Becca’s last day in Eugene was certainly the weirdest of her visit.
We started the day with a trip to Vero, a super cute coffee house in Eugene. As we were walking from the car to the coffee shop, we spotted a guy sitting on his front porch while his pet pig (in a full pet harness) ate some grass in the front yard. Weird.
Anywho, all summer long, I’ve been wanting to tube down the Willamette River. I see people doing it every weekend, and it looks like a blast. In my research, I found that people park a car at one point, drive another car a few miles upstream, and then float down the river in between. We only have one car (and Eric was at work, so he couldn’t be our chauffeur), and I couldn’t find a way to float down the main portion of the Willamette without having to walk about 5 miles to get back to our car. So we headed back to Mount Pisgah (read about the previous day’s hike here), where I knew we could float down a pretty shallow portion of the Coast Fork of the Willamette River.
We popped our sweet, hot pink and orange tubes (picked up for $3 each at Target!) around our waists and walked down the trail that runs along the river. We passed a little beach area, but figured we could find another place to get in the water a little further up. After a failed attempt at climbing through some blackberry bushes (hello, thorns!), we turned around and headed back to the beach. Of course, there we discovered three girls around our age, swimming naked in the river. Hello, Eugene! As non-native Oregonians, Becca and I are a little uncomfortable with public nudity, so we busied ourselves making sure our tubes had enough air and stripping down to our swimsuits. Meanwhile, we could hear the girls laughing at us and our swimsuits. As if it’s crazy to swim in anything other than your birthday suit. Did I mention that a pack of YMCA kids were playing just a few yards downriver? I suppose Oregonian children are used to public nudity.
Soon we were off on our river float. And by that, I mean we were floating in place for about 10 minutes until we paddled to where the river was moving. Pretty soon after that, we had to get up and walk through the river because the water was too shallow. It’s a little tricky to walk through shallow water on slippery rocks, but we managed. I’m sure we put on a really nice show for all of those YMCA kids.
After that little portion, we got a nice float going, only occasionally having to lift our bums to avoid the rocks. We even went down some rapids (and by “rapids”, I mean “shallow water that was flowing slightly downhill over some rocks”) that were hilariously fun and left us screaming and giggling in excitement. Once again, we put on quite a show for everyone in the Mount Pisgah area.
We loved our float so much that once we reached our pull-out point, we walked back and did it again! It was definitely the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon.
All of these pictures are from Becca’s phone, as I was way too scared to take my camera near water.
Recommendations from our experience:
-Wear water shoes. Our Chacos saved our feet from many rocks covered in algae.
-Bring a dry bag. I strapped mine onto my arm and kept our clothes, phones, and keys dry.
-Be prepared for some ab exercise. Lifting our bums off our tubes to save ourselves from the rocks was quite the workout.
And, to round out Becca’s Eugene experience, we heard Shaggy’s “Angel” on the radio on the way home. In Eugene’s strange radio land, I hear this song, “Genie in a bottle,” and “Manic Monday” almost daily. It’s a real treat.