The RV shop in Junction City was between the two major universities of Oregon. It was an easy drive to the north to Corvallis, the home of Oregon State University and and even shorter trip to the south to the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Oregon State is the land-grant university with its emphasis on agriculture and engineering. Oregon is more focused on the arts and sciences. But the thing Gary likes to do when visiting universities is to see their football stadiums. Sometimes you can find a way in to look around and other times they are locked up tight as a drum. At Oregon State some construction guys allowed us in to take a couple pictures at Reser Stadium, the home of the Beavers. The stadium seemed larger than its stated capacity of about 46,000.
In Eugene, the home of the Oregon Ducks, we finally found an open gate at Autzen Stadium. But as we tried to enter there were two guys coming back out with keys in their hands. We asked if we could just take a couple quick pictures of the field, but to no avail; they were not going to let us in. As you walk around Oregon’s football facilities and those for the other sports as well, you get the sense that a lot of money has been spent on them. And that would be correct. UO has a very major benefactor in Phil Knight one of the co-founders of Nike. He is reportedly worth around $20 billion and has given hundreds of millions of dollars to Oregon with a lot of it going to the athletic department with the goal of taking Oregon into the very top tier of college athletics.
We enjoyed both of these towns. Corvallis has a population of around 50,000 and Eugene about 150,000 so neither is a big city. The universities are the major feature of both. The Willamette River flows through both on its way north to join into the Columbia in Portland. It has been hot here in the valley and we watched as lots of people enjoyed a float on the River. There were excellent breweries in both and once again Gary found a heaping dish of loaded tots.