Eugene’s Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System
Thursday 25 May 2017 — Category: Outings
In my last article I wrote about the time I rode my bike to McMenamins North Bank in Eugene, Oregon, in order to get a certain ‘experiences’ stamp in my McMenamins Passport. Seeing that I hardly ever ride my bike, and that I hardly ever go to Eugene, it is not at all surprising that I didn’t know anything about the wonderful 14-mile Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System (RBRPS) encompassing both sides of the Willamette River in central Eugene.
Discovering the RBRPS is just one of a number of new experiences I have had thanks to my McMenamins Passport adventure which I would not have had otherwise. After my lunch at North Bank on that day in August 2016, I pedalled two and a quarter miles southeast along the north bank of the River until I arrived at the Whilamut Passage Bridge which carries the I-5 over the Willamette River.
Even though the twin spans of the bridge are modern and massive, they are quite photogenic with their graceful curves. So I spent a fair amount of time taking quite a few pictures of the bridge from various angles. A fisherman in a red rowboat near the bridge made the scene even more interesting to photograph.
Once I was done I backtracked about 150 yards so I could cross to the south bank via the Knickerbocker Bicycle Bridge. Then I followed the RBRPS two and a quarter miles northwest along the south bank of the Willamette, just north of the University of Oregon campus, until I reached the DeFazio Bridge for pedestrians and bicycles.
Crossing over to the north bank, I was quickly back to my truck which I had parked at Alton Baker Park. All told, the nearly-five-mile bike ride took me about an hour, during which I took 85 photos — 23 of which make up the panoramic picture above. Nevertheless, I had ridden only about one-third of the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System. “I shall return!” I vowed to myself.
Five weeks later, in mid-September, I was back at Alton Baker Park by 8:00 AM, ready to explore more of the Path System. The first four and a half miles were the same, as I rode southeast along the north bank of the Willamette from the park to the massive Whilamut Passage Bridge, where I indulged in many more photos of the bridge beautifully illuminated in the golden early-morning sunlight.
As before, I cross the river via Knickerbocker Bridge, then headed northwest along the south bank to DeFazio Bridge. This time, instead of crossing over the bridge back to the north bank, I continued northwest and north for nearly four more miles until I reached the end of the West Bank Path at Owosso Bridge for pedestrians and bicycles.
After crossing to the East Bank Path, I pedalled about four miles south and southeast back to my truck at Alton Baker Park. The entire twelve-and-a-half-mile ride lasted a mere two hours, and it was only 10:00 AM. So I had an hour to kill before McMenamins North bank opened for lunch.
I walked around the park, took a few photos, and then eagerly walked the one-third of a mile to the restaurant. I have shared all the juicy details of my truly scrumptious meal there in A McMenamins Elk Meatball Grinder.
On this second trip I took 50 photos during the bike ride. In combination with the 85 pictures from the first ride the previous month, I have narrowed them down to the best 42, which are now available for your viewing pleasure in the new Eugene Willamette 2016 album.
This was not my last visit to Eugene in 2016. I made one more trip by myself later in September, and one with my wife in October. Follow these links to find out all the scrumptious details.