I was supposed to meet Susan and Darren at 9 a.m., but at 6:30 a.m. I had a text message saying they needed to start at 8 a.m. so they could make a 2 p.m. meeting at the Volksmarch Convention. As we say in our RVing lifestyle, plans are made in Jell-o. If I were to meet them in Eugene at 8 a.m., I would have had to leap out of bed, thrown on my clothes and race to Eugene without having breakfast. I told them I'd see them the next day at 8 am to walk.
I lollygagged getting ready knowing I didn't have to be in Eugene at 9 a.m. I made it there by 10:15 a.m. and started walking. First stop: restrooms at Alton Baker Park. When I walked in the restroom, there were four stalls WITH NO DOORS!! I hate that! The ladies were as respectful as possible with no stall doors.
Once I hit the trail, it meandered past a pond, a sculpture, Hays Memory Tree Garden, an amphitheater, a canoe canal, a dog park, and
|What a day!|
|On Pre's Trail|
The Willamette River is near and dear to my heart. More on that toward the end of today's blog.
Our walk route went through the University of Oregon campus. This is where my son graduated college so it was familiar to me. U of O has quite an extensive collection of exotic flora. The University offer tours of the trees and gardens. The Willamette Valley has a moderate climate so trees and plants grow here from all over the world. Plus the buildings are historic and many of them have gorgeous brickwork.
|Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art|
|Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art - entrance|
|Close-up of Knight Library building detail|
|Beautiful leaves in the sunshine|
|Did I mention how gorgeous the day was?|
|Dogwood in bloom in a yard|
|Hawthorn tree blossoms|
In the following photo, you can see the trail our Volksmarch followed through Hendricks Park. The pink and black polka dot ribbon on the right shows us which path to follow.
|A unique flower I have never seen before|
|Can anyone identify this flower?|
Returning back down the hill into the neighborhoods, we saw some pretty homes and beautiful trees.
|Magnolia in bloom|
|Massive catalpa tree|
|Golden St. John's Wort (Hypericum frondosum)|
|A quick glance at Hayward Field, University of Oregon|
|Legion of Zoom|
|Bridge over the Willamette: "Over the river..."|
|Rapids in the Willamette River|
|Duck and ducklings (Oregon Ducks, get it?)|
|"...and through the woods."|
On the drive home from Eugene to Mom's, Bob asked me to stop by the house on the Willamette where we lived for 12 years. He wanted a photo. When I got there, something looked amiss. Pine needles were piled up by the front door, the yard looked shabby, and there were signs in the front window and on the front glass door. What could this mean?
I parked in the driveway, got out and went up to the front door. There was a notice that the property was being kept locked to prevent further vandalism. What??
Because we used to live there and I was curious, I looked in the window and it was obviously abandoned. I walked around to the back overlooking the river and tried the sliding glass door. It was unlocked. I went in and looked around.
My heart sank. I should not have come back. Bob and I bought a river house fixer upper and spent our time, creativity and money to completely remodel the interior. We hired an architect and made it just the way we wanted it. Now all the carpet had been replaced with very dark hardwood floors in the kitchen, dining and living rooms and the walls were painted dark grey/green. (We had them painted a warm ivory color.) Downstairs family room was painted maroon!
|Front of house|
|Entryway with stairs going to daylight basement|
|Living room and fireplace|
|Upper back deck|
|Stairs down to boat dock on Willamette River|
|Back of house|
|Downstairs family room, used to have brown carpet|
|Other half of downstairs family room|
|Looking from dining room to kitchen|
|View of Willamette River from dining room|
|View of river from kitchen (I used to keep all my|
African violets in the bow window)
|Kitchen cupboards and ovens|
|Mid and lower patios|
On top of that, the peach tree I had planted in the side yard, which used to produce about 100 peaches per summer (or more), had been cut down. The hot tub on the deck had been removed as well. Very sad.
I loved living in that house. Bird watching was extraordinary: great blue herons nested in the Douglas firs across the river, bald eagles and osprey fished right in front of our house, I watched a merlin catch and eat a smaller bird, and many other birds visited.
We used to have an 18' water ski boat and had barbecues with lots of friends and spent the day waterskiing. (I drove the boat because I never could master waterskiing.)
Enough reminiscing. Life goes on.
Travel Bug out.