Coast of Oregon
When the phrase “Oregon Coast” comes up in conversations, it is almost always met with Oooos and Ahhhs. Everyone knows the area is nice, or at least believes it is. It’s like it is some sort of buzz word, like “chipotle aioli” or “umami.” And they are for the most part right. In all fairness, the coast is a gorgeous, charming, undeveloped stretch of beauty, home to thousands of tourists every year. Which is why everyone knows something about it, because it’s immensely popular. This for me takes away a massive amount of the appeal. The towns are all filled with gift shops, and the highway pullouts and viewpoints filled with Westfalias. The great things about Oregon though, is that when Oswald West (originally from Ontario) was Governor, he passed a bill stating that all ocean front shall be public property, from the water mark to the vegetation line. This basically means that all beaches are public, ideal for getting away from people. Exploration of the coast is further aided by the fact that the majority of tourists on the coast highway are elderly or young families; not exactly the types to wander off paved paths to slide down to a beach. It’s legal to have fires on many of the beaches, and from what I understood, also to camp on them unless within city limits or otherwise stated. And this is the nice thing about Oregon. The whole state seems to quietly recognize the vast recreational splendour of land they possess, and treat it with such a useful respect. Whether it’s the mountains, rivers, lava fields, beaches or sand dunes, there seems to be a general attitude of “we can continue to play on this, as long as we don’t fuck it up.” I could be wrong, that’s just the impression I got. A great example of this is the Blackrock Mountain Bike Park in Falls City. I’ll just say that I spent one day there, and was in serious awe the whole time I was riding. I spent more time staring. The quality of the trails and infrastructure, enormity of the stunts, and respect that the area receives, is incredible. All in a town that is home to maybe a couple hundred people. It’s a serious gem. Oregon also has no sales tax. This for a visitor, is pretty rad.