Yesterday I finally got back outside again, and had gone back down to Silver Falls State Park again yesterday. It was raining off and on the whole trip down, even hailing as I was almost there. It let up pretty quickly so I could enjoy being there.
I went for a short hike while I was there, I’m guessing about a mile / mile and a half. Hiking back up the canyon was tough since I haven’t been hiking for a while. It felt good though to be outside and be hiking. It is one of those things I love to do.
I love living in this part of the country, but the cost of living and the economy here, has been such that I feel like I need to be looking else where and other states to find a job I can support myself on. I would be lucky to find a job out here that I can support myself on, that also is not stuck at a desk, in an office 40+ hours a week. There is so much more to life for me than being stuck at a computer for 40 hours a day. If I could find a way to support myself here, doing what I love doing, I would stay in the area.
There are so many amazing small towns that are outside of the Metro area, that are still close enough to come to the city to go to the mall if I wanted to, which is not super often from my experience in college (at best about once a term or once every 3 months). Portland is also a fun city to explore. There are so many amazing / funky / hipster / portlandia / very Portland coffee shops, tea shops and bakeries – including my favorite which is Gluten Free and Vegan. There are also plenty of small, locally owned, Yarn stores that carry many amazing brands (and quite a few local brands) of yarn. Portland is also a very outdoorsy city. In and around the metro area there are many parks, regional parks and places to go Hiking. Mt Hood is within about an hour and a half’s drive, Multnomah Falls is less than an hour away, you can be at the beach within a couple of hours.
This part of the country has a great climate for growing produce. Not only for eating fresh, but also for preserving. We grow a lot of berries out here, as well as pears, peaches (I’ll take Oregon peaches over Georgia Peaches any day), apples and cherries, among other things. Being able to make homemade jam and home canned peaches, pears, cherries, pie cherries, apple sauce, and garlic dill pickles, is one of my favorite things to do in the summer and autumn.
Even though I prefer small town life to living in the city, there are definitely ways where having lived in Portland definitely shows. While I don’t really ascribe to the hipster mentality and lifestyle, the fact that Portland is a strong hold for that ways of life, means that it is so much easier for someone like me, who can’t eat dairy, limits my gluten consumption, and is trying to live a more natural life, for my own health and well being is pretty great.
You could definitely say I am a product of where I grew up, as I have loved living here. I am trying to enjoy what time I have left here. In trying to further my career I may have to move somewhere else, because of better job opportunities.