Emerald Valley


When I moved to Eugene in 1970, I felt like I had entered a whole new world. Of course back in 1970 things were different.. there was a war going on, the counter culture was every place you looked, tie-dye was in fashion, and the students were protesting daily. Today.. well.. there's a war going on, the counter culture is every place you look and tie-dye is STILL in fashion. However, the students aren't the only ones protesting daily, now it seems half the city is out daily shouting for or against something (mostly the war with Iraq at the moment). This community seems to feel the need to voice their opinions on just about everything.. and then vote on it! I grew up in California where no one seemed to care much if a tree was cut down to widen a street. But here, it was/is a major event that brings out protesters, tree sitters, city inspectors, and politicians (with hawkers on the sidewalk selling T-shirts and espressos). Welcome to Eugene!

Seriously, the community is more diverse than that. The University of Oregon is near the heart of Eugene and many students come here for the education and stay because this area is really a beautiful place to live. We are one of those places that seem to have a lot of waiters and waitresses with bachelor and master degrees. We have several computer related companies working out of the area and are always encouraging more to relocate here. For decades the major local industry was logging and lumber. That industry has suffered huge cutbacks the last 20 years and so the state is trying to encourage other industries to come to Oregon and prosper. However, there are still many former (and current) loggers and millworkers still finding ways to stay. Because of the lower cost of living and the mild climate we also have a large senior community.

Eugene is the second largest city in the state of Oregon. The temperature is fairly mild (doesn't normally drop below freezing or above 100 degrees for more than a week or two each year). There are almost no earthquakes, very little snow in the valley, not many large fires in the Eugene area, no hurricanes, tornados, flooding is pretty well controlled... mostly what we have is .. rain. Lots and lots and lots of rain; which makes this a green and growing valley. The area has two rivers that run through it; the Willamette and the McKenzie Rivers. Both are excellent recreational opportunities. Eugene (thanks to the University of Oregon) is called Track Capital USA with many world class and even Olympic track stars living and training here. With the Hult Center and other smaller theaters we have a variety of entertainment.

We also have various community events to gather together and celebrate. Just to name a few:

Don't have time to wait for an event? No problem. Lots of things to do ...

There are many other cultural and entertainment spots to visit. You can find out lots of information from the following sources as well as general information about Eugene and the surrounding area.

As for what Eugenians read and listen to:

  • Our largest daily newspaper is the Register Guard
  • A free alternative paper with a different point of view is the Eugene Weekly
  • And we really should mention the popular free paper the Comic News
  • The University of Oregon has the Oregon Daily Emerald paper and the student run classical music station KWAX-FM
  • And Lane Community College has the The Torch newspaper and their radio station with a variety of music, KLCC-FM
  • There are lots of radio stations in the area, from rock, classical, talk, country, oldies, jazz and top 40.

Here's my list of favorite places to visit and shop.

But that is just information about the area. It's actually a place you have to see to believe. There are trees everywhere and things are green and lush. The waters are clean and air is breathable. (Except for when they burn the grass field.. but they've cut back on that.) The pace is slow and laid back and people are rather casual here.

Within an hours drive of Eugene you have the rugged Oregon Coast (west), or the beautiful McKenzie River (east). There is farm land, lakes, rivers, mountains, forests, deserts, cities, wildlife and so much more within two hours driving time. To me the beauty of the mountains and the McKenzie River is inspiring and a spiritual journey of renewal. I encourage you to think about taking your next vacation in Oregon.. you just might find our Emerald Valley to be a jewel worth keeping.

The Beauty of Oregon

The Cathedral of Light

Discovering the Temple

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