Friday 22nd August. Corvalis,Oregon --> Eugene,Oregon, USA
Ryan dropped me into town early and I caught the bus back up to Salem. Rose, my host in Salem, had mentioned some nice waterfalls out of town that I might like to visit. She had the day off today so could drive me there. They were really worth the trip too, although I guess they were less impressive than usual due to the recent dry weather. Nearby Silent Falls were quite interesting, too- not your usual noisy, crashing, splashing cascade of water at all. I had the feeling that Silent Falls may be a little noisier after rain, but for the moment there was not a sound to be heard.

Hmm.. Silverton Falls.

Me at Silverton Falls. Tim and Rachel in the glow of the backyard fire.

My next host was Tim, in the town of Eugene. Tim and his girlfriend Rachel met me at the bus station and started by giving me a quick driving tour of town. They're both quite proud of Eugene, I think. "There's lots of musicians and hippies and tree-sitters and artists and all sorts of activists around here" Tim explained as he drove. "They like to demonstrate, which keeps the cops on their toes!"
Tim's street had a very neighbourly feel to it. A hand painted van across the street, a mural on the wall of a nearby house, sunflowers growing in the front yards. I liked it. In fact, I've been surprised at how much I've liked Portland and Salem as well.

Home for Tim is an upstairs studio apartment with a very cool head height bed that folds up towards the ceiling when not in use. It's only a small space, but Tim said they can sleep up to four or five people, with the futon sofa folded out and a sleeping mat on the floor just inside the door. While we chatted over a couple of Pabst Blue Ribbon's, Tim and Rachel received a string of visitors. Tim's in a band and one of his bandmates dropped in for a while, as did Jason, a friend from another local band. I was curious about Jason's tattooed forearm. "Never lend your ex your razor" it read. I never did find out the exact meaning behind that, but Jason did explain his theory on drugs, which I thought was priceless.
"Acid is a gateway drug" he explained "and people just don't realize what it can lead to. I started doing acid when I was sixteen, started smoking pot at seventeen, drinking alcohol when I was eighteen, got onto cigarettes when I was nineteen, and drank my first cup of coffee when I was twenty. Giving up acid was easy, but you try to quit cigarettes and coffee once you're hooked!!"

Tim asked if I wanted to go out for a beer, but I'm always happy to stay in unless my host really wants to get out. Settled, he said. "We'll have a fire in the backyard!" Jason set off for supplies while Tim and I started a fire. Okay.. Tim started a fire and I shone my flashlight while he split some kindling. A few of Tim's neighbours and friends turned up, and it ended up feeling like a relaxing evening around the fire with friends. There were two cans of beer left when I called it a night, but Jason and another guy were still up so I left them one each. Generous, aren't I?

close window