Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunshine and duck swag

With another beautiful day in the offing, I opted to take a bus to campus, walk across the river and poke around a bit, and come back home. I had an hour and a half until the next bus -- and another hour for the following bus if I was having too much fun.

I don't know what these beautiful yellow flowers are -- not tulips, I don't think (unless an unusual and dwarf variety), but they glowed in the sunshine.

Found my way through campus to the Autzen bridge without too much trouble. One wrong turn, but then it's probably been 6 years. Give me a break! This photo is actually looking back toward campus, with Spencer's Butte, near my house, poking its head up in the distance. This  is one of several bike/pedestrian bridges crossing the river as it meanders through town.

Lots of these babies, both in the shade and in the sun, from the bridge over to the stadium. Delphiniums?

I actually saw lots of glorious flowers, including one bush that had the largest individual rhododendron blossoms that I have ever seen. The camera was still in the backpack and I was too lazy to stop and get it out. My loss.

Always impressive! And a sight to gladden a football fan's heart -- as long as you're not rooting for an opposing team!

I've only been inside once -- and even then, only in the concession areas that surround the stadium itself. That was in 2008, I think it was, when I was a volunteer for the track and field olympic trials and had to come over here to sign in, get my gear, etc. I did manage to open a door into the stadium and get a quick peek while I was there.

This is something I've never seen in person before, and may not ever see again: the fabled indoor practice arena for the football team, access normally closely guarded. Today was the annual athletic department swag sale. Tons of great shoes, clothing and such at practically giveaway prices. I knew it was going on, but hadn't thought about going because of long lines to get in, etc. But as I was crossing the bridge I kept seeing people walking from the sale carrying large plastic garbage bags filled with shoe boxes and bundles of clothing.  One kid told me there was no line to get in, so I decided why not?

Clearly, most of the good stuff was gone long before I arrived, along with the crowds, but it was fun to walk around and look at what was left. Plenty of boxes of Nike football cleats and regular athletic shoes, but I don't need cleats and of course, the shoes were in larger men's sizes and no hope of a fit for me. Things were marked from $1 to 20, other than football jerseys which were $50. All of this stuff is actual team equipment that somehow went unused. Nike keeps all the teams well supplied, and I guess there is bound to always be extras. I'd picked up a shirt to buy for $5, but after waiting most of the time through the checkout line I realized it was too small for me, and I didn't want it all that bad anyway, not bad enough to go back and try to find a larger size, then wait in line again.

As it turns out, it was a good thing I left when I did. I had 28 minutes to get back across river and across campus to catch the next bus, and that seemed like it might be long enough so off I went at a hustle. I didn't really want to wait around for another hour, or keep walking for another hour. And I hustled all the way back with 3 minutes to spare. Whew! Then, I realized that I'd made a mistake I'd made before, which was looking at the time the bus leaves the downtown station, rather than the time it gets to the campus station -- so I'd had an additional 7 minutes! Oh, well. I had a good workout.

Fun, free day in the sunshine.

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