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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 43.4067, -124.223
On Friday we woke about 9am having had a great sleep to ward off the jet lag. Peter had contacted Car hire firms but with the Championships on there were few cars to be had. However, we were promised one at 2-30pm with a good deal so agreed to that.
During the morning, Peter drove us around Eugene showing us the various tracks and athletics venues. He took us up to Henderson Park and we saw the rock against which Steve Prefontaine crashed his car in 1975. He was a local boy who ran distance and was 4th in the 1972 Olympics in the 10,000 and held every American record from 2,000metre to 10,000. He was a James Dean kind of character and his death was a great shock to all. He is a legend around here. The plaque that marks the crash site has various objects left as tributes to him by visitors.
From there we went down to Hayward Field, the venue for the Championships and went to the Wild Duck Cafe for lunch. This is a popular Track and Field hang out with lots of memorabilia on the walls.
At 2-30pm we collected our car and set out on
the highway for the drive to North Bend. This took us west to the coast and the town of Florence. From there we turned south and drove along the coast past massive sand dunes and beaches.Oregon is a centre of the timber industry. On the way we saw a saw mill with huge piles of cut logs being kept moist by water sprays. The Fir trees are massive and the whole area is heavily forested. I rang our friend Tully as we approached North Bend and was given directions to their house. We did pretty well until we missed the turn off to their street but a local lady showed us where to go and we arrived at a pretty wooden house with a great view over the bay and the local forest.
It was great to meet up with Tully and Linda again. We had met them last year on our Mediterranean cruise when we had joined forces to win the quiz most nights. After we had settled in to their Winnebago in the driveway we headed into town to the local Casino for dinner. This had a great view out over the bay and we had fresh local seafood
and a nice Sauvignon Blanc .
We then returned to the house for much discussion and good company before heading to bed about 11pm.
This morning after another sleep in we had a great breakfast of fresh blueberries and muffins and then headed to Shore Acres for a concert which is part of the local Oregon Music Festival. Shore Acres is a great State run park with stunning gardens and beautifully kept lawns. We set up our chairs near the gazebo and wandered through the beautiful rose garden and the Chinese pond . At 12 noon the concert began. This was given by a Portland Merimba band called Kukuva. They played lively African music including The Lion Sleeps Tonight and had fabulous talent and energy. The sun was out and though there was a cool wind it was very pleasant and warm in the sunshine. Tully had prepared a picnic lunch of tuna and cheese sandwiches with a Zinfandel to wash it down and we met several of their friends. We spent a pleasant 2 hours enjoying the music, the people and the park.
We drove back to the house only to find Tully had left her handbag back where we hadpacked the
car. Fortunately someone had picked it up and taken it into the gift shop so we drove back to collect it. Linda then drovre us around the area of Coos Bay and North Bend.We first went along the beaches where family swimming spots were flanked by rugged cliffs and unusual rock formations.She also showed us Steve Prefontaine's family home and the High school he attended. We stopped at the Coos Bay Boardwalk to see the history of this timber port and view the way it has changed over its time of development.
Back at the house Tully had cooked Roast Chicken and we had a great meal with a nice local chardonnay. Afterwards we played a game of Ticket to Ride which was fun and Linda beat us all. We have had a lovely couple of days with very generous and wonderful people.
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