Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Few Days in Eugene

Since it was over 400 miles to Eugene,OR from Lake Almanor, CA, we split up the drive, stopping for the night in Klamath Falls at the not-so-lovely Klamath County Fairgrounds. With highs in the mid 90s we had to have power and for $25/night with full hookups it was fine for one night, with only 2 other rigs there.


It was nice that we didn’t have to unhook the car. We went for a walk later when it started cooling down and found a Harbor Freight just a couple blocks away. First time we ever camped within walking distance of one.


The next day we drove on another 175 miles to Armitage Park, a very pretty county park in Eugene, also with full hookups. We had great shade, which helped the AC keep us nice and cool.



I was able to get a cancelation for two nights that coincided with our appointment at AM Solar in nearby Springfield on Wednesday. Since it was in the 90s again, after we arrived on Tuesday we decided to go over to Anytime Fitness to work out and shower, stopping at Home Depot first for a new circuit breaker for the air conditioner, which has been tripping when it’s really hot. Since traffic was backed up on the road to Anytime Fitness we scrapped that idea. Jim was tired of driving around and suggested we just find someplace to have a beer when I saw a sign for Steel Pail Growler Station and taproom. He had a Cascade Lakes Salted Carmel Porter and after sampling some other IPAs I opted for one of my all time favorites, Half Hitch IPA from Crux in Bend. At least our arms got a little workout lifting the glass.

The next morning we headed for AM Solar at 9. Our solar controller has had some intermittent strange readings and given that it’s 12 years old we decided to go ahead and replace it before it went out at a less convenient time.

Old HPV-22B, which was actually made by AM Solar.


The new one is a Blue Sky 3000I. Had they still made the HPV he would have replaced it himself, but this one is not the same size, and required a plate to cover the opening. They also had to install a separate on/off switch to turn off power to the solar panels if need be, since this does not have one built in like the other. Given the time it took to install Jim was happy he didn’t attempt it. We also had them replace the circuit breaker since Jim was a little unsure of how to get the old one out. Again he was glad he didn’t try it himself as the installer had some trouble getting the new one in.


While the work was being done we ran some errands and did laundry. It was 3:30 before we left to go back to the RV park and since it was a little cooler we set out for a walk around the park, which is along the McKenzie River.


We found a way to extend our walk and discovered an osprey nest on a nearby bridge.



The parent was really squawking at us. You can barely see the two babies in the nest.


We would have stayed longer at Armitage but there were no other sites available, so on Thursday, with cooler temperatures predicted for a few days, we just drove 5 miles to the Valley River Center, Eugene’s mall that allows overnight RV parking for two nights. We stayed here before back in 2014 and enjoyed being parked right on the Ruth Bascomb River Trail and the Willamette River.

Can’t beat this scenic free parking spot.


We stayed our two nights, which is the maximum allowed, and biked and walked the trail several times. Even stopped at McMenamin’s for happy hour while we were biking since it was right off the trail. Eugene has quite a number of breweries but our time was too limited. Friday we didn’t even move the car, a nice change from all the driving we’ve been doing since we left Jojoba on July 7th. We don’t get how anyone takes their RV to Alaska and back. Too many hours of driving and sitting makes us crazy.

Scenes from the trail.







That night we walked over to the mall and BJs Brewhouse for happy hour. Yesterday we visited the very impressive Saturday farmer’s market before heading off to the coast. The heat is returning inland so we’ve joined the masses looking for some cool ocean breezes.


  1. We stopped in Eugene, Oregon for an overnight on 12/01/05 . . . we left on 8/09/06. So much to do and see there. I'm pretty sure it was Armitage Park where we stayed when visiting AM Solar in October of 2009 - lots of trees and great walks. Your photos are killing me to return to the areas we visited in Oregon and Washington in 2005-06!!!

    Virtual hugs,


    1. I can understand why you stayed in Eugene for so long. Not sure we would care for the winters there, though.

  2. Had to chuckle at your comment about driving to Alaska, it IS too much driving for the reward, once was enough - the distances are simply vast. I'll bet the beers taste refreshing on those hot days, but you're passing thru some unique wine tasting opportunities. just say'n.

    1. Jim is not much of a wine drinker, so over the years he's converted me into a beer lover.
      If we ever get to Alaska it will be on a plane :-)

  3. Your pictures are beautiful. I think Rich and I climbed some falls in Klamath many years ago. Thanks for sharing such beautiful scenes.

    1. Thanks. We haven't spent any time in Klamath Falls. I saw that there are lots of hiking trails in the area and a bike trail. Unfortunately it was just way too hot for any outdoor activities.

  4. I like Eugene but agree not for wintering. Great osprey sighting.

    1. We probably would have missed the ospreys but someone had a camera on a tripod.

  5. Exercise or drink craft beer??? Hum, tough one.

    1. Well, I would have rather done both, but after drinking that 9% Half Hitch I didn't care!

  6. Hope you make it out of the heat. I had no idea Eugene was not the place to go in July. Thanks for the information. I'm sticking with the Smokies for my heat solution for the present.

    1. Central Oregon can get really hot in the summer. The Smokies used to be our favorite summer escape from the heat and humidity of the FL Gulf coast.

  7. We have always enjoyed Armitage Park and the walking/biking that can be done right from your door. Eugene's farmers market is one of the best we have visited. Wish we were tagging along with the two of you. It is bloody hot here and it seems it will be for the next couple of weeks. Don't ever want to spend the summer here again. I'm not sure how some people do it.

  8. You are so right about Klamath Falls...haha! The flies were awful, but it fit our needs for two nights. Glad you had decent weather in Eugene. They have great farmers markets.