People sometimes ask me why I became such a fanatical supporter of the University of Oregon. They point out that I grew up in Northern California, closer to the unshaved armpits of Berkeley and the pointy heads at Palo Alto, than to Eugene. They point out that in my (message garbled due to sun flares) years on the planet, I have actually resided in California for 17 years, and Washington for 23 years. Both exceeding my 14 years in Oregon. They ask why I didn’t develop an allegiance to one of the Calies. I say, “I just didn’t.” They ask why I didn’t develop an allegiance to Washington. And that’s when I hit them with a rock.
I guess that it’s because there is something about the State of Oregon that just seems … right. It’s the right size for a day’s drive. Leave Portland in the morning. Drive through Benton County as fast as you can — and with your eyes closed.
Stop in Eugene — a look at what God meant when He said it was very good.
And you have the first half of a very good day. On your way South you can stop at Rice Hill for something to make your stomach feel good, in Josephine County to ride the jet boats and in Ashland for some culture. It really is a perfect day trip.
Contrast that, if you will, to California. First of all, you can’t make it top to bottom in a day without encountering …
In fact, if you start at the hilt of California and drive a day down I-5 you’re nowhere near babes, bikinis, or other “B” words that might put a smile on your face and a hop in your step. I take that back. You’re in Bakersfield
So what about Washington, you may ask? At least it doesn’t have Bakersfield. Washington is only 10 miles bigger than Oregon as far as I-5 is concerned. Sure it has Husky Stadium but isn’t that dump just a mausoleum for failed dreams and a shrine to Duck dominance for lo these many years? C’mon. How about a little love for the other member of the United States of Rainia.
And a part of me wants to, you know? The Huskies haven’t beaten us for more than 70 Dog years now. But I just can’t. A day’s drive north from Vancouver lands me in Ferndale,Washington. At a place where they teach … odd and vaguely disturbing things.
So, fellow Ducks, sit back and relax. Plan your day trip through the state knowing that you have the best of it all.
Top photo by www.rebeltrail.de