“Pacific Wonderland”, the phrase that is displayed on your old license plates from 1960-63 and brought back in 2009 for special orders; appropriately illustrates your beauty, and breathtaking scenery. From your Coast, Dunes, Waterfalls, Crater Lake, and Painted Hills truly portrays how you obtained the slogan of an Wonderland. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of once again taking in your allure, and already want to schedule a future visit.

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The Oneonta Gorge located in your Columbia River Gorge district, was easily a trip I will never forget. The part that I enjoyed more than actually witnessing your waterfall, was the journey me and my dad took to get to your fall; from crossing logs, carefully placing our feet on rocks to avoid getting wet, and eventually swimming across a five and a half foot water trench were the memorable moments. Sure, while the frigid water came up to my shoulders and I carried my bag overtop of my head, I was cursing at you wondering why you had to make this journey so treacherous. In addition to putting a “dent” in my dad at the beginning of out trek, a slippery log forced him to slip and fall into the water, may have deterred our ultimate goal of reaching your fall; but we took the journey in stride, sharing laughs, and treasuring moments we will never forget

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Horsetail Falls Loop Hike, a trail you encompassed with treacherous switchbacks, and pesky vegetation trying to stop you from reaching the falls that await. My whole family tackled this challenge you set before us; the trip was filled with laughter, wheezing for air, and of course cursing. However, the falls and views of the valley in the end paid off for the pain we suffered coming up your mountain.

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Forest Park, which is uniquely situated within your downtown Portland core, is a fantastic escape from the busy city life. I found myself wondering how your park could be so quiet, yet so close to downtown. Waking up early to tackle your hike, to witness the sun rise majestically through the trees, was the reward in itself. One day, I hope to come back with proper running gear, to join the many other runners throughout your trails.

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The different shades of green, and marina blue water which looks so inviting to jump in to; that is portrayed throughout your beautiful state, is a factor that adds to the breathtaking scenery. No matter who you I have talked to, they have all said the same thing about you, “I love Oregon! I can’t wait to go back”. My end goal is to complete your 7 Wonders: Crater Lake, Painted Hills, Smith Rock, Wallowas, Mount Hood, Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon coast. Having completed two already, and being awestruck both times; I look forward to visiting you in the future.

Oregon, you truly are a Pacific Wonderland.

Sincerely,

Josh Kozelj

 

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