|When those adventurous souls traveled west from Missouri along the Oregon Trail, they could only imagine what they'd find at the end of the road. What went through their minds when their arduous four- to-six-month journey was finally over in Oregon Country? Some must have wondered if they'd died and gone to Heaven! As they settled in the fertile Willamette Valley, as they saw the breathtaking Columbia River, and as some of them ventured further to see where the big trees meet the mighty Pacific Ocean, they surely found freedom and opportunity in a new, wonder-filled frontier.|
|Today, Oregon's surreal coastal region is one of its biggest draws. In some parts, rain forests with tall trees and delicate ferns grow right up to the rugged shoreline. The coast's sandy beaches, high cliffs, and rocky bluffs jetting out into the roaring ocean make this a remarkable place to explore. Aquariums and lighthouses add to the region's charming seafaring ambiance. |
But wait ... there's more! This coastal beauty houses recreational areas in every setting imaginable, including high mountains, high deserts, and thickly wooded tree forests. Oregon has countless rivers, streams, and lakes ideal for fishing. To the north, the Mt. Hood area is popular with skiers and hikers, as well as those who seek a taste of mouthwatering peaches, apricots, and cherries. To the south, Crater Lake is one of the most photographed natural wonders of the world. Located within a collapsed volcano, the dreamy blue lake is a popular destination with outdoor enthusiasts and honeymooners alike.
Oregon has its cosmopolitan side, too. Colleges and universities abound in Willamette Valley. Portland, the state's largest city, is a friendly metropolis with plenty to offer in arts and entertainment. Its annual Rose Festival, held each June, is a tradition that dates back to 1907. Salem, Oregon's capital, is a modern city with a quaint historic center. From its coast to its mountains and beyond, Oregon will captivate you with its beauty, charm, and hidden treasures.
|all images courtesy of Gary Halvorson, Oregon Historical County Records Guide with the exception of # 6|