Sunday, December 19, 2010

Walking in Eugene

From the University neighborhood, head south on University St. After you cross 24th, the street ends at the Masonic Cemetery, which is a lovely graveyard and worth exploring, but you have a lot more walking ahead of you. So cross over the hill and end up on University on the other side. Continue south, and you'll soon see the bridge over 30th at Harris Elementary School. Cross over the bridge, cutting a block west to continue south on Potter. Turn right (west, downhill) on 32nd.

Pass Alder Street, but don't quite get all the way to Hilyard. Instead, find the alley behind Peace Health Medical Center, and turn left on it. A few buildings after the doctors' office is Hideaway Bakery, in the funny yellow building with Swiss-inspired trompe l'oeil that also houses Mazzi's Italian Restaurant. At Hideaway, order sandwiches to go. If you're willing to wait a little bit, I highly recommend the grilled tempeh sandwich.

Cross Hilyard over the the mulched Rexius Trail by Amazon Creek, and head south. The trail runs on both sides of the creek, with a number of cute bridges, so cross over a few times looking for the drier side. Walk all the way to the southern end of the Rexius Trail (about a mile; from home to Hideaway was another mile or so).

At the bus stop, look for a "dead end" street that continues south. It goes less than a block, passing some lovely mosaic-tiled gates, and then there's a sign for the Ridgeline trail system, which will take you to the top of Spencer's Butte. It's a nice climb through lovely forests. There's some forks in the trail, but they're all well marked. About a mile in, you'll get to the Fox Hollow trailhead; after crossing Fox Hollow, it's another two miles or so to the top.

Eat lunch at the top of Spencer's Butte. Admire the views of the Cascades to the east, and the rest of the Willamette Valley laid out in front of you.

Then head back down the hill. If you run a bit, and if you are me, then you might hurt your knee a little on the steep parts. Oops.

Continue back along the Rexius Trail, and follow the west side of the creek at 32nd towards Amazon Park. At 29th (the dog park), turn west up the street. Snake through the side streets until 25th, and then head to 25th and Willamette. Go to what used to be called Oasis, and is now Capella Market, a reasonably hippie grocery store, and pick up ingredients for dinner.

Then find out that Capella doesn't have clams, so walk back to 29th to go to the much larger Market of Choice, which used to be called Price Choppers. Then find that your knees really are hurting from the ten mile walk and the steep downhill run. So wait by the fire while your boyfriend does the shopping, and call home for a ride.

No comments: