My Green Heaven

After much anticipation, I have finally made it to Oregon and not just to visit but to live!  The journey was long but worth every mile.  After wrapping things up with both of my jobs in Madison, packing up and cleaning my apartment and saying farewell to friends and family, Cole and I hit the road for a 2,133 mile drive through 7 states over the course of 3 days.  We headed west through Iowa and stopped 12 hours later in North Platte, Nebraska where I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I could get sushi delivered to my hotel room.  Shortly before arriving at our hotel, I was lucky enough to witness a thunderstorm rolling through off in the distance and even luckier to have my very own storm roll through right overhead.

Thunderstorm in Nebraska

Early the next morning, Cole and I continued west toward Wyoming with the goal of reaching South Jordan, Utah by early evening.  Entering eastern Utah via Highway 80 proved to be nothing short of spectacular with mountains and steep, winding roads.  We arrived at the hotel earlier than anticipated which was fortuitous since our hotel was located within minutes of the Wasatch Mountains which was quite the site to see.   Unfortunately, this is where I discovered my laptop was having serious issues and knew I would have to tend to them once I arrived in Portland.

Wasatch Mountains in Utah

Knowing Oregon was a mere 775 miles away, we got going extra early on the final day.  We headed northwest through Idaho and entered Ontario, Oregon on Highway 84 surrounded by mountains.  Everything we drove through from that point on toward Portland was amazing.  We drove over several mountains and enjoyed the breathtaking scenery in the Columbia River Gorge.  We arrived in Portland around 5:30 pm and after unloading the car and meeting my new rooommate and her dogs, was left with the house to myself for the night to unpack and unwind.

Columbia River Gorge

I awoke the next morning to a dead laptop but headed to the coast with Cole anyway to explore the northern section which was the only part left I had not yet seen.  We started at Indian Beach in Cannon Beach and then headed north toward Seaside through Gearhart and then to Astoria.  I figured why stop there and continued over the Astoria – Megler Bridge into Washington where I stopped to take in the view of Cape Disappointment which was not disappointing at all.  On the way back to Portland I picked up a new laptop which is working well to help acquaint me with the city and learn the public transportation system that I successfully used to get back from dropping off the rental car at the airport the other day.

Cole at Indian Beach

There is so much to look forward to here but I don’t think it has totally sunk in that I have really arrived.  Today while walking back from the dog park with Cole, I took time to really observe the neighborhood.  The flowers, plants and trees that are so much unlike what I am used to in Wisconsin.  Each house has unique little features, architecture and landscaping.  The diversity in all the people walking down the streets.  The little differences like how you are not allowed to pump your own gas and the composting containers that you get in addition to the normal recycling and trash containers.  I’m looking forward to exploring more starting this weekend when I will meet up with a friend to check out Jones Creek in the Tillamook State Forest and next week when I head to the coast for 4th of July fireworks.  Stay tuned, there are many adventures (and photographs) waiting to happen!!

To see all of my candid, one-handed, cell phone pictures along the way from Madison to Oregon, click here

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