ANDREW BREIG, PHOTOGRAPHER
When The Creswell Chronicle asked contributors to write about their blessings for the year, my mind immediately went to one thing – exploration. Every free moment of 2018 I spent trekking through our state of Oregon, and I’m thankful for it. Oftentimes we just throw a dart at the map, and this year started with a day hike at Sweet Creek Falls outside of Mapleton. Since moving to the Northwest I’ve become familiar with ”waterfall season”, when the confluence of winter snow and early spring rain provide one of the greatest natural medicines available. Since then, I’ve been keen on ”collecting” waterfall experiences – to which Oregon provides a lifetime of opportunity.
We enjoyed the extended Spring this season, culminated by a magical first-time visit to the Woodburn Tulip Festival. In the past year my wife and I both experienced an awakening of our inner horticulturalist, inspired by the bountiful harvests we’re able to take part in here. We’re already making plans for next year’s garden after attending a free-to-the-public composting workshop, which is just the sort of event that makes the culture here feel special.
Born and raised in the flatlands, I’m spoiled by the access to amazing natural features close to home: Proxy Falls, Cape Perpetua, the McKenzie River, Eagles Rest, – I could go on! Never did I imagine there existed a place where one can start their day on a sandy beach, drive though a temperate rainforest, into a fertile valley, through snowy mountains, before ending up in rugged high desert in time for dinner.
Exploring Oregon has been exciting, memorable and a great source of personal happiness. I am thankful for my experiences so far, and it feels like I’ve only scratched the surface.