Eugene, Oregon – Spring 2016 Road Trip – Day 11

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Day 11 was a fairly uneventful day. Leaving Ashland going north on I-5 up the Rogue Valley, with our first stop being Grants Pass, where their effort at public art are fiberglass bears decorated with local flair.

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Our first stop is at a Wildlife Safari, where we opted to just walk around the small animal park bypassing the alternative of an extensive drive through the open range of large animals but chose to walk the path of the small animal park. I saw a kookaburra for the first time, a Burmese python, maned wolf, and a few other small animals before we took off on Interstate 5 North.

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Cottage Grove is the town where the parade scene for the movie Animal House and some scenes for Stand by Me were filmed. There was not much for us to do there but walk about trying to recall movie scenes. I recalled certain spots in the movie as we walked down the street, specifically the store where Bluto (John Belushi) came flying down from the roof holding onto a torn banner. The town also had more than a dozen painted murals.

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Eugene, Oregon was our next stop and this town also provided areas for filming the movie Animal House. We saw the fraternity house where the actor, Kevin Bacon, in his first movie asked, “May I have another, sir.”

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Keeping with our goal to eat local as much as possible we had lunch at the First National Tap house in Eugene. After lunch we went to the industrial west side of town to find the clock museum, which was on the list for us to see in Eugene but it was closed. The clock shop across the street said the clock museum closed permanently a month earlier when the owner retired.

Eugene is known as Track Town, a result of their long history of track and field, as well as the birthplace of Nike shoes. On campus in town is Hayward Field, one of the most well known track and field stadiums in America, built in 1921.

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As we continued walking around the campus, we decided to take a break. While sitting there two ducks waddled in front of the bench where I sat. Thoroughly amused since the mascot of the University of Oregon are the Ducks, thus provided the perfect photo op, I started clicking away.

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Later we drove to the edge of town where a newer football stadium is located, which of course I needed to check out, as well as a visit to the gift shop for a Oregon Ducks t shirt.

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After checking, we went to McMenamin’s Pub for dinner, sitting outside on the deck overlooking the Willamette River, perfect for watching people jog and bike on the path next to us. It was only a short walk for us from our hotel, La Quinta through the park and up the bike path.

The restaurant had an eclectic menu, including out choices of pasta with elk meatballs and a spicy sauce and a hamburger with bacon and fried egg.

On the walk back to the hotel, quite a few homeless people set up camp to spend the night. In the end this was the least interesting day, but the beautiful 85oF weather with no clouds all day made up for it.