Thursday, June 21, 2007


Considering that we are not shopping mall fans, it seems funny to me that one of our very favorite camp sites, to which we return whenever we are anywhere near Eugene, Oregon, is the Valley River Center, the big mall for the area.

Here are Scoopy and Jules in our "usual" spot in the parking lot out back at the mall. On the other side of Scoopy is the Willamette River, with biking/walking paths right outside our door and a view of the river from our driver's side windows. On the passenger side (behind me as I took the photo) is about an acre of empty parking lot.

From here, we can walk through parkland for several miles on either side of the river, drive to an outstanding Thai restaurant in under 10 minutes, or cross the river to downtown Eugene. Eugene is a college town, with the liberal diversity we enjoy. They have an outstanding Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings, half locally grown food, the other half wonderful arts and crafts (we will be there on Saturday morning). Within 15 minutes we can stock up at both Trader Joes and Costco.

The RV parks near Eugene are either absurdly expensive ($30 and more per night), noisy (too close to I-5) or tightly packed. Here at the mall - which has a limit of 3 nights and no hookups of any kind - the nightly price is ZERO, the noise all comes from the Canada geese on the river, and we have a minimum of 200 yards between us and the nearest vehicle. Friendly security guards patrol frequently, our Verizon cell phones have a good strong signal, the aircard for internet access works, there are great local NPR stations... what more could we ask for?

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