Awesome Oregon!

Oregon is a beautiful state that lies along the Pacific coast between California and Washington state. The drive along Oregon coast is breath-taking with multitudes of beaches and cliffs edged by mountains uniformly covered with lush green vegetation. Rainshowers added to the magic of the day and the landscape looked so refreshingly cool and green.

There are pretty lighthouses dotting the coast, like the Heceta lighthouse, which is perhaps the most photographed landmark along the Oregon coast.

Of interest to us along the coast, was the spouting horn – A natural geyser. It spouts when water rushes under a volcanic rock shelf and bursts through a small opening at the surface, with every wave. The tide also leaves behind pools that form an ecosystem for many strange organisms. These are called ‘tidepools’. The rugged black rocks along the coast line are lava rocks, left behind by volcanic activity in the area, millions of years ago.

Cape Perpetua is beautiful and it will take a long time to explore the area completely. Check with the Visitor Information Center for trail maps and info. Even in summer, the Oregon coast can get cold and damp possibly because of the rain it enjoys though not as much as Washington state.

If you are lucky, you get to sneak in on Elks grazing in herds, as you drive away from the coast to the interiors of Oregon. Elks are native to North America. The bull elks are the ones with the antlers and the cow elks look more or less like deer. It was an awesome experience to stare right into the eyes of those guys with the majestic crowns!

Covered bridges of Oregon’ is a tradition that dates from the 1850s. Houses were constructed over the timber trusses of the bridges, to protect them from the damp western Oregon climate. The houses have little windows that look out to the water below. Bridges in this style are also known as ‘Kissing Bridges’. Though this type of bridges can be found elsewhere in the US, Oregon has the most number of surviving covered bridges that have been restored and protected.

Crater Lake is one of the star attractions in Oregon. It is the deepest lake in USA and the seventh deepest lake in the world. The lake has a brilliant blue color and most people rate gazing at it as one of the best experiences of their lives. Ages ago a huge volcano blew up, leaving behind a crater at the top. Over the years, this crater filled with rain and snow, to form ‘Crater Lake’. It looks like a huge bucket nearly full with water. You can drive all around the rim of the crater in summer.

Rising from within Crater Lake is an island called Wizard Island, which has its own crater at the top. This island was formed by further volcanic activity within the huge outer crater. There are many more such volcanic peaks under the waters of Crater Lake, but none large enough to break the surface of the water, like Wizard Island. The crater of Crater Lake is about 51/2 miles wide while Wizard Island’s crater is only about a mile wide. Weather permitting, boats ply around the lake and to Wizard Island.

On the sides of the volcanic mountain, you can see ‘Pinnacles’. Volcanic materials spewed from the eruption got deposited in layers. The hot escaping gases made their way through these layers, forming fumaroles. Over the years, the outer layers eroded away, exposing these hardened fumaroles that extend towards the sky like hollow tapering tubes.

Salmon fishing is quite popular in the Umpqa river. We followed the growth of this river from a stream near Crater Lake, to this big river which empties into the Pacific Ocean.

Oregon is a beautiful green state and the change of scenery was a welcome change for us Californians. It was not just the landscape that was different. There is no sales tax in Oregon. The price you see is the price you pay. Also whether you like it or not, you cant fill gas in your own car. It is the gas station attendant’s job to do that for you, says the law. Oregon is one of 2 states in USA with that law.

Oregon is a great holiday destination that shouldnt be missed and needs more than 1 trip to take it all in!

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