By Nick Nunn
Nietzsche said, “Poets are shameless with their experiences: they exploit them.” Maybe that applies a little bit to reporters, so here I go again.
For those of you who weren’t tuned in last week for the enthralling tale regarding the beginning of my vacation in Oregon, I described Silver Falls Sate Park and sent out a recommendation that we all spend a bit more time in natural settings exploring the beauty of Georgia.
But back to Oregon: After Silver Falls, we returned to Salem but headed south the next day to meet Alayna’s grandparents, who liked me… I think.
Next on the list were Diamond Lake and Crater Lake, which, unfortunately, weren’t as clear as they could have been due to smoke coming from the forest fires, which had already destroyed the forest covering thousands of acres in Oregon.
Fresh the next morning – and a bit farther from the fires – we made our way south again to the Oregon Caves National Monument. That was the first time I had been that far underground, and it was definitely a chilling experience.
Literally. It was 44 degrees in the caves, and I hadn’t been wise enough to bring a coat.
Crossing briefly into California, we were able to get to part of the redwood forest to see another wonder of nature.
I tried to measure myself up against some of those beastly evergreens. No contest.
My first view of the Pacific Ocean while traveling up the Oregon coast was another change from the norm. Well, it surely wasn’t Daytona.
With the exception of one day on the beach, it was gray, cold (about 60 degrees), and windy, but the landscape of the beach itself offers more complex and visually interesting viewpoints than I have ever experienced on the Atlantic coast.
We crossed into Washington right across the bridge from Oregon (just to say that I had been) and then came back into the city of Astoria.
In Astoria, I climbed the Astoria Column, which provided a breathtaking view – I was literally afraid to breathe – of Astoria, the mouth of the Columbia River, and the surrounding valley.
Since returning from Georgia, I have spoken to no fewer than three people who have spent time in the Great Northwest and, if they could have, would have stayed.
Now, I can’t say for sure that I’m ready to transplant myself so willingly, but, given a little time to mull it over, I could see the upside.