I've made it to Eugene, home of the Ducks. I'm staying at the Motel 6 on the south side. Eugene is a pretty big city, kind of a mini metropolitan area. It's home to about 150,000 and has a smaller city adjacent to it, Springfield (60,000). The whole metropolitan area is over 350,000. I didn't venture into the downtown portion today; I'll do that tomorrow. I'm hoping to check out the university. However, unlike the other bigger schools I've been through, I doubt I'll be able to get into the football stadium. Fall camps have opened across the nation.
My ride down Mckenzie Pass today was epic. The pass really was the divide into a new part of Oregon. The forest was thick, lush, and untamed. You can't really simulate the feeling, riding a bicycle, much faster than you can pedal, through a place that is timeless. You can simulate the cold though, the wind is absolutely frigid coming down mountain passes.
Over 20 miles I dropped 3,000ft. The descent was primarily focused in a winding, 9 mile stretch. The pavement was fresh, making the turns as smooth as possible. I found it very fitting that the my last big downhill slalom, was the biggest, and my favorite.
Before I reached the summit (on the eastern side), I passed an old lava flow, in front of Mt. Washington. The historical marker stated that it has only been 1,500 years since it was last active. I don't know why, but I thought it'd be cool to walk across what remains.
The igneous rocks sounded like metal scraping concrete, as they shifted under my feet. The flow of rocks reached as high as 40 feet in some places. It was a very unique experience; I'm glad I took the time, and a small souvenir.
So tomorrow could very well be the day, I'm not sure yet though. If you remember, Eugene is the place I need to find some cash. My dad, being the great guy that he's always been, "Western Unioned" me some money. However they don't open until 10 in the morning. That means it'll probably take me until noon to get out of town. That's kind of a late start but it is not out of the question to finish before it starts to get dark.