JamTrotting the Globe ~ Uniting Music, Travel & Cultures

OREGON USA Observations

Oregon’s landscape is dense evergreen and deciduous forests and colorful plethora of wild edible berries, mushrooms and other natural herbs. The majestic volcano-studded Cascade Range is on one side and the high desert prairie and meadows of the Great Basin on the other side. At 11,249 feet (3,429 m), the ‘very visible from a distance’ Mount Hood (seen below) is Oregon’s highest point. Oregon’s only national park, Crater Lake, is the deepest lake in the United States and looks like one giant round meteor crashed into the forest! The Rogue River is one fun ‘white water’ ride should you ever have the chance to go by raft or a power boat ride! The Columbia Gorge is a perfect place to go sailing or kayaking as well! I hear the fishing is top notch in all the waterways!

Portland is know for it’s various hip neighborhoods from St. Johns, Pearl District, Woodstock, Hawthorne, Hollywood, China Town, Mississippi, Alberta and a few others including the Downtown Financial District! Some hoods, like Hawthorne have beautiful Victorian and Craftsman style homes. There are some very lovely PAINTED LADIES that have been restored to their Historic splendor. As I walked the neighborhoods this trip, I found many homes with Prayer Flags, Black Matters signs, and other PEACE signs which I felt was very Oregon Green forward thinking.

Being a cold weather person, I just loved the mild 4 seasons in Oregon. Being I lived in Grants Pass, Coos Bay and Portland, I really had a feel of the north and the south of this beautiful state. Yes it rains, but it’s not always a down pour and you learn to dress in layers. I did experience snow a couple times but within a couple days it melted away. Unfortunately winter 2017 took a weather beating with snow that brought the Portland area to a stand still. Luckily that is not the norm. In fact we have a saying in Oregon “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes” because often the sun will appear out of no-where and everything becomes a wonderful clean glowing green….I LOVE IT. Ahhhh, got a chill….nothing a warm cup of coffee won’t fix and there is nearly one cafe on every corner!

The best part about Portland is it’s extravagant ~WEIRDNESS~ and the saying “Keep Portland Weird” and even the TV Show PORTLANDIA got it right! The Portlandians also keep to their beliefs and especially in mother nature and politics! Just walking around the city you will find the humor around their living and shopping areas. You will also find the artist in them with music, poetry and murals popping up everywhere! I think that was one of the reasons I loved living in Portland, because I felt like I belong to this tribe.

While I was traveling in Oregon, I was able to attend the 2017 Women Unite Demonstration where 100,000 people, both women and men, marched for their rights. It was a proud moment to be involved in something much greater than myself and the energy and vibrations from the crowd was off the charts! There was dancing and chanting and smiles and prayers. We WALKED in Peace…in the pouring rain even!

Two of my FAV things to do in PDX (PDX is the airport code for Portland and it’s often referred as such) is Thrift Store and Vintage Store shopping and EATING at all the International Restaurants and Food Carts which are very famous in Portland! Most of my cooool jam clothes are from thrifting in PDX and I always find the best treasures! There is also an exceptional amount of international grocery stores and discount stores where you can find everything at super cheap prices! Having lived in PDX and being an explorer, I spent time getting to know the city and all that it has to offer to the locals and travelers.

YOU want to play music??? Loads of JAM JOINTS from one side of town to the other. There are jams nearly every night of the week and live music everywhere in every musical genre. The Famous WATERFRONT BLUES FESTIVAL, winning numerous awards, helps to feed the homeless for the whole of Oregon raising over $10 million each year! There are several other cultural festivals with food, live music and theatrics happening all year round where streets are shut down and hoards of people attend. Portland offers theater, dance, film, live music, boating, biking…it’s an area full of things to do for the indoor and especially the outdoor person. Speaking of biking, there is also the NAKED BIKE RUN that will blow your mind as 5,000 naked folks pass you by on their bikes and skates, lol!!!

It’s not hard to make friends in Oregon because most of the transplants are happy to make a friend and the locals can never have enough friends. Go ahead and talk to the person next to you at that coffee shop and get the scoop of the days fun activities or stop the person walking by you (everyone walks in PDX even in the rain) for directions and you’ll find they are very friendly! REMEMBER, KEEP IT WEIRD, LOL!

PEACE to all,

Ms H


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