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Journey to Oregon: 7 things – unusual, surprising and curious – to know before leaving

A journey to Oregon.

A full load of emotions, discoveries, surprises and curious issues.

A journey to Oregon, towards Mount Hood

Oregon embodies the true essence of the Northern Pacific, made of a domineering and protagonist nature and long and windy indented coastlines, monoliths acting as a borderline between Ocean and land, great mountains, forests, plains, lakes and thousand years volcanoes.

It’s the state of slow and measured rhythms, mild and tempered climate in Winter and snowstorms in Spring, of integration and simple life, of the great farm productions, the small local realities that still today live following the rituals of old. And it’s the state of towns like Portland or Salem which made the welcome and the technology their strength point.

A journey to Oregon: Portland Sign

A journey to Oregon: Astoria, views of Columbia River

Oregon –thanks to its strategic position between the Washington State to the north and California to the south – let itself cross without any problem, allowing a wide choice of paths and itineraries (I’ve already told you about them here), included road trips involving the bordering states, easily reachable from the international flights point of view.

What are the things to know – unusual, original and curious – before leaving for a journey to Oregon?

Down here there are for you 7 suggestions– based on my direct experience, as always – to make your on the road even richer, more intense and complete, if possible.

A journey to Oregon, on the road

A journey to Oregon: Diamond Lake in Spring, completely frozen

A journey to Oregon: the USA “no tax” state

Oregon is one of the two USA states – the other one is Alaska – where there are no taxes on sales.

It means all prices you’ll see on menus, price lists, little cards and other are the definitive ones without adding any final tax.

This means a remarkable save on the total amount of the daily expenses during an on the road.

You think about the purchases at the markets, at the stores and at the outlets (here more than elsewhere they are really cheap), at the restaurants, about the gasoline, at the hotels, et cetera.

A journey to Oregon: the Woodburg Premium Outlet near Salem, really cheap and “no tax”

A journey to Oregon: the state where is forbidden to fill up DIY

A downright law – strictly respected by every single gas pump in Oregon – which is included by right in the odd and eccentric list of the rules established by the single American states.

So, every time you’ll stop at a gas station you won’t be able to DIY, but you’ll have to wait for the arrival of the person in charge to fill up.

A journey to Oregon: obligation to fill up with help

A journey to Oregon: the state of the “Espresso Cart Pods”

It’s incredible but it’s true!

Oregon is the land of the espresso, the real “paradise” for an Italian on vacation.

It will often happen towards both directions both along the highways (especially near the service stations) and on the state routes to run into some multicoloured prefabricated small houses called “Espresso Cart Pods” – sometimes with wheels – with the sign on the top with the “ESPRESSO” writing.

A journey to Oregon: coffee break at an “Espresso Cart Pods”

Usually the coffee is savory, well made and accompanied by a nut chocolate and it costs much less – about 1,75$ – than the chains like Starbucks. The Espresso Cart Pods serve also cappuccinos, pastries, sandwiches, hot dogs and some varieties of hot dishes cooked at the moment.

They are ideals for a coffee break or also for a quick and cheap lunch on the road.

A journey to Oregon: coffee break at an “Espresso Cart Pods”

A journey to Oregon: the state of the “Covered Bridges trails”

Who says that the so-called Covered Bridges, those suggestive old wooden Covered Bridges used in the past to cross rivers and little lagoons exist only in New England or in Iowa –“The bridges of Madison County” state – or in the Mid-East ones?

Oregon boasts some of the most fascinating paths (to cycle, to drive or even to ride) through 50 authentic Old Covered Bridges: the most part of them are scattered in the area of the Cascades Mountains. Where it’s possible to set out on the very beautiful and really recommended Oregon Covered Bridge Scenic Bikeway.

Here you can find the info and the complete itinerary.

What to do in Oregon: Covered Bridge Scenic Trail

A journey to Oregon: the state of the Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail.

A trail used in the second half of the 1800s by pioneers, cowboys and convoys with families looking for fortune in their “run” towards the Northern pacific.

A journey to Oregon: End of the Oregon Yrail Visitor Center

A journey of about 3500km throughout 6 states – Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon – which at that time lasted from 4 to 6 months according to the seasons.

Today it’s possible to go over again a good part of the final section of the trail, starting the trail backwards from the End of the Oregon Trail Visitor Center, a museum space swallowed up by green near Oregon City, rich in historic relics and witnesses of and from the past.

Old Oregon Trail, the trail

A journey to Oregon: the state of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

For the theater lovers it’s a downright “gem” not to miss.

Oregon is the land of the greatest Shakespearian festival in the United States. The festival lasts about 9 months and takes place both outdoor and inside three wonderful theatres – where Shakespeare’s complete works (even the less famous ones) are revived cyclically. It attracts almost 500.000 connoisseurs and tourist every year from all over the world.

The seat is the nice small town of Ashland, located about few ten km far from the border with California.

A journey to Oregon: Ashland

A journey to Oregon: Oregon Shakespeare Festival

A journey to Oregon: the Hollywood of the Northern Pacific

You would never imagine the number of movie locations with tourist itineraries ad hoc you’ll find in several areas of the state.

The Northern Pacific – and so Oregon – for landscapes, configuration and “peace” of its small towns of province guarantees downright open sky natural movie sets.

A journey to Oregon: Oregon Film Museum, Astoria

What about some examples of movies filmed here and locations you can go over?

The Goonies, Stand by Me, Shining, Free Willy, Twilight, Wild and many other ones.

Here you find the complete list, the movie sets included.

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