Quick Note: This post is about the second half of my trip to Oregon. To see what I did on the first half of my trip, feel free to check out my trip to Eugene for the USC-Oregon game!
Washington (10-0; 7-2 Pac-12) at Oregon State (8-2; 5-2 Pac-12)
November 18th, 2023, 4:30 PM PT
Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon
Weather – Light rain, 47 degrees
#5 Washington 22 – #11 Oregon State 20
The rain started early in the day and stayed constant through the first three quarters of the game. This made things a little less explosive from an offensive perspective during the game.
At first, you did not think the rain would slow things down. Both teams scored on their first drive of the game on long, methodical drives. The first major miscue, one that would end up being game-defining, came on the Beavers second drive. On a fourth down, the ball sailed over the punters head and was kicked out of the end zone for the safety. Washington led 9-7 after the first quarter.
The second quarter was won by the Huskies. After a fumble by each team on consecutive drives, Washington scored touchdowns on their next two drives. Oregon State did get a field goal in between those two scores, which led to a 22-10 Washington lead at the half.
Oregon State’s defense came out with a mission in the second half. They shut Washington and Michael Penix out completely. This gave the Beaver offense a chance to get back in the game. They took advantage with two long drives, one for a touchdown and another for a field goal. This cut the Husky lead to 22-20.
The Beavers had one last chance and they put together a nice drive. They were able to take the ball from the 5-yard line to around mid-field. That luck would then run out with a failed fourth and five to turn the ball over and allow Washington to kneel the ball out and win the game.
Final: Washington 22 – Oregon State 20
Reser Stadium is one of the smaller Power Five schools I have attended. It has a capacity of about 43,000, and was about ninety percent full.
Although it is smaller, the stadium has gone through some major renovations that has made it a beautiful stadium inside. The major changes were in the North end zone where they placed a small area of seats and had a large terrace for donors.
The east side was a triple decker format and the west side was actually a quadruple decker, though all the decks were relatively small. There was just one video board. It was a large one in the South end zone. There were also runner boards on both side lines between decks.
One thing that I appreciated was how the school allowed the student section to span the entire field on the lower section of one sideline. They were into the game and made their voices heard throughout.
As seems to be the current trend, almost all of the concession stands were normal, with no company alignment. The only exception to this at Reser Stadium was a Qdoba stand. The concessions did seem to be a little more costly here than at some other places. There were much nicer concessions on the west sideline where more of the donors likely sit.
Hot dog – $7.00
Bottled Soda – $6.00
Bottled Domestic Beer – $10.00
Other Sporting Event –
Women’s Basketball – UC Davis (1-2) at Oregon State (2-0)
The basketball game was played in Gill Coliseum, which almost felt like a step back in time. It opened back in 1949 and had an old field house feel to it. They also had the heat cranked up as it was very warm inside.
The inside of the arena had pretty tight hallways. There were actually rooms that you went into for concessions as opposed to the windows that open up as you see in most arenas.
There was one single bowl of seats. The two sidelines had a second tier of seats though for additional seating. Center court had video boards, though they were four separate boards pointing each direction as opposed to one round board. There were two small video boards on each end which included a normal scoreboard as well. Small runner boards were located on each corner.
The game itself was not very close. UC Davis was able to keep pace for the first five minutes of the game and trailed only 11-10 early. It was all Beavers after that as they finished the first quarter with a 12-0 run to lead 23-10 after one.
Oregon State dominated the second and third quarters as well, outscoring the Aggies by 15 and 10 points, respectively. Although the teams ended up scoring the same amount in the fourth quarter, the game was already put away.
Oregon State 86 – UC Davis 48
The Oregon State campus is the type of campus I love walking through. It was a large campus that was spread out and was easy to walk around without having to worry about traffic along the way.
Since my hotel was so close, I was able to walk directly to the campus from my room. The first building that I came across was Weatherford Hall which is one of the residence halls. The arch that separated the two sides of the building was a great piece of architecture.
The next area was the Memorial Union Quad. This was a large open area that was basically the middle of the campus. It was surrounded by the student union on the south side and Milam Hall on the other. The Library Quad was another open area that led into The Valley Library, the main library on campus.
Due to the number of open areas and early time I was able to visit, the campus was very quiet and peaceful as I walked through it. That made it an enjoyable experience and one of the better campuses I’ve been able to explore.
