The Good, the Bad, The Sticky-iky-iky, the Whales and the Ghosts?

As many of my readers know, I recently moved to Portland, Oregon at the end of this past June. While seeking more from life, the city I was in, my career and everything else to come, I looked to Oregon as a new safe haven. Seated in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, I knew the great evergreen woodlands, the growing tech market, their conservative political climate and the local environmental consciousness would suit my taste.

Seated in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, I knew the great evergreen woodlands, the growing tech market, their conservative political climate and the local environmental consciousness would suit my taste. Also the affluence of the it’s people makes Oregon the perfect catalyst for staging my rest of my life.

Seated in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, I knew the great evergreen woodlands, the growing tech market, their conservative political climate and the local environmental consciousness would suit my taste. Also the affluence of the it’s people makes Oregon the perfect catalyst for staging my rest of my life.

Along with all the things I planned for that were favorable, there were even more greatness awaiting then I had known. Hiking, camping and engaging in survivalism are a few of the joys in life I came for. Everyone has seen a picture of Mount Hood I am sure, so it was a well-known given that my burly beard would feel at home.

This was all good stuff. Great stuff in fact. All the reason to be here, but there was more…

I had never visited here, much like when I moved to Phoenix in 2009, so it was off hearsay and reading up that I painted the mental picture of Portland. While most of it fell into place. Here are five things I learned about my new great state, after moving here:

1. Drink Up!

Having more restaurants per capita was something I knew Portland was famous for, so I should have assumed one would need to wash it all down with something. While having some of the freshest tap water (yes, tap… like right out of the faucet!) one can find in America, there is also more microbrewies here than any other city in America, on top of the over 30 major bottling breweries.

Grapes grwoing in the Willamette Valley just 35 miles southwest of Portland.
Grapes grwoing in the Willamette Valley just 35 miles southwest of Portland.

To boot, I was aware Napa and Sonoma Valley were close, but did not realize Oregon is a prime vineyard locale all its own! On a trip to Hood River this past weekend, I drove through some of the the most gorgeous valley I ever laid eyes on. I discovered later the road I was on seeing this was Wine Country Road on the way to Lake Kingsley. I discovered even larger vineyards north of Salem up through the Tillamook forest –

I discovered even larger vineyards north of Salem up through the Tillamook forest – hence why Tillamook has a large cheese factory perhaps?

Couple facts about Oregon and it’s wine are that the state nut is a filbert, or more commonly known to anyone outside of Oregon as a hazelnut. A nut very common in coffee and wine. The pear is Oregon’s state fruit, ranking as the leading fruit crop of the state. Also a common fruit infused into wine. Overall, there are more than 750 major vineyards in Oregon and the state produces more than 70 different varietals of wine grapes.

2. Smoke Weed Everyday

So it is pretty common knowledge that 420-friendly residents abound in Oregon and was one of the first states to adopt medical marijuana. But as of July 1, 2015, one does not need a medical reason to puff, puff pass with a few stipulations. In an effort to alleviate the inmate population and the amount of organized drug crime, Oregon has with all of its counties included, to legalize marijuana recreationally. This does help those looking for medical assistance from THC, CBD and CBNs, compounds found in marijuana. These are the active ingredients that relieve pain, reduce anxiety, increase appetites and so forth. Unable to afford the healthcare to gain access to the already spendy medication is a common thing for middle- and low-income families needing medical marijuana.

Unable to afford the healthcare to gain access to the already spendy medication is a common thing for middle- and low-income families needing medical marijuana. One family’s story shows that common prescription medications are no helps and sometimes you need to get back to the Earth for a cure.

In the shadow of what lurks, this initiative helps to focus attention on the present and growing population of transients and drug trafficking of higher class narcotics such as heroine and methamphetamine which are increasing in use and lead to far more crime, overdose, death, domestic abuse, rape and just plain poverty. It is just unanimously justified by my generation, and Oregon apparently, that marijuana is pretty harmless when compared to the behavior in people using “junk” and “crank” respectively. Just look at those happy people!!!

It is just unanimously justified by my generation, and Oregon apparently, that marijuana is pretty harmless when compared to the behavior in people using “junk” and “crank” respectively. Just look at those happy people!!!

July 1st, 2015 - Oregonians celebrating the legalization of marijuana on Portland's Burnside Bridge.
July 1st, 2015 – Oregonians celebrating the legalization of marijuana on Portland’s Burnside Bridge.

As of now, it is legal to lend it and receive it without payment from a friend who has some, or you can grow four plants, possess 8 ounces (1 oz of oil/wax concentrate, also known as “errl”) and smoke your own it in the privacy of your home. Retail operations are slow to get started however due to the fact banks still look at it like illicit “drug money” and that system is still regulated federally outside of what other state laws might. That and you cannot drive high, smoke while driving, you must be 21 or older to ingest. If you ever though of what it was like, but shied away due to possible legal consequences, Oregon would love to host your first hot box and let you get high to your heart’s content. It is nice to see a state that looks at a lesser evil I suppose and focuses on larger issues.

Retail operations are slow to get started however due to the fact banks still look at it like illicit “drug money” and that system is still regulated federally outside of what other state laws might. That and you cannot drive high, smoke while driving, you must be 21 or older to ingest.

