Southern Oregon, and especially the town that I grew up in, can feel like another planet. It's kind of hard to explain unless you've been there, but everything is different. I mean, not only do you deal with all the issues of any small town in the world (everybody knows everybody else and all their business), but in this case, you also have a town that is widely considered one of the best hippie towns in the U.S., while paradoxically also being extremely rich, extremely non-diverse, and a place where it is common for the "hippies" to wear $100 gaucho pants, and grab their longboard that they ride around town out of the back of their Escalade. It is so weird, because this is a dynamic that exists only in my home-town, and not at all even 12 miles down the road. It is b-to-the-iz-are (I couldn't resist). Anyway, from the time that I was about a freshman in high school, there was an almost universal rumbling across all kids my age that basically went 'I cant wait to get out of here.'
So, I moved to Tacoma for college, well Parkland, but close enough. I thought that I would love the city. I thought that I was made for the city. And this is probably going to sound super naieve, but the number one thing I remember about my first week in college (other than my fabulous roommate & next door neighbor), was the fact that in the city, you couldn't see the stars at night. Not like you do in Southern Oregon, anyway. I hated it. So, due to a mix of my family, in-state tuition, and Justin all being located in Southern Oregon, I moved back. I'm not in hippie-ville USA anymore, but back nonetheless.
Since coming back, I could more easily see what so many people love about Southern Oregon--we really are fortunate here to be within a few hours drive of the ocean, ski resorts, amazing natural lakes, breath-taking mountains, and the high desert. But it's so easy to get busy. It's so easy to forget that we have things right in our backyard that people travel here to see.
I was blessed to recently be asked by a dentist's office to take some landscape photos for display. It was truly *so nice* to get out and do something a little different. To get in the car and enjoy these places with our little family. I wish now that we would've bitten the bullet and gone to Crater Lake because it has been YEARS, but now it's closed and that's a story for another day. I had a blast. And I think (I hope!) that I delivered.
So anyway... here's a small taste of Southern Oregon: