It's Not You, It's Me

Dear Oregon,

It's not you, it's me. You're really sweet. And your natives sure do love you. But I think we're better off just being friends.

I know you've had a weird year, but you sort of smell like a campfire. And you have a major bee problem. I've been stung twice this week. Seriously, that's just not cool.

You've got some nice lakes for swimming, but a lot of them are strange and swampy. Ambitious ponds, really. Some are even full of waist-deep gelatinous muck and slime and sharp sticks. This is not ideal for me, especially when I'm trying to literally bathe in them.

You've got some neat mountains, sure, but their volcanic nature makes the trail borderline unmanageable on my knees and ankles (not to mention gnawing apart the tread of my shoes). 

Your occasional views have often been obstructed by thick smoke. This smoke is also causing me to clear my throat excessively each morning, combined with the clouds of dust that we've been stomping through for weeks. Your dust has also penetrated my shoes and socks so thoroughly that my feet have just taken on a blackened appearance that I fear will remain that way... forever.

I must give it to you, you don't have sales tax. And Mt. Jefferson and Jefferson Park sure were scenic. Hood Wilderness has some of the best maintained trails of the PCT and Timothy Lake was just lovely. The Obsidian Falls area was also beautiful, even though a condescending National Forest volunteer insisted on checking our permits there and lecturing us on "Leave No Trace." We had to miss Crater Lake, which I'm sure is one of your finest points, but we did get to see (and drink from) "Little Crater Lake." We had a blast at Shelter Cove and the restaurant at Elk Lodge was delicious. We loved browsing antique shops and eating brunch at the Cottonwood Cafe in Sisters. Plus, there were llamas at the Best Western there!

We're also looking extremely forward to hiking the Eagle Creek alternate trail and checking out Tunnel Falls. People have been raving about that portion of the trail. Well, everyone except some guy named Costco, who wrote this review in the Guthook guide: 

Your people are kind and generous and hitchhiking has been extremely easy because of this. They also all seem to know you very intimately and are proud to point out your third highest waterfall and fifth highest mountain and second purest lake (whatever that means). In general, everywhere has been very hiker-friendly. 

But nonetheless, I'm leaving you. I'm sorry.

I'll be back in about a month to visit your capital and your coast, but let's keep it strictly platonic.

Thanks for everything,