If you ever though of what it was like, but shied away due to possible legal consequences, Oregon would love to host your first hot box and let you get high to your heart’s content. It is nice to see a state that looks at a lesser evil I suppose and focuses on larger issues.

Seeing all of what Portland has to offer and all that some people could not make of themselves and succumb to drugs and alcohol, I just hope this slack on our society’s chain can create a positive change where it needs to happen and those who need the medical attention they desire are seeing prescriptions filled for the better.

3. Whale of a Good Time!

Being a hiking mecca and bordering the pacific, I should have guessed one could see a whale or two. The Oregon Coast, actually is home to whale-watching enthusiasts and oceanographers who study these mammals and other prominent sea life.

Grey whale surfacing off the Oregon Coast. It is making a 10,000 mile trip from the Aleutian Islands of Western Alaska to the Baja Penisula of Mexico. It is the longest migration path of any mammal on Earth.
Grey whale surfacing off the Oregon Coast. It is making a 10,000 mile trip from the Aleutian Islands of Western Alaska to the Baja Penisula of Mexico. It is the longest migration path of any mammal on Earth.

While California and Washington share the same coastline, Oregon does not heavy use it’s coastline for commercial so the pathways are much clearer meaniong whales get much closer.

Around Puget Sound in Washington, whale migrations they break up and submerge themselves under the high commercial and industrial traffic abound.

California exploits and privatizes many of its beaches that make public whale watching a bit difficult. There are many whale watching boaters who take paying tourists out.

For serene, spectacular and mostly free whale watching, look to none other than the Oregon Coastline and it’s many state sites where anyone can enjoy a relaxing moment with one of Earth’s most amazing creatures.

4. Ghostmetropolis?!

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Site of an abandoned home in Whitney, OR

Having a high population of ghost towns would make the urban planner in me think of a ghostmetropolis!

Coming from South Dakota originally, the Black Hills to be exact which is notoriously historic, I have an a passion for exploring ghost towns.

I love old photos and the sites where homes were left, sometimes with all the belongings still in them left mysteriously…

You can find the forgotten for days in Oregon with over 60 known towns that have been left long ago. Mostly the end of a gold rush era, the Great Depression, and motive in mankind to migrate to more metropolitan areas is the cause for Oregon’s ghost towns.

I have grown up with old Western photos, mining, historic gold rush forklore and alike. My father was a miner at the former Homestake gold mine in Lead, SD and it is a very tourism driven area of the U.S. Exploring ghost towns, abandoned mines, and having a plethora of culture of that kind growing up was second nature, so it was refreshing to see that same setting here in Oregon! Mix the love for hiking and getting all the scenery of ghost towns and that can be one of a many weekend getaways you can have living in or visiting almost any part of Oregon.

On every excursion I have been on so far, there is always a sign of an abandoned residency or homestead where mystery awaits. Even, the legend of D.B. Cooper, his tragic plane ride, and his lost treasure are abound in the thick badwoods! People still go exploring for his lost cash to this day. Maybe you could find another treasure along the way in a cavern while looking for it! It is likely one would just find a treasure in the form of a beautiful scene somewhere in Oregon. There is no end to the adventure and wonder you can find in this ghostmetropolis!

Maybe you could find another treasure along the way in a cavern while looking for it! It is likely one would just find a treasure in the form of a beautiful scene somewhere in Oregon. There is no end to the adventure and wonder you can find in this ghostmetropolis!

5. Pirates, Pillagers & Plunderers, Oh My!

In the same spirit of ghost towns (no pun intended) comes Oregon’s nautical history and folklore of it’s little known criminal background. Astoria, OR is known worldwide it seems for being the scene for the cult classic film, The Goonies. The site is also known for being a rapscallion hideaway. In fact, the entire Oregon coast to the Astoria tip to the Columbia River Gorge was crawling with piracy and the crime and corruption that comes with pirates.

One bad memory of Portland I learned while exploring the city one afternoon was that of the Shanghai Tunnels. The history of the Chinese’ origin into the country at the time and place is quite a horrific story. Not one you hear of in American history in grade school… The Spanish Armada’s conquest of the New World going on well before also added to the nautical history. All this, mixed with the lack of law enforcement in the early pioneering days of Oregon after Lewis and Clark had left made a perfect breeding ground for extortion, robbery, assualt, rape, murder and on a commercial level. All around the perfect storm of organized crime at it’s earliest and most forgotten in the United States for sure.

All this, mixed with the lack of law enforcement in the early pioneering days of Oregon after Lewis and Clark had left made a perfect breeding ground for extortion, robbery, assualt, rape, murder and on a commercial level. All around the perfect storm of organized crime at it’s earliest and most forgotten in the United States for sure.

Photo Credit:

http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=93248

http://www.fodors.com/news/story_4210.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/oregon-counts-legalization-pot-lights-article-1.2277833

Winter Whale Watch Week – Cap off Your Christmas Vacation at the Oregon Coast

http://travellogs.us/2007Logs/Oregon%202007/81-John%20Day/81aa%20Whitney%20Oregon.htm

4 thoughts on “The Good, the Bad, The Sticky-iky-iky, the Whales and the Ghosts?

  1. I love that you research, just do all that you can, to find out about the new place you call home, wherever that may be.

    You have a way with words that make it all sound so interesting. Good luck in finding all that you are searching for.
    .

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