Silver Falls State Park
Silver Falls State Park is approximately one hour Northeast of Corvallis. It is most known for having a group of ten waterfalls that you can hike down to and walk behind along a 7.2-mile path.
The first waterfall I came to was the South Falls. You had to hike down into a ravine to get to it. Once you got down to the falls it was a stunning view. Since you could walk along both sides of it and behind it you were able to get multiple angles and see how impressive the falls were.
After the South Falls, I continued my hiking until I hit the Lower South Falls. To get here you had to go even further down into the ravine. There were quite a few hikers along the path, but it was still less crowded which let you appreciate nature around you. Again, seeing the power of the falls up close made this an amazing hike.
After the second waterfall, there was a decision to make on whether to continue on to the third waterfall or to walk back to the main part of the park. Once I realized how far down I had walked, I determined I better call it a day as opposed to adding much more hiking to the agenda. This ended up being a great call, because the walk back up was very steep and fairly strenuous. It would be a great place to come to in order to get in shape if living nearby.
This was just another location that showed the beauty of Oregon. Between the ocean cliffs, the waterfalls at Multnomah Falls and Silver Falls, and even the view of Mount Hood from Portland the scenery was all amazing on this trip.
Oregon Zoo – Portland
The first nice thing about the Oregon Zoo is its location right along the light rail line. You were able to take the rail and then literally walk across the edge of the parking lot to get to the zoo.
One thing that I did not like though was how the entrance worked. There was no one at the ticket counter to sell tickets. Instead, they had a QR code where you had to go online on your phone, pay for and download your ticket, and then take that to the front gate. If someone didn’t have the ability to get online or know how to do the ordering process they would be out of luck.
Once inside the zoo, the setup was fairly nice. They had it set up as a one-way path going around the facility. The zoo was a little bit smaller than I expected for a larger city like Portland.
My favorite animals to watch here were the lions. They were all sleeping in a location where you could have a great view of them. The female lions were all cuddling together in one of the small cave areas.
Portland Art Museum – Portland
The Portland Art Museum is located in the heart of downtown. Walking up to the building, you could see they were doing massive construction on the building.
At the entrance, I was informed that because of the construction there were only two exhibits that were current open to the public. Even with the much smaller area to visit, they still charged full price to enter which I thought was a little much. They could have given a small discount, even if it was only five dollars.
The first exhibit they had open was Throughlines. This area depicted unique ways to bring things together into an art form. There were a couple pieces here that I found interesting. The first was a massive display of a computer chip that was put together by welding a lot of regular computer chips.
The second display was an underside of a table. Wads of chewed gum of different colors were used to create a portrait of a man. It was an extremely creative piece.
The second exhibit was an exhibit of Black Artists in Oregon. This had a large number of pieces from artists throughout the years displaying everything from portraits to commentary on the racial struggle that many of these artists went through.
Powell’s City of Books – Portland
Powell’s City of Books is a world famous book store. It is located in the downtown area of Portland and is the largest book store in the world. The store takes up an entire city block with close to a million books.
When you walked in it takes you a few minutes to take everything in. They have huge areas of fiction and non-fiction books. On top of that, they offer many games and have a rare book room that contains many first-edition books that are hard to get anywhere else.
Finally, there is also a large café open inside the store as well. It offers a variety of drinks and foods that you normally would find at a bookstore café.
Although I am not much of a reader, I knew I should purchase a book while inside the store. I decided to go with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. It is the one book I remember reading in high school that I actually enjoyed. Since I haven’t read it since then I thought now would be a good time to pick it back up.
Tillamook Creamery – Tillamook
Tillamook is not a popular dairy name in my part of the country, but it is very famous in the Northwest. Operations management was one of my favorite courses in business school, so wanted to take advantage of seeing an operation like this in action.
They had the entire factory area opened up through windows on the upper level so you could see the entire process. They had plenty of signs teaching you what occurred at each step along the way.
On the left side of the plant was where the cheese was initially made. They had huge vats that the cheese was made in. Once the cheese was created the process showed how the huge blocks of cheese were then processed and sealed up. This part of the factory was definitely the more active side.
