Oregon is beautiful. I’ve been here for 5 days now and it’s more geographically diverse than I realized. Yes there are lots of big beautiful trees – in fact, driving on country roads at dusk, I feel like Little Red Riding Hood barreling through the forest! There are also lots and lots of UGLY clearcuts, at least in the northwest corner of the state. The logging is insane and sad.

But back to the beautiful things – there are beautiful mountians and rivers (my favorite). The coast is just crazy-pretty, almost unapproachable. You have to rewire yourself for “beach” when you come from the southeast/TX, where you can swim half the year. The Pacific is cold, wetsuit cold, so I wandered down the beach in pants and a parka. In fact, the coast was thoroughly socked in the first few hours I was on it, I was forced to wear every ounce of warm clothing I’d brought. But both my friends have settled just west of the Cascades in high desert places they claim are sunny much of the year (Sisters & Ashland). Coming over the mountian pass, you can feel the air change from the moist coastal air to dry, desert air. I think I like the moist air. At least right now. It made my skin soft and my nose clear.

I am still getting a feel for the scene out here but I like the vibe so far. There is some edgeiness to the folks out here – lots of environmental non-profits and people who are passionate about their causes. Of course, I may have a skewed view, given the company I keep and the towns they would choose! Still, it definitely has a different feel than the southeast and from Austin, although I can’t articulate why yet.

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