Oregon. It’s simply beautiful.
It is my first time ever crossing the state border of Oregon and I feel like the state just had this “feeling” as soon as we got in. I want to start off by saying that everything I thought of Oregon before traveling here has been completely wrong. So, here is my take on the state.
The reason we came. We to Smith Rock to climb one of the prestigious, most well-known sport climbing crags in the world. It was amazing. Driving in to the park itself took my breathe away. To paint a picture, you make the last turn onto Smith Rock Road and on both sides are these colossus rock formations that top out at my guess of 600-800 feet. I really have no idea how high but they are freakin’ ginormous. The first feeling that I got after seeing this was intimidation. Then we got closer and it was just pure excitement. The area itself is beautiful. It reminded me of something from those “Land Before Time” movies. Those two daunting formations have the Crooked River running through it giving it this oasis type of feel to it.
Addition: If you get a chance to go to Juniper Junction (just outside of Smith) get the Huckleberry ice cream. It is worth the ridiculous price.
Roads of Oregon
Wow. Twisting and turning through these roads are not only fun to drive on but amazing to see. Now, where you are driving is the bigger deal. State forests. With huge red woods, pine trees, mountains (Mt Hood, Jefferson, Bachelor to name a few) and yes, volcanoes, the area can really make you feel pretty damn small and insignificant. The sheer beauty of this state that is seen just from driving through it is amazing enough, I really can not imagine what off-the-road exploration could bring.
I need to add that we saw Mt Hood, from as close as we could get without actually driving up the canyon road. I NEED TO GET UP THERE. The snow looks so light, and fluffy even though I hear it is not during this time of the year. Driving through the Mt Hood area was not what I have seen in other ski resort areas. The surrounding area looked desolate and undeveloped. It really gave you this feeling that you REALLY are in the middle of nowhere.
I am actually sitting here in Portland right now writing this because of a very gracious host. Seriously is making life pretty easy right now. Anyway, Portland is not what I thought at all it was. I expected big metropolitan buildings and typical horrible traffic. What I got was a ton of local shops, great food, and interesting people.
Portland’s people are definitely different from what I grew up with. The hipster crowd is in full force here with their diehard anti-corporate views, starving artist careers, and unique styles in apparel. Our friend put it best and said that Portland is the place where young people come to retire. I would hold that true because the city DID feel extremely young.
I think the coolest part about Portland are the food carts/pods. So, basically, you have a food cart (single) and then the food pods (a group of carts in one area). These carts have some of the most unique/delectable food I have ever tasted. You can have carts that have the most typical to the most ridiculous including; pizza, fries, crepes, hotdogs, gyros, Mexican, pastries, etc. Something needs to be noted here, that these are not just your typical creations but with a Portland spin on it. For example with the hotdog stand, you can add pastrami to your dog for a totally different take on it. I do not know if Portland is known for it’s food but it should. We also checked out the Deschutes Brewery and yes, had a beer. Perfect.
I have a feeling I am going to regret not staying in Portland longer…