written by Anna Bird
Our wonderful state was founded on February 14, 1859. To celebrate, we are sharing 14 reasons why we love Oregon leading up to her birthday.
#1: Each region is unique.
photo by Talia Galvin
Southern Oregon, for instance, has what is considered to be the world’s only Bigfoot Trap. Built in 1974, the 10-by-10-foot wooden box sits deep in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, accessible by the Collings Mountain Trail.
#2: Beer, of course.
photo by Kevin Harlander
In 2015, Portland was declared the “Best Beer City in the World.” We have some of the hoppiest IPAs, the maltiest stouts, the most refreshing lagers and the best ales in all the land. Last year there were 194 brewing companies in 72 cities across Oregon. With new breweries and creations cropping up every day, Oregonians have endless pint-sized options on hand.
#3: The Coast, in all its moody glory.
photo by Corey Bruce
Thanks to Gov. Tom McCall and the 1967 Beach Bill, all of our Oregon beaches are open to the public. So where our coast lacks in sunshine, it makes up for in accessibility—year-round, no less.
#4: Fire lookouts. They really take an overnight stay in the backcountry to new heights.
photo by Elena Pressprich
The U.S. Forest Service rents out twenty lookouts in Oregon, but they are normally booked out a couple months. Ignore your longing for summer and start planning for an overnight trip next winter. You won’t regret it.
#5: The Willamette Valley and all its bounty. Particularly that which winds up in a wine glass.
#6: Our athletes.
photo by Terry Manier
Oregon has raised some of the finest athletes in the world, including the top decathlete of all time: Ashton Eaton, captured here by Terry Manier for the 2015 March/April feature “A Life Unexpected.” In the upcoming March/April issue, we catch up with his other half, Brianne Theison-Eaton, to talk heptathlon training for Rio. Talk about a power couple.
#7: The endless adventures in Central Oregon.
photo by Tyler Roemer
If you’re not into the Valentine’s Day hoopla, consider going out and doing your favorite Oregon activity instead. Like climbing rocks with top-notch spotters, for example.
#8: The farmers who grow our food.
photo by Duncan Galvin
This photo was taken at the dairy used by Face Rock Creamery in Bandon to make delicious cheeses. Look for the Farm to Table piece in the March/April issue, along with some cheesy good recipes recommended by local chefs.
#9: Portland and its bikes, bridges and beer. Also the food. Definitely the food, too.
photo by Kate Daigneault
#10: The many talented and funky musicians we have here.
Left Coast Country
If you are looking for a good show, check out the Portland-based bluegrass string band, Left Coast Country. Their tour is coming back to Oregon later this month, hitting Eugene, Cottage Grove, Corvallis, Bend and Portland.
#11: The [gorge]ous Columbia River Gorge with all its waterfalls, scenic lookouts and the mighty Columbia River.
#12: The many talented artists and makers who make this state even more beautiful.
photo by Eugene Pavlov
Florist Katie Davis creates unique bouquets with foraged flourish. No matter the medium, Oregon artists inspire.
#13: Eastern Oregon and all its untamed beauty.
photo by Brown Cannon III
Our “Oregon Cowboy” feature this past summer, profiling Wallowa County rancher Todd Nash. “When you’re on a ranch and operating a ranch, there’s never a time when you walk away from it,” Nash said.