HOA LogoDestinationsTravel MallTravel LinksGlobal Travel



Story and Photos by Larry Turner

2008 Olympic Trials


Track Town USA—Eugene, Oregon—will be hosting the 2008 USA Olympic Trials June 27th through July 6th at venerable Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. Eugene has also won the bid for several future Olympic Trials. Go to: www.eugene08.com for information on all of the events and other details. Information on activities outside of Hayward Field where no tickets are required can be accessed by calling The Starting Block at 541-682-5333 or visiting www.eugene-or/gov.recenroll. The area west of Hayward Field (at 15th Street and Agate) will be home to community booths, vendors, food, youth and family activities and shuttles. Daily events at the Eugene 08 Festival Area west of Hayward Field will include two jumbo screens broadcasting ongoing Olympic Trial events, a Festival Stage with local and regional performers and the Youth and Family Center.

Historic Hayward Field
2008 Olympic Trials Eugene

July 1 and July 2 will be rest days during the Trials with no planned events. Following is a primer of activities to do in and around the Eugene area relative to and also separate from the Trials.


Eugene is a unique city with a focus on many outdoor activities, complemented by a rich tradition of theater and arts, cultural attractions, restaurants and a world class wine/vineyard tradition. The mighty Willamette River dissects the heart of Eugene and its sister city Springfield. There are bike and walking paths on both sides of the river. Eugene has 30 miles of off-street bike paths and 89 miles of on-street bike lanes. Five bike/walking bridges span the Willamette. Bike maps are available at the Convention and Visitors Association of Lane County on Olive Street between 7th and 8th avenues (541-484-5307). Bike rentals are available at 541-683-3397. A great guide to Eugene walks is Tyler Burgess’ Eugene Walks (2007), available at: www.walk-with-me.com. The University of Oregon also has a guide, available at: ww.uoregon.edu/~uplan.

Willamette River
Willamette River Sunset
Pre’s Trail

Downtown Eugene
Pedestrian Bridge
Eugene Evening

Activities in and around the Willamette River include Alton Baker Park, Cuthbert Amphitheatre, The Science Factory, Pre Trail (for walkers and joggers, inspired by Eugene and the University of Oregon’s most famous runner Steve Prefontaine), fishing, Valley River Mall, climbing Skinner’s Butte, River House (541-682-5329 or www.eugene-or.gov/recoutdoor) for kayaking and canoeing and numerous gardens maintained by the city and private individuals.

Science Museum
Alton Baker Gardens
Alton Baker Park

McKenzie River empties into the Willamette outside Eugene near the small hamlet of Coburg, known for its Norman Rockwell like streets and numerous antique shops. The McKenzie is a noted trout fly fishing river, tumbling out of the Cascade Mountains with a beautiful emerald green color. Fishing trips can be booked through www.twodudesflyfishing.com. The McKenzie River Loop road and the Aufderheide National Scenic Byway are great day side trips out of Eugene. The McKenzie River Covered Bridge is a must see, as are many others throughout Lane County—the most populated covered bridge county in America’s West. The Cottage Grove Covered Bridge Tour Route has seven covered bridges built between 1920 and 1997, including Lane County’s oldest, the Mosby Creek Bridge.

Lane County Covered Bridge




During the July 1 and July 2 off days from the Olympic Trail Track and Field events, Eugene’s wine country would be a tempting drive-about…always keeping in mind to go moderate or to have a designated driver/thinker, even if it means drawing wine straws. The first or last stop should be Territorial Vineyard and Wine Company at 907 W. 3rd Ave.( 541-684-9463), located in one of Eugene’s more eccentric neighborhoods, the Whiteaker. Sundance Wine Cellars (2470 Alder Street) is near Hayward field and has free tasting Friday and Saturdays 4-6pm. The picturesque Lorane Highway is the best road to access the charming vineyard country outside Eugene where you’ll find the wineries of Silvan Ridge, Sweet Cheek, Iris Hill, Kings Estate and Chateau Lorane. Fifth Street Market in downtown Eugene has a tasting room from LaVelle Vineyards. Benton-Lane Winery (www.benton-lane.com), Briggs Hill Vineyards, Broadley Vineyards, Eugene Wine Cellars, High Pass Winery, Houston Vineyards, Noble Estate, Rainsong Vineyards, Saginaw Vineyards Secret House and Pfeiffer Winery (ww.pfeiffervineyards.com) are in Lane County also. More information can be found at: www.wineriesoflanecounty.com. Local breweries include Ninkasi, Willamette, Steelhead, McMenamins (1485 E 19th near Hayward Field) and Rogue River Brewing Company (844 Olive).

Lorane Valley
Wine Tasting

Rogue Brewery
Sweet Cheeks



During the Olympic trials, the Annual Oregon Bach Festival (June 27-July13) takes place at Eugene’s Hult Center for the Performing Arts (800-457-1486, 541-682-5000 or visit www.oregon-bachfestival.com.. The Grammy-winning festival’s visiting director this year is Helmuth Rilling. The Eugene Emeralds Baseball Game and Fireworks Display is July 2 at venerable Civic Stadium (541-342-5367. In Alton Baker Park July 4-6, there will be an Art and Vineyard Festival (541-345-1571). The Eugene pro Rodeo and Firecracker Bull Ride is July 3-5 (541-689-9700).

Well worth visiting on the University of Oregon campus near Hayward Field is the Museum of Natural and Cultural History (1680 East 15th Ave.) and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Near Autzen Stadium is the Science Factory Children’s Museum and Planetarium. Maude Kerns Art Center (1910 E 15th Ave.) is hosting an art exhibit on track and field throughout the games. Tim Boyden’s Olympic wood sculptures are a must see at his house and studio at Wildwood Designs (568 Fairmont Blvd., 541-342-5937). Across from Boyden’s house is the road that leads to Skyline Blvd. where Steve Prefontaine was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1975.

Other noteworthy places to visit and enjoy during the trials are the Wayne Morse Ranch, Eugene’s Saturday Market (the oldest, continuous open air market in the U.S.), Spencer Butte (an invigorating hike, offering splendorous views of the Oregon Cascade and Coast Ranges), the Bijou Theater and Amazon Pool for refreshing swims (541-682-5350).

Wood Sculptor Tim Boyden
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Wayne Morse Ranch
Eugene Sculpture

















Ken Kesey Plaza
Museum of Naturasl and Cultural History
Whiteaker District




Near Hayward Field, some of the recommended places to satisfy one’s appetite and thirst would include: The Marche (connected with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art), on 19th Avenue (McMenamins, Beppe and Gianni’s Trattoria, Prince Pucklers, Agate Alley Bistro, Palace Bakery and the Eugene City Bakery. Nearby within walking distance, just off Hilyard Avenue, are the Taste of India, Humble Bagel, Burrito Amigos and Iraila’s. Great dining establishments not to miss in Eugene include: Poppi’s Anatolia (Greek), Turtles (owned by Evil Knivel’s sister), The Vintage (on Thursday they have a two brew and hamburger or veggie burger for $8), Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine (www.sweetbasil.eug.com), Davis’ Restaurant and Bar, Sushi Station, Red Agave and Newman’s Fish Company for fresh fish and fish and chips (they’ve been in operation for 118 years, one of Eugene’s oldest businesses).

Sweet Basil
Poppi Anatolia
Newman’s Fish Market

Prince Pucklers
Sushi Station
Palace Bakery

More information on Eugene can be found by a google search (Wikitravel).

Prints may be purchased by contacting Larry at Skiturn789@yahoo.com.

HOA LogoDestinationsTravel MallTravel LinksGlobal Travel