Saturday morning we decided to visit the Eugene Farmers and Crafters Market. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining, it was plenty warm, and we both had a good night’s sleep. We were ready for a full day. So at 9:30 we were on our way and were downtown, parked and mingling with the crowds by 10.
They say the Lane County Farmers Market can trace its beginnings back to the first public market in this part of Oregon, the Eugene Producers Market, which began in 1915. And today, the Market is comprised of over 85 growers and producers that must grow and produce everything they bring to the Market. And I must say that there were more organically grown produce at this market than maybe any other we have attended across the country.
Diane and I both agree that this market would fit safely into the top 10 list of the open air farmers markets we have visited over the last couple years on the road. And probably in the middle of the pack someplace.
After buying a few things like potatoes, some colorful carrots, garlic, radishes and a few other items we made our way across the street to the Crafters market.
Each week more than 200 local artisans offer their handcrafted wares for sale in a beautiful outdoor park setting in the heart of Eugene. And there is a stage where they have 6 local musical talents perform each week. It’s located right by the food booth area so you can eat and enjoy the music, which of course Diane and I did.
Eugene is what I would call an eclectic college town widely made up of yuppies, hippies and college kids and the crafters section sort of fit those categories. What I’m saying is that even though we enjoyed looking there wasn’t really anything that we were much interested in. But it DID make for some interesting people watching.
We hung around the markets for close to 3 hours before making our way home to drop of our produce, grab some waters and head back out.
The first we went was the Armitage Country Park. If you plan to hang around the park there is a $4 fee so we decided to do a drive through first. We didn’t really see anything that would make us want to pay and park so we opted to move on. BUT not before we took a drive through the campground. And if we ever have a need to stay in the Eugene / Coburg area again we will certainly try to get a spot in the county park. Good sized spots and from what I could see they all had full hookups. Note to self,,, Armitage County Park Campground. Here is a link to the park. http://www.lanecounty.org/Departments/PW/Parks/Pages/Armitage%20Park%20Information%20Page.aspx
After the park we headed out for a, no general direction, drive. I found a 2 lane country road that kept giving us peek-a-boo peaks of the river so we just kept going taking in the sights. At one point we ran across a boat ramp called “Bellinger Boat Launch”. Bellinger is Diane’s maiden name so of course we had to stop and check it out.
After stopping at the boat ramp we kept going until we happened across the Walterville Pond located on the outskirts of,,, you guessed it,,, Walterville.
The water level was pretty low but there was a trail that went the entire way around it that just drew us to it. It was probably 1 ½ miles around the lake and it treated us to a geese and ducks enjoying their little piece of paradise.
Once we finished our walk and got back to the Jeep we started chatting about how we didn’t really know where we were any longer. So when we pulled out I just picked a direction saying, I think this will take us back towards Eugene, and away we went.
After a few miles we both agreed that we were probably going the wrong way and just kept going LOL!!! The next thing we knew we came across the Leaburg Dam and Fish Hatchery on the McKenzie River which confirmed we were headed away from Eugene instead of towards it.
Obviously we pulled into the Fish Hatchery to have a look. There were very few people so we pretty much had the place to ourselves as we walked around.
By the time we left the Fish Hatchery is was roughly 4:30 so we decided to head home were we stayed put the rest of the night. It was a good day.