Living in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) allows for some of the most memorable life experiences a person could have. Here in Forest Grove, the Pacific University community has wondrous natural ecosystems at its disposal, with the Cascade Mountain Range right around the corner and the Pacific Ocean a rocks throw away.
Despite having these beautiful areas so close to the university, winter can make going on outdoor adventures much less enthusing for certain people. It is truly surprising how many people native to the PNW hold up in basements drinking IPAs and listening to vinyl while the beautiful world just outside the door sits ungrudgingly waiting for them.
All a person really needs is fleece, a raincoat and the right motivation to go explore and adventure to truly immerse oneself in the PNW. It almost seems as if those who have lived here a long time cease to be amazed when Mount Hood peaks through the clouds, possibly harboring the reddish hue of a sunset. Or when the roar of the mighty Pacific thunders across the miraculous, God-touched landscape of the Oregon coast.
Being from Ohio, a place where the only large body of water is the polluted, brownish Lake Erie, and mountains are nonexistent, my perspective on nature is much different than people who were raised locally. Back home, nobody has the luxury of exploring beautiful landscapes that awe and surprise the adventurer at every turn.
This is not to say that individuals who have lived in the PNW for a long time often take for granted the place that they live in, but rather their standards for beauty are so high that it is hard to imagine not living in a place like Oregon.
A possible solution for some of this apathy toward the outdoors that has been observed is dedicating a school club or group to discovering and identifying different places to explore throughout the state.
Outdoor Pursuits does a great job of assisting and providing students with trips that are loads of fun, but a group that provided information on where the coolest spots can be found would also be extremely useful. Ultimately, there needs to be more involvement in outdoor activities.
Don and Judy Wick
Awesome article. Well done