Yes, that’s right, we’ve just moved to Oregon.
After spending most of a lifetime in bone-dry SoCal, here are my initial impressions, somewhat randomly presented:
They really love their Ducks here in Eugene. I’ll definitely be looking into obtaining library privileges at the University here. From what I’ve seen they have a fairly liberal policy regarding us “townies”. Unfortunately my UCLA faculty club membership will be of no value here. The U of O club is, apparently, so secretive that I can’t even find out if they would consider affiliating with their UCLA counterpart…
A wide variety of consumer products, both licit and (Federally) illicit, seem to be a lot less expensive here. In fact, with regard to cannabis, it’s astonishing how openly the shops that sell it carry on their business. They might as well be selling auto parts or hobby supplies. In L.A. and S.F., the cannabis stores are still very much on the DL, even though they’re not hard to find for anyone who wants the product. Although I am totally in favor of cannabis legalization, I’m not 100% it’s the best policy to have it so out in the open. The whole point of legalizing it is that you should be able to get it legally; it doesn’t need to be anything more than that. Still, it’s kind of a thrill to see it. And my next door neighbor has a grow in his garden. It’s a thrill to see that, too.
We drove up all the way from Escondido, in far southern California. The first time we stopped for gas in Oregon, I made the mistake of getting out of the car, pulling my credit card from my wallet, and trying to pump my own gas. Only there was no place on the tank where I could insert my card and punch in my PIN. Then I remembered that Oregon is one of two states, the other being NJ, where there’s no self-serve gas. I can live with that. Since then I’ve learned to just sit in the driver’s seat, and have my card ready to hand to the attendant. I have not done this routinely since the early 1970s, but I suppose I could get used to it.
Water. There certainly seems to be a lot more water up here than in dear old SoCal. The rivers here have rivers of their own! Even the tributaries of the Willamette here are substantial rivers in their own right. I understand it rains here a little bit more than in SoCal, though I’ve been told that they had an unusually dry and warm late spring. I just hope I haven’t brought the spectre of persistent drought and high temps with me.
In early July we discovered the online listing of the house which we eventually bought, and in which I now as I type this post. Since then, I’ve flown from San Francisco to Eugene three times. The first time, I noticed Mount Shasta, Crater Lake, and the Three Sisters, the latter while on final approach into Eugene airport. I can’t help but notice that all of these mountains are volcanoes. And here I have finally gotten away from the San Andreas Fault.
Well, that’s all I have for now. I’ll probably think of more things to say here as time goes on.