Special Oregon Edition!!!
6 Cool Things About Oregon (where I am right now)
1) Beverly Cleary. She’s so cool. We went to her birthplace McMinnville, Oregon and it’s adorable. For some reason they don’t have any big signs or anything announcing this fact (that she was born here, not that she’s super cool, everyone already knows that) like they do for Ronald Reagan in Dixon, Illinois*. I’m not sure why — I’m sure she has more fans than most presidents. I think Portland lays claim to her though as her childhood home — we’re going there later today, so I’ll check it out then.
2) Graham Salisbury. I think I read online somewhere that he lives in Lake Oswego, this super ritzy suburb of Portland. We stopped there for a stroll down the street and a trip to Rite Aid for the contact solution I forgot to pack. It’s like Oz. There are flowers bursting out of every nook and cranny. Even the 7-11 looked like something out of a fairy tale with huge swaths of flowering trees out front. Will post a pic of this when we download our camera. It was especially wonderful and surreal coming from snowy Madison, WI.
3) Ursula Le Guin also lives in Oregon, I think in Portland. Oregon has the craziest and most diverse topography ever and I can see why it would be the perfect place for a fantasy writer to live. Within a few hours drive you can go from barren desert to super lush rainforest to mountain top to ocean side and on and on… Sometimes it seems like you’ve slipped into a different world.
4) Powell’s Bookstore. Also on our list for later today. How can you not love such a gigantic indie bookstore? [added later — Powell’s is one of the biggest independent bookstores in the world. It’s so big they have maps!]
5) The million other bookstores in Portland. The place is just bursting with them. I can’t wait for the tour.
6) The ocean!!!!! (and sunshine ON THE OCEAN!!!!)
*On further research it turns out that Ronald Reagan was not born in Dixon, but I SWEAR that I saw signs stating this last time we were there. Either the signs are lying or my memory is faulty.