We thought we knew all about Oregon before my husband and I visited for the first time. Oregon is Pacific rainforest, we believed. It’s lush and green and it rains a lot. And there is some sort of coastline. With rocky beaches. And then we made a trip to Oregon and learned that it is absolutely nothing like what we thought. Oregon does indeed have lush, green rainforests and an astonishingly beautiful coastline, but it also has mountains and a high desert that is gold and brown and nothing like the rest of the state. Oregon first surprised us, then astonished, us, then forced us to fall in love with its unique and overwhelming beauty.
Our first experience with surprising Oregon was when we doubted our GPS, which told us we would be at the coast in five minutes. But we were in the middle of the mountains, so of course that was impossible. Only in Oregon, it is definitely possible — because the mountains careen right down into the water, and one minute you are driving along in the forest and mountains and the next you arrive at the coast.
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