Day 3: Eugene, Oregon

I’m currently in Eugene, OR. I’m staying with another host, Rachel. She lives in a little funky community of homes that remind me of something you might see in Lord of the Rings. If Bilbo Baggins jumped out of the door, it wouldn’t surprise me.

The 43-mile ride today was hot and dry. There is no rain predicted for the next week, so my record is intact for now. Rumor has it that it “doesn’t rain on Dennis.”

Wild blackberries in Oregon

I rode by miles and miles of blackberry bushes today. They are everywhere and delicious. I think I ate about 5 lbs (2 kg) of them.  I also rode by endless fields of blueberries, but they were being commercially grown, eating them may have gotten me shot!

Commercial blueberries in Oregon.
Commercial blueberries in Oregon.

This state is one big breadbasket. All I see are vast fields of oats.

My Cannondale bicycle in front of a field of oats in Oregon.

Of course, no discussion of Oregon is complete without mentioning the Redwood trees. Directly across the street from where I stayed last night there was a whole row of them. They were planted in 1932 and are now 200 feet (70 m) tall. They were planted too close together and will eventually kill each other off until the stronger ones win more room. I wouldn’t want to live across the street when that starts happening!


I’m planning on riding to McKenzie Bridge, OR, tomorrow. It is about 54 miles (87 km). I may camp there and get on the air with the ham radio. If I’m really up to it, there is a hot spring, known as Deer Creek, or Bigelow Springs, about ten miles further, and camping near it. That would be comforting after a long day’s ride.

Thus far on this journey. the drivers have been decent, but going a little too fast for my liking. Then again, this is the west and the roads are long and straight.

Rachel, my host this evening, was off to a birthday party. She asked me to put the chickens away for the night and do a head count to make certain they were all there…all eight were. They’ll have a lot of nice fresh eggs. Now that the chickens are in for the night, I am too!

Good night all.

Dennis, K1YPP

Author: Dennis Blanchard

Dennis Blanchard was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He and his wife Jane moved to New Hampshire in 1980 where he has climbed thirty 4000-foot mountains, biked the trails and enjoyed the wilderness. Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, Dennis was always aware of the seductive siren’s call to hike it. Dennis is an electronics engineer who has freelanced for amateur radio, technical and motorcycle adventure magazines. He now lives in Sarasota, Florida.

7 thoughts on “Day 3: Eugene, Oregon”

  1. Glad to hear you are enjoying our beautiful state. As I said, Oregon is the best kept secret, shhhh.

  2. hi dennis-

    read all your blog.
    so now i know you left eugene and
    are on your way to central oregon.
    i’m going for a run before it gets too hot.
    i moved the clutter in evan’s room so now
    you have a place to stay.
    evan moved out 2 years ago, but we still think of it as his room

    1. Looking forward to seeing you folks. I’m answering this from a pizzeria in Sisters. It took me six hours to go from the Belknap Hot Springs intersection to Sisters. Amazing climb!

      I’m at the town campground, only $5 and includes showers, such a deal. I will sleep like a dead person tonight. That was the toughest 42 miles I have ever ridden.

      Oh, hey, do you know any ham radio operators in the Bend area? I need to solder something on one of my pieces of equipment. Don’t fret over it if you don’t, there is an online tool ( where I can look somebody up.

      Thanks a million..


      1. hi dennis-

        so it looks like you will be rolling into bend
        tomorrow, july 19th. i knew that the push over the pass would be tough.
        only about 25 miles to bend though.
        did you get hit with a storm ?
        rain predicted for today july 18 as well as tomorrow and thursday july 21.
        but nothing too crazy.
        it will be good to see you again.

  3. sorry i don’t know any ham operators.
    will ask a friend who is a tile setter
    if he has any soldering equipment.

    1. The friend I’m staying with does stained glass art, however, they use lead free solder and it won’t work for electronics. Thanks for thinking of me, and I won’t tell anybody about Oregon being the best kept secret.

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