After looking through the factory they had samples of a couple types of cheese along with cheese curds for you to try. You then walked downstairs into a huge store that sold many different types of cheese. What I found interesting is they had cheeses that had been aged for years on sale. The older the cheese the slightly higher the price.
Along with the store, there was also a restaurant and an ice cream shop in the main area of the building. It looked like there were quite a few locals that came just for a meal which I found interesting.
Oregon Coast Aquarium – Newport
The Oregon Coast Museum is located in Newport and is located in a 23-acre facility. They did have a couple areas closed due to renovations but still had quite a few places open.
The thing I enjoyed most about this aquarium were the otters and sea lions. They had a lot of different places you could view both of these animals from. This way you could see them on land or in the water. Otters are always the cutest and so much fun to watch.
Outside of these areas, there was also an indoor facility where they kept most of the fish. It was a little smaller than some other aquariums but still a nice facility. They had one aquarium where you were able to walk underneath and see the sharks swimming around.
There was also one section of the park where they had a small aviary. There were employees inside feeding some of the birds and talking about them when I visited.
Overall, this was an enjoyable place to visit. I would imagine it would get even better once the areas of the park that were under renovation reopen back up.
The name Alley Gyros was very appropriate for this restaurant as you literally entered the building from an alley way. It was a very small place that served a variety of Greek food.
There was no one else in the restaurant when I walked in and there was just one younger employee in the store. I decided to go with the lamb gyro which came with fries.
I was a little surprised when my order came because there were only a few fries and they actually but them on the gyro itself instead of on the side. They did have a large array of options to top your gyro on your own. This included everything from lettuce and tomatoes to mushrooms and cucumber. There were also a variety of sauces to choose from as well.
This was definitely not one of my favorite gyros. Part of it was probably not putting enough sauce on top, but the meat just did not have very good flavor. Afterwards, it made a little more sense why there wasn’t anyone else inside when I made my order.
American Dream Pizza
American Dream Pizza is a restaurant in downtown Corvallis. They had a large seating area and a large crowd inside which is always a good sign. The décor was pretty nice and they even have an outdoor rooftop seating area when there is nice weather outside.
They served a variety of pizza along with pizza by the slice. I decided to go with my favorite type of pizza and get two slices with sausage and onion.
The pizza itself was cooked very well and crust had a nice crunch to it. Unfortunately, they just piled red onions on top of the pizza raw. The onions were extremely hot to the point I almost had tears in my eyes. I ended up having to take a decent amount off of the pizza.
Boriken – Portland
I was a little under the weather my first day in Portland, so wanted to find an interesting place to eat fairly close to my hotel. What I found was Boriken, an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant in a small, nondescript building.
It looked like a family-owned restaurant from the moment you walked in. The menu was full of a variety of unique dishes. It made it difficult to decide which one I wanted to try.
I ended up going with the Bistec Encebollado. It was a tenderized steak marinated in a vinegar sauce and topped with grilled onions. It was served with rice, beans, and fried plantains.
It did take a while for the meal to come out but, when it did, I was overwhelmed by how much food there was. Especially because this was supposed to be a lunch special.
All of the food tasted great. The rice and beans both had good flavor and plantains are one of my favorite foods, especially with Caribbean food. The only thing that was a little off for me was the steak that seemed a little salty to me. A lot of times when I’m not feeling great foods tend to taste saltier than normal though so it might have been me and not the steak itself.
In the end, I wasn’t able to finish all of my meal. I was offered a box to go, but declined. The people that worked at, and likely owned, the restaurant were all very nice. Sometimes the smaller, less advertised places serve the best food.
Pastini – Portland
Looking for a place to eat downtown I came across Pastini. They had a large lunch menu with twelve different options for $13.00. It seemed like a popular place as there was a steady crowd my entire time there.
I chose the pasta and meatball bake. It was ziti pasta baked with tomatoes and garlic and type with a meatball. It was severed with a choice of soup, salad, or Caesar salad.
This was not the one of the better pasta dishes I have had. The pasta itself was fine, but the biggest disappointment was the meatball. It was relatively small and seemed dried out being on top of the pasta while it was in the oven. The flavor was disappointing as well.
As I mentioned, it seemed like a very popular restaurant so I can only assume I just chose a bad dish to try. With the large menu it would be interesting to see if any of the other dishes would have been better.