We at NewsChannel 21 took it upon ourselves to find a story within each of the Seven Wonders of Oregon – not that any of the Wonders can’t tell a story on their own, but as storytellers, it’s our job. Throughout the month of July we took viewers to Smith Rock, the Painted Hills, Crater Lake, Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon Coast, and to the Wallowas.
When you arrive at any of the Wonders, your first reaction is disbelief. Whether it’s climbing the steep crags of Smith Rock and feeling the rush of ascending towards the sun, to feeling as though you’ve somehow found yourself in the Swiss Alps in northeast Oregon – you’ll be forced to pick your own jaw up off the floor.
As a many-generation Oregonian, I’ve taken these natural landmarks for granted. It wasn’t until I learned that the Painted Hills contain millions – yes, millions – of years worth of history within its brush-stroked lines that I realized how incredible this state is. Combine that with having the deepest lake in the United States, a gorge that is one of the most picturesque scenic areas many have laid eyes on, and hundreds of miles of coastline only a car ride away, and you’ll wonder why you’ve waited so long to go.
Even after visiting each Wonder there isn’t a favorite. Individually they are breathtaking and together they’re almost too much to absorb. Appreciating the way the golden rays hit the waves at sunset or the way Mt. Hood has a different silhouette from every direction is part of the Oregonian way. We stop. We take a deep breath. We soak it up.