We said goodbye to Newport and drove down this beautiful
stretch of Route 101 towards Florence.
Banner Bridge, Florence,
Oregon’s Route 126 connects the town of Florence @ Highway
101 to the city of Eugene on the east side of Coast Range Mountains. It’s length is about 60 miles and
generally follows the north bank of the Siuslaw River until it turns north near
the town of Mapleton.
The road passes through two large sections of the sprawling
Siuslaw National Forest, providing an excellent tour of this coastal rain
It reaches its highest point at Cougar Pass (elevation 769
feet) which is also the point where the Siuslaw watershed ends and the
Willamette watershed begins.
On the east side of the mountains, before entering Eugene,
the highway runs along the south end of the Fern Ridge Reservoir, a popular
site for outdoor recreation including boating and fishing.
Eugene from Skinner Butte.
Fifth Street Market
Entrance to University of
View of a campus plaza.
We arrived in Eugene early afternoon and checked into the
Valley River Inn & Conference Center – the Willamette River and bike trails
run across the back of the property and provide a lovely setting for dining or
Willamette Bike Trail – on
both sides of river – follows the Willamette as it streams through the city of
We drove downtown and chanced upon the Wine Lab conducting a promotional event to sell special
wines – a trio entertained the crowd – Killer Burgers Caterers grilled juicy
burgers and served Dungeness crab bisque soup.
Trio’s sound combined acoustic guitar, mandolin sounding
The caterers took a break to openly smoke some marijuana
from vaporizors – police drove by and didn’t look as
pot becomes legal July 1.
The Wine Lab was a good time and we searched for another
place – went up and down Fifth Street until I observed an Irish pub, the Pint
Pint Pot served wonderful Irish and local Oregon craft
The menu did not tempt Patty – we nursed a pair of Harp’s
and listened to joyful Irish music.
For seventeen years, every Sunday and some Thursdays, the Pint Pot is
the site for lovers of Irish music to come and play. We are again fortunate to chance upon the patio where at any
time thirteen to seventeen musicians were playing together.
People were drinking beer and openly smoking pot – the
weather was sunny and balmy – soft Irish music filled the air.
We sat in the back of the patio, observed the crowd,
listened to the music.
We dined that evening at the Valley River Inn restaurant and
overall loved our stay in Eugene.
We awoke the next morning to start Leg #4: Eugene to Crater Lake, a
veritable feast of extraordinary scenery.