Monday, 20 July 2009


I DANCE WITH EVERY CITY ON MY ROAD----giving each a good hearted whirl; a chance at my affection; driving its streets, mingling with its citizens, tasting its water, feeling its temperature and its tempo, listening to its sounds----Hoping always to fall in love. OH SWEET READERS, I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE. One green city has swept me off my feet and I declare to the world that EUGENE, OREGON IS THE FINEST CITY IN AMERICA. I'm moved to rewrite an old song: Big Rock Candy Mountain

'Neath a summer sky, early in July
A gypsy guy comes a calling
On a city pristine by the name of Eugene
Where there ain't no snow a falling

As I roll along I sing a song
'bout a city of milk and honey
Where vagabonds stay for many a day
And they don't need very much money

There's hippies from the woods selling natural goods,
The veggies are all organic.
Every vine has berries and the trees have cherries
And their music is all romantic.

Hear the whispering trees, feel the gentle breeze,
Walk a rainbow cross that stream
To a garden of Roses that thrill your noses;
It's heaven in a nomad's dream. 15 of my friends surround me in the Valley River Mall back parking lot --the nicest free parking spot imaginable. Deannie, caravan leader, weadled extra days of hospitality for us.
View out my back door. Willamette river, the silver stream that Pioneers aimed their wagons for. The bike path you see runs for miles in both directions and on both sides of the river.
Rainbow bridge ("walk a rainbow cross that stream") We were parked at the far end.
Bob Dwyer let us ride his high-tec super bike--very fast--very comfortable--very expensive!
Never reached the end of the bicycle path--it meanders all through the adjoining city of Springfield and beyond.
No less than 4 wonderful bike bridges like this cross the river at strategic points. My friend Paul pedals for the photograph. Imagine what this bridge cost.
"the garden of roses that thrills your noses" (400 different types on display)
And all along the bike path----heart swelling beauty--just for me---and you.
And in vacant patches they strew a hodge podge of wild flower seeds and let mother nature surprise us.
Paul pauses from pedaling to 'preciate pretty pedals
A community Garden--lots of them in Eugene--for $60 a year you get a nice plot to plant.
Eugene tolerates eccentricity.
A not uncommon sight on the streets of Eugene. This child is growing up in a real fairyland.
And yes, there's this. We woke to find this gentleman had settled in for the night just outside our fenced enclosure. Here he's still asleep. Later we watched him fold his chair/bed and walk away. Thoreau's words came to mind: "Jesus said to the man he'd healed: Take up thy bed and walk. Hardly anyone in Concord has a bed he could take up and walk with."
Eugene is equally gentle with its wildlife. There is seemingly a city wide agreement to be nice to everybody and every thing. New Yorkers would experience culture shock.
Look carefully and you will see the double layers of solar panels on this enterprise. The entire roof from end to end--perhaps a hundred yards was covered with them. They sell power to the grid--rarely buying any to operate their business.
Every vulnerable drain has this reminder that it flows into the willamette river.
And for us RVers, this crowning bit of generosity---a free dump. My trailer is equipped with a mascerator which empties the black water tank in 3 minutes through a garden hose.
There's more wonderful stuff that begs to be shown--like their incredible Saturday market and their planet education---but I'm sleepy. More later. Goodnight.

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