Thursday, May 17, 2007

A familiar place.

We are in Eugene (pronounced with the accent on the second syllable), a town that is very familiar to us, since we spent three weeks or so here having Odyssey painted.

Since those early days, we've acquired the Days End directory, available exclusively to Escapees members, and it told us that the Valley River mall here allows up to three free nights of RV parking in a designated section of their lot, so that's where we are (map).

I have to say, this is a great spot. First off, we are parked right next to the Willamette river and its lushly vegetated banks. We have a lovely view, and the only sounds all night were the honks of the geese and the quacks of the ducks (the wild kind, not U of O fans). Plus, it is walking distance to the Olive Garden. (I think we once parked overnight in the Toys 'R Us lot, which is even closer to the Olive Garden, but we hadn't started blogging yet, so I am not sure.) Of course we browsed the mall after dinner and were happy to spend some money there -- what a refreshing attitude, considering most malls we've encountered forbid overnight parking.

Nice view of the Willamette River out our window.

Yesterday we had a very scenic drive along the Umpqua river, from its mouth in Reedsport all the way to the small town of Drain. From there we headed on to I-5 and to the town of Cottage Grove, where the small 76 station in town was reported to have the cheapest diesel in the state, at $2.679. That's the cheapest we've seen in a while, and likely will see again in the next couple thousand miles, so we filled up. As we coasted in on a nearly empty tank, I put 260 gallons in -- the young attendant nearly fainted when I opened the filler door and said "I'll take $700 worth" (Oregon has no self-service fuel -- station personnel have to operate the dispenser).

It took half an hour to put that much fuel in through an automotive-style nozzle (truck-stop nozzles are much larger and faster), and we nearly ran the station dry -- their "low tank level" alarm started chirping halfway through. Still, it was worth it -- the cheapest truck stop in the state, Flying-J in Troutdale, is at $2.719, and we'd still have had to put 70 or 80 gallons in just to make it to Troutdale and keep the level above the generator dip tube.

From Cottage Grove we came straight up I-5 to Eugene, and headed over to the Honda motorcycle dealer to drop the scooter off for service. We're hoping it's a simple adjustment and that the scoot will be ready later today.

After breakfast we will head north fifteen miles or so to Harrisburg, to talk to some folks about replacing our carpet with a woven vinyl flooring material. After nearly three years, the carpet is just plain done, at least in the high-traffic area through the living room, and we're hoping to replace it with something that is easier to clean. By which I mean remove the pet hair, which is constant, and the pet stains, which are occasional.

Following up on yesterday's post, Louise (who tracks things like visitor statistics to this blog) suggested that readers who do not fit into one of the categories I outlined might want to write in and let us know why they are following along. Perhaps there is a whole other group that I've overlooked, and it's always helpful to me, as they say, to "know your audience."

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