Archive for Oregon

Bad Design for Bike Storage

When we checked into our downtown Eugene motel, the desk clerk suggested that we should bring our bikes into our rooms [from our car bike rack], since it’s NOT uncommon for bikes to get stolen downtown. We planned on doing this anyways.

About a half a block away from our motel there is a parking garage. They also have “cages” for bikes. When building these cages, they must have forgotten how easy it is to cut the chain link fence!

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Oregon Country Fair – Eugene, OR

I was told that we had to go to the Oregon Country Fair, located in Veneta OR, about 15 minutes from Eugene. The person couldn’t really describe why…just that it was mind blowing, “out there” and we gotta experience it.

Okayyy.

The festival was fun. The people watching was unparalleled. It wasn’t as mind blowing as I was lead to believe, but for some reason, seeing people dressed up in costumes and half naked didn’t seem all that “wild” to me. It’s making me ponder where I’ve been that makes me NOT be so taken aback by it all.

Friday seemed to be the day to see great music, and Saturday was the day to just take it all in.

Observations:

* As I mentioned in this post female breasts are prettier when painted. Forego the face painting and just take your shirt off! The tax free biz to be in is face/body painting. Looked like the artist charged $20 a pop…which took probably 10 minutes of work, AND there always seemed to be a very long line.

* Music everywhere – either buskers or on the many stages

* Many people in costumes.  Renaissance wear is popular or dressed as fairies or fauns. Some guys were only wearing loin cloths.

* NOT as many port-o-lets as I would have thought. They did a fine job of “hiding” the areas with them, but when you went there, there were maybe 15 – 20, NOT 50. It was always a good 10 – 15 minute wait. I could have done with one less t shirt booth, and more port-o-lets!

* Hippies of all shapes and sizes

* Lots of clothing/craft booths. And more expensive than I would have thought. This is hippie-dom after all.

* Parades

* Lots of food booths, especially ethnic food. However, I thought it was expensive.

* Street performers, spoken word artisans, belly dancers, vaudeville performances, stilt walkers abound

* Dusty, however NOT hot. The grounds are in a “forest”, NOT an open field.

* Tickets to be purchased beforehand and are expensive: $20 Friday and Sunday, $23 on Saturday

* Grounds are huge and maze like. Wear comfy shoes.

* You need to be able to tolerate large crowds. Approximately 40,000 people attend the festival.

* NO booze

Traveling dragons


Life size chessboard

An Energy Park

Large sculptures

 

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Music Everywhere at the Country Fair – Eugene, OR

From buskers to people playing on stage!

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Casey Neill at the Country Fair – Eugene, OR

Casey Neill is my fav NW band. Caught him at the Country Fair and he was great. I still get chills when he sings certain songs. Click here for a hard to hear youtube video of my latest favorite song of his,”All Summer Glory”.

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Dressing Down for the Country Fair

Female breasts look so much better painted!

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Dressing Up for the Country Fair

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The Country Fair Loves a Parade!

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Hiking Grizzly Mountain – Ashland, OR

Yesterday I hiked Soda Mountain because my hiking book said the views were extraordinary, plus lots of wildflowers.

Today I chose to hike Grizzly Mountain simply because of its name. Given a choice of Lower Table Rock, Mt Ashland Meadows or Grizzly Mountain, who’d NOT chose Grizzly!

It was a 6 mile hike. 1.2 steep miles up and then a loop around the top of the mountain, and 1.2 miles down.

This is the view at the summit. But one must keep going to the loop.

LOTS of colorful wildflowers. Yesterday I had big beautiful butterflies flying everywhere, today there was a constant buzz from black flies.

I came upon an older couple coming from the opposite direction. They told me that I “am in for a treat. Right around the corner there.” This is what I saw:

Yes, the remnants of the 2002 wildfire [which started from a sagging electrical line].

When I did get to the view, it was similar to that of Soda Mountain, but that was ok…the Rogue River Valley is pretty with Mt Shasta, Emigrant Lake and all.

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Hiking Soda Mountain – Ashland, OR

I picked this hike because I read about the extraordinary views and all the wildflowers. The review was spot on re the wildflowers. Lots of them, all colors and very pretty. Also a lot of HUGE butterflies. There was a smell of cedar in the air.

The trail is part of the PCT [Pacific Crest Trail], which I had never hiked any of before.

It was a rather easy 1 mile hike and then .2 miles straight up. Excellent view of Ashland. Mt Shasta. Emigrant Lake.

The most dangerous part of the trip? Driving there.

We don’t have cable, so have never seen that tv show Ice Road Truckers. However, just before we left for Ashland Ralph put it on Roku. We didn’t see any of the regular season [when they are in the Arctic Circle], but the show was about some truckers in India on this really steep and twisty road where they are driving next to the drop off/edge of a steep cliff. It’s one of the most dangerous roads in the world – someone gets killed every 4.5 minutes!!

I’m obviously exaggerating here, but the road to Soda Mountain reminded me of that Indian road. Steep incline, NO shoulder dropping down several feet, NOT hundreds, rock slides, sunken grade, windy/twisty.

I told Ralph my Return Time (when to call the Park Service cuz I’m NOT back and thus I’m in need of rescuing), but I never thought that it would include the drive! Ha.

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Bear Creek Bike Trail – Ashland, OR

I just happened to be cycling around and found a bike path next to the railroad tracks.  In talking to someone walking on the path, I was told that it’s about 30 miles long and “goes all the way to Central Point!”.  Later, I spoke with 2 other people, and they too said that it “goes all the way to Central Point!”. 

Apparently Central Point is on the other side of Medford, and that makes people happy!  I saw signs referring to it as the Bear Creek Trail and another said it’s the Creek to Crest Bike Trail.

The part I was on stops for a bit and then picks up down on Oak Street.  NO problem, I’ll just cycle down Oak and follow the signs. However, there are NO signs. 

After talking to some locals, and getting lost a couple of times, I found it.  Sure would be nice to have some signs.  One time when I was talking to a city employee [that I just happened to cycle upon], he said, “Ashland doesn’t like to put signs up”.  I guess the bike trial is supposed to be a secret.


To find the trail, you need to cycle past the Llama farm.


Then past a cool abandoned gas station.

Then past the Wastewater Treatment Facility.


The trail follows the path of Bear Creek.

 

This sign sums up the condition of the path. The only word missing on the sign is “Very”.


Someone did go thru and mark the rough spots with green spray paint. Unsure if it’s to let cyclists know where it’s really rough, or what they plan on fixing at some time in the future. If it’s the fixing reason, they just need to re-do the entire d*mn thing.

Most of the trail is next to I-5. The path is between I-5 and a wall.

There is also a portion where it is right next to highway 99.


And last but not least, I have to mention the REALLY run down, trashy trailer park that you cycle by.

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