Stepping into A New Era of Night Life, by Emma Kerkering

Rainfall isn’t a foreign concept to the people living in Corvallis; in fact, a consistent night for most of us in the winter months is spent hunkered down inside counting down the days until the sun finally decides to peak out of its curtain of gloom.

As a fellow student and resident to Corvallis, I was the most excited to embark on this year’s coming of warm weather into spring term. Not just because of the miracle of warmth and destruction of my grey despair was within grasp, but because it was now my junior year and my first-time experiencing spring term as a fellow 21er.

For so long, I had been waiting to be cleared of the minor title and take my rightful spot on the deck of Downward Dog to get in the spirit of the spirits. As this spring term had finally approached and I was shedding off the heavy coat of being a minor, I thought to myself, I have finally made it to the promise land.

Everything I had heard up to this point before reaching 21 had been all about the ‘C.S.I.’—Clods, Sancho’s, and Impulse. All of my older friends had told me the crazy stories and memorable (or not so memorable) nights they had while making this particular bar crawl and it was something I had been awaiting to be a part of.

But, as my turn approached and the C.S.I. was in my horizon, these remarkable nights became out of my reach. Impulse and Sancho’s were shut down and people were scratching their heads at what to do next. Where will people go to dance? How will I ever get to experience the Sancho’s special, without Sancho’s?

It was because of all this that I decided to embark on an adventurous night out on the town to experience the other options that Corvallis had to offer the night life scene. In order to make it a truly memorable night, I knew I was going to have to recruit the one girl who would be as dedicated to the game as I was—my best friend and roommate, Jacki Dale Lute. A petite girl decorated with blonde hair that reached her shoulders, with a fun-loving, admirable personality and a touch of a wild side, she was my perfect fit. The moment I mentioned this opportunity to her, she jumped on the train with me without a second of doubt.

Still recovering and sipping Pedialyte from the night before (thank you, Dam Jam), you could say that we were feeling a little exhausted and slightly unmotivated to go out. To make matters more difficult, I had recently broken my phone, so I had to rely fully on Jacki’s phone for taking notes of the night and keeping my beloved boyfriend Shane updated on my status. Nonetheless, we dedicated ourselves to this night and we were not going to back out now, so we rallied up and began the process of putting ourselves together.

9 p.m. – The Pregame

As the voice of Lizzo sang from my speaker and the tequila shots were snuggled in their glasses, down came Jacki from the stairs. While her attire of light washed skinny jeans, accented with a lavender tank top enveloped a casual appearance and tone—this girl was anything but that. The minute the music starts to play, she is up and dancing as if she is teaching her 10 a.m. Zumba class. Even though our energy was initially low, dancing to Truth Hurtsand having our first drink of the night got us right back into the game and ready to hit our first stop.

9:30 p.m. – Downward Dog

While Downward Dog isn’t a new stop for the people of Corvallis, it is a must attend to any beginning bar crawl, so why not start the night out with a little bit of tradition?

The subtle night breeze stroked our faces and the smell of tots filled the air as we walked up the stairs to make our way to the bar. After ordering our second drinks of the night (mango tango, yes please), we approached the deck where we found a large group of girls at a table. Squinting through the neon attire and similarly emphasized wigs, I realized that we knew all those girls, they were our senior friends, out on their very last bar crawl of college.

Jacki and I approached, saying our hellos, giving our congrats, and then went to take our seats together at an accompanying table. Seeing all of our soon to be graduate friends got us talking about all the glorious memories college had given us so far. With drink #2 officially in our bellies and wrapping up a startling conversation about how fast adulthood is approaching us, Jacki and I took off to pursue our next stop of the night.

10 p.m. – Lupe’s

Walking into Lupe’s before midnight is kind of like walking into a grocery store after midnight, somewhat barren, you only see a few odd people, but you are there to obtain something you desperately need—cheap alcohol and short lines.

