This was a challenging travel day.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. However, this year I didn’t get any turkey because it was a travel day. I called to confirm my car rental only to be told that the car rental counter closed at 8 pm even though I was picking up my car at 10 pm. So I paid for another rental car.
My travel schedule included a flight to Portland then Eugene with an hour drive to Corvallis. After arriving in Portland, I waited 2 ½ hours for my flight to Eugene. After taking off, the plane turned around 10 minutes from Eugene due to fog and instrument problems.
After landing in Portland, I called the car rental company and hotel to let them know of the delay. After a few minutes, we boarded a new flight to Eugene.
After landing in Eugene, I drove through the thick fog and arrived at the Corvallis Hilton Garden Inn at midnight. Tired, cold, and devoid of turkey, I went to bed.
After a late night arrival in Corvallis, I woke early for my drive back to Eugene Friday morning.
Visiting the enemy and a TV interview
When I awoke on Friday, I was as excited as a kid in a candy store. While the skies were gray, the views out of my window were fabulous!
I love college football stadiums and I was so excited to see Reser Stadium from my hotel window. I watched the Beavers throughout their surprising season and even found myself rooting for them. However, now it was time to visit the enemy.
On Friday morning, I drove to Eugene – home of the Oregon Ducks. While I wasn’t there to pay my respects to Oregon State’s rival, I was in town for my TV interview with KVAL 13. Since I was in town for the Civil War, KVAL’s Crystal Price sat down with me to talk about the Expedia College Football Travel Tour (my interview begins at 1 min 20 sec mark).
As I left Eugene, I noticed Autzen Stadium and had to stop. While I wasn’t here to visit the University of Oregon, I wanted to see the stadium.
Fortunately, my timing was great as the Ducks were practicing. While I couldn’t get a peek inside, I did talk with am Oregon staff member about college football. After a few minutes, the team finished with practice and I got the chance to take a few photos of Chip Kelly, Marcus Mariota, Kenjon Barner, and the rest of the Oregon Ducks football team.
After spending time with the enemy, I drove back to Corvallis to be consumed with all things Beavers as I prepared for the Civil War.
Oregon State tailgating and new friends at Reser Stadium
On Saturday, Oregon State fans gathered in their orange and black outside of Reser stadium on a cold, rainy day. With the Ducks coming to Corvallis for a showdown in the Civil War, the weather was perfect for this annual Oregon state rivalry.
I walked over to Reser Stadium at 10 am dressed in my black and orange OSU shirt. I met with die-hard Oregon State grad Christian as she invited me for a tailgate with her Beaver friends.
Despite the rain, breakfast was served with eggs, hash browns, sausage and bacon, VooDoo doughnuts, and plenty of alcohol. From tailgating to game time, I partied and chatted with Terry, Bradi, Josh, Ryan, Stacy, Dave, and many others.
Throughout the parking lots at Reser stadium, music blasted, fans tailgated, and a little trash talking ensued between Oregon State and Oregon fans. Before, during, and after the game, the talk was mostly friendly banter despite the fact that a lot was riding on this game.
This season, there was a lot of respect between the fans and teams for this year’s battle in the Civil War. The two schools in Eugene and Corvallis are separated by 45 miles. As kick off drew closer, the alcohol was consumed and the battle was ready to begin.
A Civil War showdown
As the game started, fans were excited and ready for a battle. Oregon took the lead with an early touchdown but missed the two point conversion. Oregon State seized momentum and marched down the field to take a 7-6 lead.
The two teams battled but the Beavers couldn’t stop the Ducks rushing attack as Mariota, Barner, and De’Anthony Thomas ran all day. At halftime, the Beavers managed to stay close as they kicked a field goal to make it 20-10.
Fans filed out of the stadium to enjoy more tailgating. Our group gathered to drink a little more and revel in the rivalry. The game was still close and an early touchdown by Oregon State to start the 3rd quarter made in 20-17.
Unfortunately, the Beavers fell apart as turnovers jump started the Oregon scoring spree. Oregon beat Oregon State 48-24 as the Ducks were once again victors in the Civil War.
A part of Beaver nation
As the game ended, fans headed back to their cars for a little more tailgating before the drive home. The early morning start left many weary and tired. However, a few members of our group joined another tailgate before finishing the night with pizza at Woodstock’s.
We shared our stories, made new friends and memories, commiserated over pizza, and remained faithful and loyal to the Beavers despite the loss.
After a college football season where I saw games in 5 different time zones with teams from seven different conferences, the College Football Travel Tour regular season had come to an end.
My final stop in Corvallis was my favorite this season and may even top my experience at the University of Washington. Being back in a college town with passionate fans, a beautiful campus, and some great memories was a perfect way to end the season.
In Corvallis, I felt more connected to the fans and this school than any other place I’ve been. I’ve got a few more memorable moments to add my travel list. I left with the hope I will visit Oregon State again. Until then, I am happy to be a temporary member of the gobeavs nation.
When it comes to this Civil War, I know which side I am fighting on.