September 21, 2009 - 9:21 PM
One of the perks of being in Eugene is its geographical location. Growing up in Colorado I have always been surrounded by mountains, but nothing more. There are some places that have always been surrounded by the ocean, or the great lakes, but thats all. Not every town can have the privilege of being surrounded by renowned mountains, and also be less than an hour from the Ocean. Eugene has both, allowing students at the University of Oregon to have end less options for leisure away from the campus.
I have been to the beautiful town of Sun River, located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains for fraternal retreats. Every winter term we take a weekend to relax and enjoy the snow. We rent two or three houses for a weekend and each member usually brings a date. Some people decide to go skiing or snowboarding at the nearby resort. I have been skiing for quite some time, so I decided to go skiing during my freshman year. It was spectacular. The tickets were way cheaper than they are in Colorado, and there were way less people. It was much more enjoyable that some of the skiing trips I have had to endure. Two hour chairlift lines, thousands of people, its no fun. No ones has to worry about that at Sun River. It is entirely stress free. Other people decide to take a stroll through the village. A few miles away from our houses is a tiny village that is full of small souvenir shops and restaurants. It is rather pleasant walking around because although there is snow on the ground, the daytime tends to be rather sunny. Sun River is a small community, so like the ski resort, the village is very uncrowded. Although it is the only village in town, no one has to worry about long lines in the restaurants or shops. It is very convenient and allows everyone to take a look at the entire village. The third of the group who chooses not to partake in either of the above activities enjoys a relaxing day at home. Most of the houses are equipped with a fire place, so the fire, which is lit in the morning, keeps the house cozy all day. In addition, most houses also have hot tubs. Its always comforting to be able to slide into hot water when it is cold outside. Someone usually dedicates his or her self to the role of cooking food all day for everyone who chooses not to eat in the town. Anything you do in this area will lead to a fantastic day.
One other unforgettable Oregon adventure I took was to Loon Lake during memorial day last year. A group of us headed down to go camping during this weekend last year. An Oregonian decided on Loon Lake, and I had never heard of it, but I was assured it was a good time. The camp ground was incredible. We were about 50 yards above the lake secluded in the woods. The lake curved through a narrow canyon, and looked to be about a mile long. During the day we decided to rent a boat for a few hours. It was very relaxing to lay on a boat in the sun for a while. When out boat rental was up we were able to find a dock that extended out into the lake. Sun bathing and the tree jump seemed to be the two most popular activities. We stayed on the dock until dark when we lit up grill to cook dinner, and relaxed by the campfire. The Loon Lake ares is infested with hiking trails, so those who didn't come on to the boat were able to venture through the lush woods for the day. My experience at Loon Lake was a fantastic way to spend memorial day.
The last of the three great Oregon outings I enjoyed was to Manzanita during spring break of this last year. I personally enjoyed this experience a great deal because I have only seen the ocean a few times. Manzanita is a small town located on the Oregon coast. One of my friends has a condo right near the beach, so we decided to stay there for a few days. The house was close enough that we could hear the ocean at night, which was something I had never heard before. During the day we spent a majority of the day on the beach, playing football, walking around, and we even went swimming. The water was freezing, but it was nice once our bodies got used to it. The sun was out for a good portion of the day, which was rather rare considering what I had heard about the Oregon coast. This was a great experience for me because, like I said earlier, I haven't been to the ocean too many times. There aren't too many bodies of water in Colorado, so it's basically just the mountains. I have officially been able to enjoy the ocean, camping, and the mountains in Oregon, which is something that can't be done in many other states. Oregon students are lucky to live in such a beautiful place, and one should take advantage of the surroundings while studying at the University of Oregon.