Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Big Blue Visits: Eugene, OR

Headed in from the wilds and woods of our travels, Eugene was alive with people and action and a good vibe. I knew it was a cool town when one of the first things we saw downtown was this Oregon Duck green bus...

We had to do laundry so we got it started and walked on 13th street - the main drag west of campus.

Where we saw this beast...

And picked up some VW bus stickers at Jambo. Jambo is one of those Grateful Dead head shop type places that are part of campus culture. I love these stores. Dead shirts, hippie stickers and posters. My favorite is Sunshine Daydream in Madison, but Jambo was pretty cool. And worth stopping in.

We had a sandwich at Berry's, which was pretty good...

Eugene was a VW town for sure. We saw them tucked in everywhere...

And campus was in full swing. I felt old, but I love the energy a campus gives.

After collecting our laundry, we had 2 more places I wanted to see.

Back in high school and as late as 2001, I was a big runner. I still run, but not like back then. Back then I ran a good deal - some marathons and a ton of 1/2 marathons. I couldn't visit Eugene without seeing the holy grail for runners - Hayward Field. Hayward Field is the home of the University of Oregon's track and cross country team. Where the icon for runners everywhere, Steve Prefontaine, or "Pre", ran in the early 70s. Pre has become a legend. Some of it hype, but some of it is deserved. And I respect him.

Had I brought my running shoes, I would have taken a lap...

Hayward Field.

The sad part of Pre's legend is his death in 1975. The story has been told a million times, but it involves Pre driving home from a party when he swerved - possibly to avoid another car - and ended up hitting a rock - now called "Pre's rock" and flipping his MGB. The car crushed him and he died on the scene.

There are signs that lead you to Pre's Rock. So we paid a visit...

Big Blue at Pre's Rock.


The above picture is taken looking the direction Pre would have been driving.

After that, we turned toward the coast. We passed a ton of VWs on the way out...



Those two guys look a little mystified by the Type IV in the back of that avocado Rivie (and how do you spell the diminutive of Riviera anyway?).

Do you still run an occasional marathon? Check it out:


Big Blue's Driver

I always say "Riv".

And, yeah, we have a few pictures of them upon approach. If Big Blue's horn worked, I would have given them a honk and a wave. But that was in front of a VW shop, so I figured they were okay.

With a new job as of a few weeks ago, I'm running more now that I am not working so many crazy hours. I don't know if another marathon is in my future, but I'd like to get back to running some 1/2s (full marathons may be too much for me knees). I see the Missoula event has a 1/2 as well. That would be fun!


I, also, love the photo of the guys peeking into the engine compartment of the bay window.

Agreed--full marathons are too tough on the knees, feet, back, abs, heart, lungs...okay, pretty much everything.

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