Back to the Mall ... Tues-Wed, 9/8 - 9/9, 2015
Leaving Seaquest in Castle Rock WA, we had maybe a 160 mile +/- drive to Valley River Mall in Eugene OR -- not too long or strenuous. We hoped to get to the mall early enough to get a boondocking spot, and, as it turned out, we were the only campers in the lot. One other rig pulled in after we did (not close), which made us feel a bit less prominent. (That rig was a very long trailer, pulled by a massive pick-up truck, and it held Mom & Dad, three young kids and two dogs -- one Saint Bernard and one English Bulldog. How would you like to travel like that? No thank you, not ever.)
I brake for all kinds of things, including parachutes, especially tandem droppers.
We really like stopping at this mall (we were here once before). First of all, we're right on the bike path, which is right next to the Willamette (pronounced like dammit) River. The view above is from our dinette window -- we love it! No cheek-by-jowl crowding, very quiet, and security that patrols the lot. No hookups, either, but plenty of sun to charge the solar panels. The mall is a few short steps away, with theaters and restaurants and plenty of stores (Macy's, etc), if shopping is on your mind. Our only shopping was at Trader Joe's, but we drove Smartie there; groceries, doncha know. Our main target here is riding our bikes on the 19.5 mile Ruth Bascom Riverbank trail that lines both sides of the sparkling river.
We saw a number of herons at Delta Ponds along the bike trail, inc this Green Heron, who was looking for a bite to eat, I'm sure. A Belted Kingfisher darted ahead of us (repeatedly) and then flew back and forth to the other side of the river. Birding and biking seem to rank high in Eugene. Win-win.
And then there was this: A gaggle of geese milling around the above apartment complex yard, listening to a guy in the doorway (left, nearly invisible) playing a flute. So help me, I kid you not.
My friend and I enjoyed an up-close, but brief conversation.
Jimmy and I remembered walking thru Owen Rose Garden, and it was just as lovely today, with meandering paths, benches, and roses, roses, roses, as well as a number of beds with other colorful flowers. We ate our lunch near the gazebo (background). This is such a nice side trip off the bike trail -- we parked our bikes and just wandered along, sniffing and admiring. Even at the end of summer, the display was stunning.
Back on the bikes and crossing one of the several bridges, we found that some enterprising folks had built a slew of cairns in the shallow water. Enlarge the picture. I guess it's a way of saying, "I was here." The river has deep areas, others not so much, but it's fast moving downstream, with areas of rapids, too!
Today's weather couldn't have been any better. Not hot, nor smoky, clear and sunny. Perfect for a bike ride. When our ride was over (and after Jimmy put the bikes back on Smartie) and we'd showered, we decided to eat at one of the nearby restaurants, settling on Olive Garden. Pasta would fill us up! We walked to it and then to Barnes and Noble, just two retired people enjoying a sweet evening stroll. Surely enjoyed our day. Tomorrow (Thursday), as we continue to make our way south toward home, we're off to see Sue and Mo in Rocky Point, Oregon. Oh boy!