Thursday, March 19, 2009

Following in Pre's Footsteps

Originally, the plan for my last full day on spring break in Oregon was to merely chill out and relax at my uncle's house here in Florence. After I was asked over for lunch at South Eugene High School by a friend of mine, I ended up driving to Eugene one more time. Even though my friend never showed up, Rachel did. I was sitting in SEHS's main office, and she called me and found me, counting the ticking minutes on the office clock. We walked the perimeter of the school, talked and had a good, yet short time. 

When she had to go to class, I let her go, and I walked over to the UO campus. I went to Espresso Roma cafe a second time (in the week) and had a wonderful black and white mocha. 
With directions in stow, I found the nearby Nike Store of Eugene and looked about there. Then, I parked by Autzen Stadium and tried to find Pre's Trail. Thanks to Rachel's navigation skills, I found a spot to park by the Trail behind Autzen. I covered about half of the trail's length and decided to look about the UO Athletic Offices building, next to Autzen. 
I drove over to Track Town Pizza and had the highly-recommended BBQ chicken pizza offered there. I ate about two-thirds of the pizza while talking to my uncle on the phone. 
With the other third of the pizza in a to-go box, I finally drove back to Florence for the night. 
I'm surely going to miss this place, this wonderful mountain country that is Oregon. I'm applying to transfer to the University of Oregon. I hope to get accepted and be able to live in arguably the best place I've ever been to. I'm leaving tomorrow with heart that is downtrodden but uplifted at the same time. Yet, whether I am accepted to the University of Oregon or not, I can still say that I had an amazing spring break there. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Magic of Hayward

Today, I finally got to lace up my track spikes and sprint on Hayward Field. I did some 200's and 100's, enough to get a feel for what it is like to sprint the legendary track. 
I didn't take any new pictures today, but I did still get to sprint Hayward and meet some guys from the Ducks track team. 
Also, I got to see Julian one more time before I fly out Friday, and I got to meet with Jon Brundan, the Director of graduate studies at UO. Finally, I got to try out Espresso Roma, a cafe by the west side of campus. 
Other than that, nothing new was seen. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Trip to UO Another Day

Yet another trip to the University of Oregon made up most of my exciting day. 
Julian and I got lunch at a pub named Taylor's, which served rather good food. We talked about the graduate school for math at UO, among other subjects. We then walked around campus, Julian telling me what's what. We walked the 15-minute walk to Autzen Stadium, which is quite impressive in size. On the way back, I got to glimpse at the running trails and the Willamette River. 

After thanking Julian for lunch and the tour, he went back to Fenton Hall, where his office is. I proceeded to do a bit of shopping and exchange-making at the Duck Store, across from Taylor's. Afterward, I took pictures of several buildings across campus. My last stop on campus was at Hayward Field, where I got to talk to Coach Powell and I finally got to meet Andy Wheating in person. I told Andy that I would be doing some sprints on Hayward tomorrow, with at least my friend from the team, Chad, watching. Coach was interested in my track story and about my wanting to transfer and to be a Duck. 
I walked back to the Acura after my short time at Hayward. I decided to drive the long route back to Florence, which was a nice way to finish the day. 
Tomorrow, I'm meeting Andrew Detzel for coffee, running Pre's Trail, sprinting at Hayward, hanging with Chad (and most likely Andy), and not sure from there, as my days on this break seem to be planned out. Until then, stay posted. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Eugene and UO

At last - today, I got to drive into Eugene and see a good portion of the University of Oregon. 
I had a wonderful time - I got to meet graduate students Julian Buck and Andrew Detzel, and Prof. Daniel Dugger. I also got to speak to people in Oregon Hall (Admissions and Financial Aid). 

