We are almost to the Oregon coast but have had a lot of interesting experiences along the way.  On our way from Sisters to Eugene, OR we decided to hunker down in a campground for the 4th of July weekend.  We drove into a dumpy looking campground and almost left before we discovered an open spot right on the McKenzie River.  Our site was 15' from some heavy Class II rapids with tons of cfs (cubic feet per second) shooting through.  It was instantly mesmerizing just like staring into a campfire.  We ended up just sitting there staring at the river and reading for 4 days.
The McKenzie River.
I had the chance to run the river.  It was the 1st time running a reasonably
challenging river since 1989.  The river had standing waves up to 6' which used to be a "piece of cake."
However, now I found it a little intimidating.  It was a fun run!
     On the 1st day at the campground we met a couple, Julie and Tony, who turned out to become good friends.  They own a deli and meat smoking business in Eugene and we later discovered that their smoked meat is rather famous in the area.  We spent a lot of time with them and, later, when we were in Eugene we visited their deli and it was superb.  They also had us over to dinner and even invited us to one of their parties.
Tony & Julie
     The reason to visit Eugene was to have our electrical system upgraded and properly wired, get an oil change, and replace our windshield.  We now have a correctly wired rig with solar panels and heaps of battery power which will allow us truly live "off the grid."  It ended up that our rig was in the "shop" for 5 straight days so to keep us occupied, we decided to sample Eugene's breweries.
     Also, while in Eugene we attended the Eugene Pro Rodeo.  The rodeo was quite an event with a warm-up motorcycle show, fireworks, and a lot of buckin' broncos and bulls.  We hoped that the animals were not being hurt.  The motorcycles were cool as they performed a lot of aerial stunts. 
     The best thing in the Eugene area was the Oregon Country Fair.  This is not your grandma's and apple pie country fair!  It is a gathering with its roots in the 60's drug culture with a clothes optional theme.  Today it is far more gentrified yet still very weird.  Drugs and alcohol are are prohibited (sort of) and lower body parts must be covered.  This lead to some interesting garb as well as a lot of skillfully painted boobs.  Yay--painted boobs!  The setting is Tolkenesque with entertainment stages and paths for vendors carved out of a dense, moss covered forest.  It was weird, cool, and a ton of fun!  I recommend that the fair become part of your "life-list."  Below are some of our favorite photos.  


     From Eugene, it was on to the "West Coast O's."  The Olejnik branch of our family lives in the states of Washington and Oregon.  We felt so honored that Heidi could not wait for us to get to Portland so she used her day off to drive over an hour to visit us at our stop in Silver Falls State Park.  (Silver Falls has a 9 mile hike with 10 waterfalls along the trail.)  

     Upon arrival in Portland, we visited Heidi and Justin for dinner at their beautiful new house in an "up-and-coming" Portland neighborhood.  We were lucky to have Heather also join us for dinner.  The next day Donna (Nancy's sister), Keith, and Kevin drove down from Washington to lead us on several trips through Portland, MT Hood, and the Columbia River Gorge.  Donna even waited in line to surprise me with "Voodoo Donuts."  Donna's energy kept us going all day and well into the evening resulting a lot a great family time.  Dr. Heidi (Chiropractor) even gave me 2 adjustments so my old bones will be able to handle future hikes.  (Heidi, Heather, Kevin & Keith are the children of Donna & Ken.)
Heidi and Justin at their new house.
Heather, Kevin & Keith on a steep, loose sand bank
at Oxbow Regional Park.  The slope was over 50' high and if they stopped walking up
the slope, the sand would slip downslope and push them backward.
Donna, Nancy, Keith, Heather & Kevin at McMenimins in Troutdale, OR
Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge
MT Hood
2 hour wait for donuts at this popular Portland, OR place!
The donuts are uniquely decorated, but still taste like donuts.
Portland restaurant whose owner must know Johnny M.