Eugene History Lesson
A fellow by the name of Eugene Skinner filed a land claim at the foot of Skinner's Butte which is now the center of Eugene in 1846. He built a cabin and in 1847 moved his family into it. His wife, Mary Cook Skinner was the first non-native American woman to live in Lane County. Skinner was born in New York State in 1809 and died in Eugene in 1855.
Skinner started a ferry service across the Willamette River at this site. Legend has it his land claim was often referred to as Skinner's Mudhole, due to the traffic and incessant rains.
The first post office was named "Skinner's" in 1850 with guess who was postmaster? The name was changed to Eugene City in 1853 and later to just Eugene in 1959 the year of Oregon Statehood.
Skinner's Butte still retains the Native American name "Yapoa" (yah-po-ah) and fittingly a retirement home at the base of the Butte is named such. The residents are known for their never ending fight to quell the train horns at the crossings below their abode.
Source: McArthur's book of Oregon Geographical Names
Hike up Mount Pisgah.
This is a short hike of 4 miles roundtrip. It has a climb of 1000 feet in elevation which makes it of about the same difficulty as Spencer's Butte. All the newbies in Eugenie go to hike Spencers Butte - go instead to Pisgah and see the locals. This is a rounded mountain enclosed in Howard Buford County park that tops at 1516 feet in elevation. Forested on the North slope and covered by grass on the South slope. Admission is free and hours are from Dawn to Dusk. This doesn't mean I didn't sneak to the top at night a couple of times in High School. At the top is a metal monument to the late son of Author Ken Keasey. His son perished in a crash while in High School enroute to a wrestling tournament in Washington. Ken Keasey himself passed away in 2001. Watch for deer in the park - the largest group I ever saw was 17 deer.
The parking fee in the summer months is 2 dollars per vehicle. Unless you want to put yourself in danger of getting a nasty itch see my warning and danger tip on Poison Oak.
Healthy, Yummy Food!
Cafe Yumm! has me addicted. They serve healthy, simple, and quick meals from three locations. They offer selections for vegans/vegetarians and carnivores. Their prices are low and you can fill up quickly on a deceivingly small-looking bowl of jazzed up rice. Try a deluxe original yumm bowl, a tofu/chicken teriyaki stick, or a salad like the secret Asian man.
In the downtown area a...
In the downtown area a favourite is Ambrosia: an Italian restaurant set in a two story old town brick building complete with antiques table, chairs, lamps, and decor. The serve pasta, pizza, salads, desserts, and have a bar. Reservations are not usually needed as its a large restuarant.
The atmosphere is quite unique with many cozy corners and low lighting which is natually romantic. The menu selection rotates daily or weekly so there is always an interesting selection. I usually the pasta primavera or an individual pizza.
This is a fast food restaurant, sorry, no drive-up, that offers vegetarian and no-red-meat cuisine. I guess, only in Eugene. And it is very popular. If you don't mind standing in line at lunch time for you grub this is a tasty treat for the palate. I guess they have at least 4 locations. They started originally in the 5th Street Market, and then expanded to other locations.
Basically, they feature vegetarian dishes, but also offer chicken and turkey, but no red meat.
Tofu is a regular. The key to their taste success is the dressing they put on their regular bowls. Very spicy, but not hot, just intriguing. Sort of like potato chips (crisps) you can't eat just one. Very good food for when you are in a hurry. We always order the basic Yuumm bowl which is a combination of rice, humus vegies and the delicious dressing. We've never ventured out to their other offerings because we like this one so well. Give it a chance, you'll be charmed.
Lunch, dinner. House specialty: Rice and bean bowls with luscious Yumm! sauce, fresh soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, extensive vegetarian/vegan selections, Tempeh Reuben. Wine, beer, Full City coffee at Meridian and Oakway locations. Fine wines, microbrews, gifts, heirloom beans, exotic rices, original sauces and dressings.
Take-out. . Wheelchair accessible. 5th Street: 11 am-6 pm daily. Meridian: 8 am-6 pm M-F, 10 am-6 pm Sa, 11 am-5 pm Su. Oakway: 8 am-8 pm M-F, 10 am-8 pm Sa, 10 am-5 pm Su.