Spend a little time in Oregon and you will begin to understand why it was the Disneyland of the 19th century, that is to say it was the destination place for thousands of Americans. With its abundance of natural resources and some of the most fertile soil anywhere, Oregon continues to be a magnet for people.There art many places in America with such a diversity of lifestyles and geography. In the east, the farms and ranches will make you believe you are back in the Old West. Little towns such as Shanako, Jordon Valley, and Seneca have the same feel they've had for a hundred years. In bigger towns, including John Day, Baker City, and Burns you will probably find more people wearing cowboy boots and Stetsons than tennis shoes and ball caps.
Look to the west and behold the magnificent Cascade mountains as well as their countless lakes and timber stands. With dozens of peaks over 10,000 feet high, this spine of Oregon rivals any mountains anywhere for beauty and appeal. From Mount Hood in the north and Portland's crown jewel, to Mount McGloughlin in the South, the Cascades are the playground for all who want a contrast to city dwelling. Camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, and skiing are just a few of the activities to be enjoyed in the Cascades. Feel like a rodeo for a change of pace? If you're in Oregon during the second week of September, you can't miss the Pendleton Roundup, one of the 10 largest rodeos in the world, as well as one of the oldest. In addition to the normal rodeo events, their Native American cultural displays and chuck wagon races are unequaled for pageantry.
After the rodeo, head west again and follow the mighty Columbia River as it takes you through the Columbia Gorge, one of the most scenic drives anywhere in the world. This mighty river carries the runoff from over 259,000 square miles of Canada and America, its 1200 miles are some of the most scenic in the world. Just passed the Gorge, you will find yourself in metropolitan Portland that can give you your city life fix. Known everywhere for world class restaurants, coffee roasters, and micro beers, Portland offers everything a city should, from a beautiful zoo, to the NBA Trailblazers basketball team. The most recent addition to the sports scene is the Portland Timbers soccer team. Travel south down I-5 and enjoy the Willamette Valley's fertile fields and wineries. Visit the State Capitol at Salem, Oregon State University in Corvallis, or the University of Oregon at Eugene, whose football team came within seconds of winning the National Championship. Then, head West again to visit the Oregon Coast, one of the most scenic shores anywhere. Be warned however, once seen, Oregon keeps calling you back.
Written by Lyndsey Morgan