Saturday, August 10, 2013

Florence to Eugene and Change in Plans

We stayed at Winchester Bay through the weekend which was cold with some wind, but got great sunsets.


Watched a Mother and her baby swim around one morning.


We had driven one day to check out spots up in the Florence area, our next stop. We found a nice little forest service campground called Carter Lake, just about 7 miles south of Florence. The next day we left Salmon Harbor and got a spot with a view of the lake. It is on the west side of the 101 and not far from the ocean and so still on the cool side but still nice.

As the title of the blog says, we had a change of plans. With the weather being so cold and cloudy most of the time on the Coast, we decided to change directions a little. We had planned to go all the way up the coast, but decided to head a little east up through Eugene and on up to Silver Falls State Park, which is about an hour east of Salem. Silver Falls is a very popular park but I was able to get a reservation for 4 days , from Sunday the 11th to the 15th. I think it was the only time we could get in the next several weeks. Silver Falls is mostly booked well past Labor Day, especially weekends which are completely booked.




Any way, while still at Carter Lake, we got in one more Lighthouse. Heceta Head Light is a lighthouse about 13 miles north of Florence. It is located at about midway up a 205 foot tall headland, making it a popular lighthouse to photograph. Its beam is visable for 21 miles, which makes it the strongest light on the Oregon Coast. It was especially dramatic with the fog surrounding it that day.




We stopped one night at a Casino for free overnight parking and then headed for Eugene. We had read in the Wheeling It Blog, where we have gotten so many good ideas of where to stay, about a rather interesting place for a few nights stay. It is the Valley River Center, a shopping mall anchored by Macy's and JC Penny's, right in the middle of Eugene. Doesn't sound appealing? It is actually a very nice place. You park in the back area right next to the Ruth Bascon Riverbank Hiking/Biking Trails with a view of the river. We actually parked right by a meadow that separated us more from the well used bike trail than the area with the view of the river.


Right from the parking area, you can cross a bridge and walk or bike to some nice parks.


The kayakers below were floating down the river at a pretty good clip, no need for much paddling.


What a nice park and a great looking community garden right near the pathway and some houses adjacent to the path.

We enjoyed our hike. We did some shopping including Trader Joe's while here. We also went to the Eugene Farmer's Market. There is the Lane County Market right in the center of downtown and right across the street is the Saturday Market, that has arts and crafts of local artisans. The Saturday market is the oldest open air crafts market in the US. There are also musicians and a food court. I had a tasty crepe with spinach, tomato, avocado and cheese. We had some sugar free yogurt which was also good.


We could only stay at the Valley Center for two nights. We had hoped to stay a third but didn't get through to the security and around 6 Saturday night, a guard came up and said we had to leave. Rules are rules. We just packed up and went a short distance to a rest stop for the night. Sunday we head to Silver Falls.

Stay tune for further adventures.


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