I'm glad my sister lives in Eugene, Oregon, because it's a place where hippie culture is alive and well. Where many of the best attributes of the 1960s still thrive. It is, in fact, one of my favorite homes away from home. I recently returned from a trip there.
I go to Eugene to visit my sister and her two daughters. To be an uncle. To see modern-day hippies. To drink local-brew beer. To be surrounded by trees and lakes and ferns. To ride a bike. To slouch in a gritty coffee shop and read my dog-eared copy of the Autobiography of Che Guevara. To be in a place where people just seem to care more about the earth -- and each other -- than really any other place I've been in the USA. And to turn a random corner and see bowling balls growing in someone's front yard:
So come along with me to Eugene, Oregon ... after the jump.
Welcome to the place where I go to pump up the "Green" in GreenTech Geek -- Eugene, Oregon.
|Lots of Jesus beards in Eugene. And awesome celestial velour sweatpants. My sister directed me|
to the Wandering Goat Coffee Shop, above ... and I knew I had arrived in Eugene.
|Winnie the Pooh has a counterculture cousin, and he lives in Eugene.|
|Peaceful, pastoral scenes like this abound in the countryside around Eugene.|
|Dorena Lake outside Eugene, where my sister does swim training for her|
triathlons. Yeah, there's a reason I often refer to her as my wonder-sister.
|Bathroom graffiti, Eugene style.|
|Cycling through the Oregon countryside outside Eugene,|
I encountered a covered bridge for the first time in my life.
|It gets a little complicated: Recycling bins -- with illustrated instructions -- at a downtown Eugene donut shop.|
|Um, yum. Sampling local brews at Eugene's Ninkasi Brewing Company. On the back of the cards,|
I learned that "Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian matron goddess of the intoxicating beverage, beer."
|It's a pirate ship in someone's front yard. This is the Whiteaker |
neighborhood of Eugene, where the spirit of Burning Man hangs out
when not stirring up dust storms in the Nevada desert.
|In Eugene, even camper trailers are one with the trees, yo.|
|Ducks do kick butt. And the University of Oregon|
has banned tobacco campus-wide. My kind of place.
|I joined my wonder-sister Krista and niece Karina, above, for a 27-mile bike ride through ... paradise.|
|Fast food, Eugene style. No meat, just deliciousness.|
|Just another day in Eugene, Oregon.|
|I love ferns. I love cycling. I love Oregon..|
|Urban graffiti, Eugene style.|