Monday, June 29, 2009

Hello, Eugene...

While this blog is primarily based at the LoveDog Ranch, this weekend your usual suspects took a weekend jaunt to Eugene, Oregon. I had never really been there before, only driven through, so it was pretty fun to check out an entirely new place. We stayed at the Armitage Park campground, which is a very quiet park along the McKenzie River in Coburg, a couple of minutes from downtown Eugene. The campground hosts were helpful and friendly, the campground was clean and well kept, and there was an off-leash dog park a two minute walk from our campsite, so Jasper liked it too.

We drove around to get our bearings, and went to the Saturday Market in downtown Eugene. We parked at a meter but we found out later that there is free garage parking in the city lots in downtown on the weekends. We also learned that Eugene isn't a particularly dog-friendly town. We walked over to the bustling market but there were signs everywhere that said "No Dogs Allowed" so we split the duties and I grabbed some food at a couple of booths and met up with Justin who found some shade with Jasper. We walked around the downtown a bit trying to find a dog-friendly patio near the University campus, but near the campus we also encountered city signs posting "No dogs" so we returned to the car and drove to a pub that was dog friendly. Once we had some pub food and drinks we drove to Alton Baker Park which is along the Willamette River. Lots of open fields and foot and bike paths, an amphitheater, a community garden, and another nice off-leash dog park.
Next we drove to Skinner Butte park where I heard there was a climbing wall. There was indeed.
Then we returned to the campground and made some s'mores. Jasper is terrified of campfires so she hid in the tent.

On Sunday we drove to the Eugene Glass School to take a peek at their gallery. Not a real full size gallery, but some very nice pieces in the back gallery (not the shop up front). Its a working studio and more of interest to glassblowers (a.k.a. Justin) than your average joe (a.k.a. me). We took the Lorane Highway and drove towards Lorane and into wine country. We stopped at the King Estate Winery (pictured below) for lunch and wine and also tasted at Chateau Lorane. Then it was the long trek home. I definitely want to do more exploring in Oregon!