I determined that I'm definitely going to apply to transfer to the University of Oregon - all the people I spoke to in the math department highly recommended that I do so in order to better prepare me for graduate school, and I think that UO has the best campus I've seen anywhere. 
After the few hours on campus, I went over to Track Town Pizza, about two blocks from campus. The pizza was arguably the best I've ever had, and the place was decorated with montages of the Ducks track team, present and past. 
I type this as I'm back at the house in Florence, relaxing with my uncle and aunt, and some more family that here for a day or so. 
Tomorrow, Julian plans to show me around UO, to make sure that I know what's what on campus, and not quite sure from there. I'll keep you posted.


Today, I had the chance to see some family members I hadn't seen for years. My uncle, aunt, and I met them for breakfast in town (Florence). We had a wonderful breakfast, talking and catching up with our each other's lives. 
Not long after I got back to the house, I decided to meet up with a few friends in Corvallis, which is a forty-minute drive north of Eugene, nearly two hours from Florence. 
The drive was interesting, yet intriguing. Once I got to Mapleton (about fifteen minutes from Florence), I was detoured through the mountains so that I ended up just north of Eugene (thanks to a landslide). A lot of the drive to Eugene was absolutely wonderful - the sharpest turns I've ever done in a stickshift (let alone any car) and the most beautiful scenery. 
Once I got to Corvallis, I finally found my friend, Maddy's, house. I spent the afternoon while Maddy (far left in picture) and her friend Kenzie (in the middle) showed me around downtown Corvallis. I'm still readjusting to driving stick, so sometimes I would stall for a few seconds, which made the three of us a tad nervous when meandering through the town. Fortunately, I'm getting the hang of it again. 

I saw the Oregon State University campus, ate my first Carl's Jr. burger since I lived in Cali back in 1994 or 1995, saw Corvallis High School, played at a local park, and walked into a lot of interesting places, including this one local coffee shop. Also, the three of us drove for several miles through the country outside of Corvallis and hung out for a while at Maddy's place. 
After watching some TV at Maddy's, I finally thanked her and Kenzie for a nice time in town, and I took an alternate, more towards-the-coast way back to Florence. 
Tomorrow, I plan to meet up with a UO math graduate student for coffee, tour the UO campus, request information for transfer students and graduate students, meet a friend in the south part of the city, and not truly sure from there.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Today was a sort of lazy day. After all, I did spend nearly all of yesterday just flying from Des Moines to here. My uncle and I finally got out of the house mid-afternoon, and we drove down to Yachats, which is a coastal town north of Florence. We had the most spectacular drive from Florence to Yachats. When we got to Yachats, we drove up to the top of a mountainside that overlooks the town. Also, he showed me a bunch of the town's houses that he helped construct. On the way back home, we switched drivers so that I could drive along the mountains. I had so much fun driving a stickshift for the first time since last summer! It rained today, unlike yesterday. Sometimes, the rain was so hard that, along with the fog, it was a tad hard to see the road back to Florence. I had a bit of trouble trying to correctly drive into first gear, so my uncle showed me how to correctly. 
Tomorrow, we're going to meet with some more family that lives in Florence, which should be nice. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

In Florence

Finally, I'm in Oregon! It's absolutely beautiful here - all the mountains, rivers, and the Pacific Ocean view out the house windows. Tomorrow, I'm planning to run on the beach and perhaps drive down to Eugene to visit a friend or two. I've been so happy since I arrived here in this beautiful country. I'll have access to a camera tomorrow, so I'll start posting pictures at least tomorrow. And yes, the house I'm staying, which has a view of the Pacific Ocean, is right by where the infamous Florence whale blast of 1970 occurred (props to Andy). 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

On The Oregon Trail

Well, my friends, I'm going back to my birthplace for the first time since 1992, when I moved from Eugene to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Eugene, Oregon has been calling my name for the past few years, especially since I am a Ducks fan. 

For now, I'm sitting in the airport for a few hours here in Denver. I have to switch planes, but the plane doesn't board until about 11.50 Mtn. time. I thought, 'Hey, I might as well blog about my epic trip back to TrackTown USA. After all, people might read it.' 

I'll give an update when I get settled in Florence (a coastal town an hour west of Eugene).
Until then, back to relaxing for the next few hours...