Thursday, July 3, 2008

White-Water rafting and another strange encounter

Today was rest day #2 - the meet starts back up tomorrow. For the third straight day, I made my way over to the Original Pancake House (see pictures) for some breakfast. I ordered myself the 2x4 - 2 eggs and 4 pancakes - and a waffle. The food was great, but the nap after breakfast was even better!

The group decided to go white-water rafting today. We missed the company's van shuttle, so we had to meet them out there by way of Eugene's public transportation bus. I've ridden on buses and subway cars in cities like Chicago and New York, and of course you see some odd turkeys, but I call say with absolutely certainty that the people who ride the buses in Eugene are in a whole different league!

Take for example our encounter with Terry. I've affectionately dubbed Terry the Pride of Oregon. He was undoubtedly strung out on something, but was still able to enlighten us about our upcoming rafting trip. Terry had trouble remembering anything we told him, possibly because he was drinking Vodka from a Aquafina bottle. He lives on the river, in a mansion according to him, and knows the river, as he put it, like "the back of my hand."

As for the rafting trip, it was my first time and it was fun! The water was crystal clear and the views of the green hills in Oregon were amazing. Nothing prepared me for the first time we got wet though; the water temperature was 49-degrees! Our group was split up onto two separate rafts, and naturally we had to have a water fight. Not a smart decision. I was pretty much a frozen ice cube by the end of the trip. No one from our boat fell in, unwillingly at least.

I met up with Kempe and his dad's friends at the house where they are staying. We had a little cookout and they let me mooch a couple of burgers off of them. So thanks Bob, Alvin, Delvin, and Jeff; I told you I could remember their names! One of the guys, Bob, ran at Bowling Green and had an original letter written to him from Steve Prefontaine. After Pre died, he and his friends made shirts to help raise money for his memorial fund and to show their appreciation, Pre's parents sent him 3 photos, all of which were taking of Steve the night of his final race and what would ultimately become his final night alive.

After dinner, we all headed back to the Villard Street Pub. Nick Symmonds, the 800 meter champion, came in and sat out on the patio right behind us with some friends, including Christian Smith, who finished 3rd in that race and will also be running in Beijing. I really wanted to get a picture with those two guys, but didn't feel like bothering them. A lot of coaches and athletes were in attendance tonight.

In closing, I want to tell everyone who has e-mailed me that I appreciate you keeping up with everything and that I will find time to respond back to each and every one of you!

Keep reading!

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