Once we got our drinks, two vodka cran, because yes, we are that basic, we proceeded to a table. Tipsy Jacki started to make an appearance and with that comes an array of compliments, after a little drinking she is like having your own personal hype girl.

Amongst a starting to get deep conversation, Bri, one of our senior friends who was on the other bar crawl came to say hi but quickly got immersed in the convo with us. And just like drunk girls do, we dove in to a deep consultation about past loves and current loves dusted with the, “you are so beautiful!” and “girl, you always deserved better” that typically creates the essence of drunk girl conversations. Just like that the time had then come to slurp down our vodka crans and endeavor on to the next place of the night.

10:30 p.m. – Clodfelter’s (for like 5 min)

Clods is the place you always gravitate towards, it’s like MacLaren’s from How I Met Your Mother, the go-to, your right hand. Without a doubt, you are destined to see almost everyone you know, even that annoying kid from your class that reminds the teacher about the homework from last night that you didn’t finish. Upon walking in, we got a call from one of our other roommates, Morgan, saying that her and her parents were at Flat Tail Brewing and we had to go meet her there. Just like that we were on to the next and calling an uber.

10:44 p.m. – Flat Tail Brewing

After a lovely uber ride full of Jacki grilling the driver on if he was spiritual and why he should take up meditation, we arrived. Fun fact, your uber driver might just tell you his life story about how his brother is suing him if you ask him enough persistent questions.

Right as we enter Flat Tail, we see the glowing smile of Smiller (a.k.a. Scott) and Molly, Morgan’s parents. The thing about Smiller, is that he is basically a dad to all of us while also being your favorite drinking buddy. Immediately after greeting everyone, I sat next to Smiller and he bought both Jacki and I drink # 4 and his drink # put it on the tab.

This place was practically a grave yard and I’m pretty sure the bar tender may have been drinking too, but the drinks were good, and the company was even better. The theme of conversation that night seemed to be focused on post college scariness, and after an insightful conversation with Smiller about enjoying the college days while we still have them, he ordered a round of shots for us all.

Shortly after Jacki and I’s arrival, her newly exclusive boy Evan and his friend Mike came to join us. As Jacki slipped away to say hi to them, I took the opportunity to send an update to Shane that we were all still alive and thriving and to meet us at our next stop.

Would I make this place a part of my regular night out routine? Probably not, but it was something new and different for the night. Three drinks later and the plan was completely set to make our way to The Angry Beaver for their Saturday hip hop throwback night, but the thing about drinking is that you kind of lose track of time. Before we knew it, it was already past 12 and Angry Beav was going to close soon, so, where to next but…

12:15 ish a.m.? – Clods

I don’t think it would be a true night out if you didn’t make this your last stop. By this point, we had picked up a few friends along the way (including my lovely bf Shane) and we were all feeling the effects of the night. But, of course, the first thing we do is head towards the bar. Logical decision? Eh, but it was the fun decision, so that’s what we were going with.

As Clods is coming to a close, drunk Jacki did what drunk Jacki always seems to do, ran. I discovered our freshmen year that after drinking Jacki enjoys late night sprints back home (don’t worry, I called to make sure she got there safe). Soon after, Shane and I said our goodbyes and took off to the one place we love to end our nights (and the only place still open).

2 ish a.m. – Qdoba Mexican Eats

Is this technically a bar? No, but is there any other way to end a night out other than satisfying the drunk munchies? After we got our food, Shane and I waved at some friends we saw sitting in the corner, sat down at a booth and went over the night’s events. Even though the night didn’t turn out the way I had predicted, as I sat there with Shane, sharing our usual bowl of nachos and with the occasional sloppy spill on the table, I couldn’t help but feel anything other than pure bliss. In that moment, with the person I cared most about, I realized it was better than any night spent dancing at Impulse. By the way, next time you go to Qdoba, get chicken bacon nachos with chips on the side, they’ll kill your munchies (sober or not).



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