Summer in Oregon — it’s a favorite vacation destination, but I wouldn’t want to return during the cooler fall and winter months.
There’s too much recreational wood burning.
We visited Portland and even though the urban core is mostly modern high rise, only blocks away we saw lots of wood piles.
After the thrills of the city we escaped to beautiful Bend. A Saturday morning eBike ride took us along the Deschutes River then looped through the Historic District. Bend’s stately old homes look lovely and because the whole point of this visit is to gauge the suitability of relocating for retirement; it’s easy to picture living in this gorgeous city.
Except for all the soot-stained chimneys, Bend would be a top choice. One retirement article puts Bend in the top 3, with Tucson and Austin when it comes to the best locales for seniors, but moving here would be worse than living at the beach fire pits. Our neighbors here in Sunriver were burning wood this morning — only 100 ft away — compelling us to close all our doors and windows. A cynic might say, it feels just like home!
Ironically, our Oregon friends pride themselves on their environmental awareness. When we inquire, “What’s the water quality like here in Bend?” We hear how environmentally focused Oregonians are, but they’ve got a huge blind-spot in their self-congratulatory environmental awareness — no one’s paying much attention to the air they breathe.
It’ll take a long time I’m guessing, before our neighbors to the north get serious about clean air as well as water.