Canadian Visits Eugene, Doesn't Want to Leave
My name is Stephan Moreau, and I live in Victoria, B.C. In order to relax after a few stressful months, I decided to book a last-minute trip. I had a few criteria in choosing the location; it had to be drivable in less than a day from Victoria and be running and mountain biking friendly. After doing some research, Eugene, Oregon, was going to be my destination.
In order to help me plan my trip, I visited the Eugene, Cascades & Coast website and found a lot of useful information. The last steps were to book the ferry and find a place to stay in Eugene. I found a room for $50 a night at the Rodeway Inn on W 6th Ave. To be honest, it was just perfect for my needs. The room was clean, and the staff was extremely courteous and helpful.
Just before I left, I did a little bit of research on where to ride my mountain bike. I came across a non-profit mountain bike organization call Disciples of Dirt. I joined the forum and within minutes of posting the question, “Where should I ride in Eugene?” I received numerous replies with recommendations from members of the group.
Now that I was all set, it was time to go! I arrived in Eugene on a Friday night, checked in at the motel, grabbed some very delicious Thai food, and slept like a baby. After a good night of sleep, I immediately put on some running clothes and drove straight to Hayward Field hoping that someone might have forgotten to lock the gate. Unfortunately for me, they didn’t!
Later that day, Davey from Disciples of Dirt went a step farther from the ideas on where to ride, and actually met with me and one of his friends to ride one of the trails. I was baffled by how beautiful it was. Later during my trip I had the chance to ride on multiples trails, and each one of them was outstanding.
Knowing the history of running in Eugene, I knew that the running part of the trip was going to be magic. I came across a wonderful running store called the Eugene Running Company. The owner of the store, Bob, was extremely passionate about running and its history in Eugene. He showed me many memorabilia items that he had and told me some very neat stories about them. Just before I left the store, he gave me a handy map and made some great recommendations on where to run, but the best part was when he invited me to come back later that day for the store’s weekly Monday night running group. I decided to accept Bob’s offer and went for the group run. I was extremely overwhelmed by how friendly everyone was and how they made me feel so welcome. After the run, we met back at the store where I talked to more people, one of them being Molly from Travel Lane County. Molly was extremely personable and very passionate about her city. She gave me several suggestions on where to run, eat and what else to visit. It felt like having my own personal city guide!
As the trip approached the end, I still had one very exciting thing to do - watch the University of Oregon Ducks men's basketball game at Matthew Knight Arena. I arrived at the stadium nice and early to enjoy the experience, and I was not disappointed. As I was walking around the arena thinking to myself that the evening couldn’t get any better, bam! There he was walking towards me…The Oregon Duck! He shook my hand, and I took a nice selfie of the two of us. I had a really fun time at the game with new friends and even had the chance to talk to Jill Steele and Curtis Taylor from the University of Oregon Track and Field staff. They were incredibly friendly and answered my multiple questions about the track program (I have to admit, I was jealous of Jill’s Nike track and field jacket).
To sum up my trip, Eugene is great for mountain biking, running and many other outdoors activities. People are very welcoming and extremely helpful everywhere you go. As far as food goes, $10-12 got me a tasty meal and a Diet Coke on more than one occasion. I couldn’t believe how cheap it was to eat out. My favorite meal was at Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen and BBQ.
Thank you again, Eugene, for the wonderful memories. I will be back very soon.
Note: Stephan e-mailed Molly the day he returned home and told her he already missed Eugene. Eugene misses you too, Stephan!