed for roads. Timber is needed for construction…like houses where people live. Concrete is not by definition a bad thing. As an attorney, I believe above all in intelligent debate between those with differing opinions. Arsonists setting fire to structures as a means to advocate conservationism are not OK. Period. I’d not want to deal with folks of that mindset every day. No, there are lots of places in Oregon where I’d love to reside, but this isn’t one of them.


We had breakfast at this diner today. The waitress was a scream…a quicker wit I don’t think I’ve ever met.

BREAKFAST AT BUDDY’S DINER. INTERESTING PEOPLE.  While our rig was in the shop having the windshield re-seated, we went to a joint called Buddy’s Diner for breakfast. It was fun…retro decor, Buddy Holly pictures and memorabilia on the walls, decent diner food…kind of your standard diner experience. Signs in the men’s room: “Don’t flush butts down the toilet. It makes them soggy and difficult to light.” And, “If paper towel dispenser is empty, use your shirt.” You get the idea…fun but nothing too remarkable. What was memorable about the place was the server we had. I didn’t get as much chance to talk to her as I’d liked to have had..she would definitely qualify as one of the “interesting Americans” I’m finding along the way on our Journey. I’d love to have heard “her story.” This gal had a quicker wit than Tommy Smothers and Ellen combined! She had me in stitches every time she came to our table to refill our coffee mugs. I mentioned to her at one point that we were just passing through Eugene and would only be in town a short time. I explained that our motor-home was having a bit of work done in town…how expensive it was maintaining one…like a boat I had years ago. This gal, I never even got her name, responded to my boat comment immediately: “Yep, a boat: Bust out another thousand [dollars].” BOAT. No matter what I quipped, she had immediate retorts like this. If I still had my office, I swear I’d have made her a job offer on the spot…anyone who can think that quickly would always be an asset. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever talked with someone whose thoughts were so quick. (In re-reading this post, I think it’s kinda obvious that you’d need to have been there to really appreciate this bit about the waitress. But when I read this in the future some day, years down the line, it will trigger my recollection  and bring a smile to my face. So there.)


View of the Willamette River from our hotel room. Nice!

OREGON REALLY IS SPECIAL: As I mentioned, we hadn’t planned to visit Oregon again and but for the windshield repair we’d be on our way east by now. I’m not disappointed we came again, however, as the state really is remarkably beautiful. We’re in a hotel tonight while the motor-home windshield “cures” in the shop, after being re-seated. Outside our window is a beautiful view of the Willamette River. Just a few hours ago, I saw a formation of geese flying across the river, squawking as they went by our hotel. Where else? I remember now why a few years ago when we vacationed in Oregon we came within an inch of buying a home near Salem. Well, at some point this Journey will come to and end…maybe in Oregon after all. Not in Eugene, but somewhere in Oregon…perhaps.



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