40 reasons why I love Oregon

Last week marked my 6 year anniversary of my move from Kansas to Oregon. I took a leap of faith and packed a U-haul with everything I owned and headed west. Without going into a lot of detail, I would’ve never ever guessed I’d ever leave Kansas. It has been an incredible ride so far. My inspiration for this post came when I was out hiking a few weeks ago and the idea popped in my head. I typically focus on writing about photography and travel (this kinda counts, right?…) Let’s have a little fun.

Willamette Valley Poppy Field

A colorful field of poppies in the Willamette Valley. Just one of the hidden gems I’ve found while pursuing my photography in Oregon.


1. Green – More green in the spring than anywhere I’ve ever seen.
2. Wilderness – Yes other states have wilderness, but have you seen ours yet? Wow!
3. Beer – Portland’s called “Beervana” for a reason!
4. Photography – If I wasn’t in Oregon, I wouldn’t be able to pursue my passion the way I do.
5. Voodoo Donuts – Maple Bacon Bar – Yes, please!
6. Oregon Women – More specifically, just one…I married her (Kansas boys have a thing for Oregon girls *insert long story here*)
7. Coast? Mountains? Desert? You choose, we’ve got ’em all.
8. Waterfalls – I’ve explored more waterfalls in the past 6 years than I could’ve ever expected in a lifetime, but yet I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.

Mossy Grotto Falls: One of hundreds of waterfalls to explore in the Columbia River Gorge

Green – check. Waterfall – check. Columbia River Gorge – check.

9. Rain – Yeah, I know it gets a bit depressing in Feburary, but the results in April, May and June are well worth it.
10. Wildflowers – I’ve photographed wildflowers from the gorge, to the valley, to the alpine meadows of the cascades.
11. Food – Oregon is a foodies paradise – forget Paris or New York city, give me Oregon’s palate for food.
12. Blueberries – U-pick. You bet!
13. Australian Shepherds – I’ll never own a different breed of dog again. Smart. Energetic. Loyal. Perfect.
14. Weather – Our summer’s better than your summer…
15. Bend – Central Oregon’s hub of adventure, beer, snowboarding, and in my opinion the prettiest section of the Oregon Cascades.
16. Crater Lake – Oregon’s only National Park (which is a shame) but it represents the NPS well.
17. Wine Country – Famous for the Pinot Noir grape, it makes delicious wine. Mmm, where’s my steak?
18. Oasis Community Church – Thank you for being my church family and home for the past 6 years.
19. Pacific City – My favorite City along the coast – sandstone bluffs, vistas, and Pelican Brewing.
20. Hood River – Great food, beer, and plenty of outdoor adventure – what’s not to like?!
21. Quirky Portland – ‘Keep Portland Weird’ – It’s their motto for a reason.
22. Backpacking – Mt Jefferson, Mt Hood, Mt Washintgon, The Three Sisters – hundreds of miles of trails and hundreds of place to put down your tent for the night.
23. Triangle Lake – Family camp each July, wake boarding, and great memories.
24. Fresh fruits – Berries, apricots, apples, pears, peaches, the list goes on and on.
25. Organic foods – Oregon is on the cutting edge of healthy foods and products. I love that I have access to so many incredible choices.
26. Columbia River Gorge – The mighty Columbia River runs the Gorge creating a recreational paradise.
27. High desert – Smith Rock, The Painted Hills, Alvord Desert, Owyhee Canyons. Just a few of the highlights.
28. Oregon Coast – Rocky cliffs, sandstone bluffs, sand dunes, crashing waves. Up for storm watching?
29. Thai Food – I honestly can’t name a Thai restaurant in the city I grew up in, but I can name 8 just in Salem…nothing like a yummy bowl of Panang Curry.
30. Cannon Beach – My second favorite Coast City great for running your dog and Ecola State Park is right on the north end of town.
31. Silver Falls State Park – In a need of a great day hike? The trail of 10 is perfect (10 waterfalls – 9 miles).
32. Food Trucks – Who knew some of the best food in the world would come from semi-sketchy portable trucks?
33. Hidden Gems – Abiqua Falls, Mossy Grotto Falls,  Coffin Mountain…. Many of the privileges of living here are knowing and accessing these places. Most tourists would never get to see these any many more incredible places not within the borders of a park.
34. Fresh Air – Just try and tell me the first breath you take after a good rain in the forest isn’t the most incredible smell in the world.
35. Powell’s Book Store – I know it’s 2014, but I still love the feel and smell of paper books. If you can’t find it at Powell’s, it may not be in print any more.
36. Hood to Coast – Almost 200 miles & 30 hours later you’re exhausted, sore, and hungry….but man was it worth it!
37. Dogs are Welcome  – Go for a stroll in downtown Portland and more than likely you’ll see people with their furry family members in tow. Restaurants with outside seating, yep they’ve got water bowls for your pooch.
38. Small Business – Oregon loves a good entrepreneur!
39. Fly Fishing – Who knew how cognitive fishing could be (and the scenery can’t be beat)
40. Hiking – Wait, I don’t have to drive 9 hours to get the mountains? Woo-hoo!


Yep, I'm lucky enough to call this home

Yep, I’m lucky enough to call this home

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed writing it. The journey so far has been incredible. I can’t wait to see what I add to this list in the next 6 years. Now back to writing about photography….

2 thoughts on “40 reasons why I love Oregon

  1. Great list Michael! My wife and I are considering a move to the Pacific Northwest and this only adds to the reasons I’d like to, plus some I’m sure she’d love as well. Thanks!

    • Thanks Clint. I haven’t looked back since I moved out here. If you do make the move, you certainly won’t regret it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: