Reasons To Love Oregon (A Birthday Present)
As lifelong Oregon resident (Born, Bred, & Buried), I do my very best to try never to take this wonderful state for granted. I would never say that I’m a particularly well-traveled fellah… but I’ve been SOME places, and there’s just nothing like home. Of course, Mexico is lovely. Of course, Hawaii is special. The Red Rocks of Sedona are a spectacle. But Oregon… Oregon is the best. Let’s celebrate Oregon’s 164th birthday by breaking down some of the ways:
- It’s Beautiful. It’s kind of an obvious one… but seriously… driving through the Columbia Gorge in the late spring is as scenic as an area can get. There’s mountains in every direction, the Columbia River is serene, the trees are lush and thick, and it’s nearly flawless. The waterfalls alone make it special. There’s also the sight of Haystack Rock emerging through the mist at Cannon Beach. The volcanic visual-scapes of Bend. Acres and acres of farmland stretching across Eastern Oregon. The Rogue River. The Deschutes. The endless sunshine of the Klamath Valley. The untouched serenity of SE Oregon. No matter what you like, Oregon’s got it somewhere.
- It’s Chill. People of Oregon don’t get too riled up about stuff. We got our fanatics, but there’s nothing that we as a species tend to get too worked up over. I find it particularly nice that you’re kinda allowed to love whatever sports team you want here. We’re largely Blazer fans, but if you wanna wear a Spurs jersey, nobody is gonna get in your face. You’re just as likely to hate the Seahawks as you are to love them, and for baseball, it’s a total free-for-all. My point is… you’re allowed to like what you like here. From sports to food to entertainment… just do you. There’s others like you, and even if there aren’t, you’ll find acceptance here.
- There Ain’t Many Annoying Critters. I don’t think people give this little fact the glory that it’s due, but you gotta realize that we’re pretty lucky here. It’s a nice mix between a livable climate, and relatively few annoyances. There’s just one poisonous snake in this entire part of the world, and it comes with a built-in warning system so you don’t go near it. I have never in my life seen a cockroach in real life, even though it’s a daily occurrence for people living in New York. We’ll see mosquitos, but you really gotta be near water. Rats live around here, but when’s the last time you saw one of those? Just think of how easy we have it, compared to say… Australia. It’s bonkers how lucky we are.
- The Weather Rarely Tries To Kill Us. For real, have you watched what’s been happening in the rest of the country lately? We are constantly in this little bubble where the extreme temperature swings miss us. Climate change is real, and Mother Earth seems to be pretty pissed off at us… but doesn’t seem to be taking it out on our little pocket here. It’s record cold in many parts of the country right now, but it’s just kinda chilly here. This summer will see fresh heatwaves causing droughts and mass die-offs of essential species in our country… but once again, we’ll see a couple warm days, and for the most part, it’ll be awesome. There’s rarely tornadoes, there’s never tropical storms… we’re supposed to get a huge, devastating earthquake at some point… but it feels pretty stable today!
- We Don’t Pump Our Own Gas. This is really pretty awesome. People bitch about it, but people can be bitches. Not getting out of your car and letting somebody take care of it for you? That’s rich people stuff. And we are forced to do it. It’s great.
- No Sales Tax. Sure, we pay property tax. And income tax. And it all evens out in the end. But take one of your out-of-state friends shopping sometime and watch how they react when it costs what it says on the price tag. It’s a little thrill that we forget we get to ignore.
- We Talk Normal. This is really nothing to brag about, but it really is kinda cool. The precision with which we speak is interesting. Oregonians are a lot more likely to pronounce the ‘r’ in library or February. We can actually say the word “amphitheater.” Pacific Northwesterners have the accent that professional speakers try to emulate. It’s completely non-offensive.
- The People. This one is more than just about being nice. The people of Oregon are nice, sure. But it’s a real and pure nice. I’ve worked with a lot of people from the mid-west and from the south, and they sure love to brag about how polite and warm they are. But we all know that it’s an act a lot of the time. That “Bless Your Heart” thing they say? When they really mean “F*** you?” That’s the perfect illustration of the politeness bravado that they have. That kind of stuff doesn’t really exist here, and it’s because the people that live in this state are genuinely good people. All the “problems” that people associate with this state are really just people going a bit overboard on niceness. Think about that. There’s worse things to go overboard on.
~Jake from 98.7 The Bull