Friday, March 27, 2009

Soylent Dumb

A Tip of theToque to Ken, the Fifth String on the Banjo of Life:


All Things to All Men

As anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows, I'm incredibly fond of my home state, an equally proud of it -- despite my frustration with the political atmosphere here, it's a beautiful place, and outside the cities (especially Eugene and Portland), quite down-to-earth.

Also, despite what people think, Oregon, and the Northwest in general, is not one continual rainfall. One of the things that I've been proud of for quite some time, as it directly relates to the beauty of this place, is its incredible geological and climatic diversity, and the surprising way that diversity stacks Oregon up in comparison to other regions of the country.

I do not deny that there is beauty to be found across this great nation, nor do I imply we hold a monopoly on it. But what is amazing is the way in which so many diferent places in Oregon compare to so many different parts of the rest of the country. With the exception of a few very extreme examples (The Everglades, or the Grand Canyon, for instance), if you pick a specific place in America known for its geology, climate, and scenery, I can, with some effort, find somewhere in Oregon with similar features -- in some cases, admittedly, the Oregon version is a second-best copy, but in other cases, I'd happily stack Oregon up for comparison with confidence that we'd come out on top.

Let me give you a few examples. For copyright reasons, I am not posting any of the gorgeous pictures I found online here -- rather, I'm posting links and letting you see for yourself:

Hudson River Valley, New York
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon/Washington Border

Arizona's Painted Desert
Oregon's Painted Hills

The Blue Ridge Mountains
The Coast Range

A Maine Lighthouse
Oregon's Heceta Head Lighthouse

Grand Tetons, Wyoming
Wallowas, Oregon

Napa Valley, California
Willamette Valley, Oregon

See what I mean?