Oregon is a state that does things in a way befitting its geographical location. When you’re bordered on the north by coffee-addled tech geeks in Washington, pot-loving Northern California hillbillies (and as I live in California, I guarantee you there are as many backwoods rednecks there as in the entire South), a section of the gambling mecca of Nevada on the southeast, and Idaho, you’re going to end up with a place where contradictions rule.
And what contradictions there are in the Beaver State.
First off, Oregon should be called the Duck State. The University of Oregon (Ducks) have become a college sports powerhouse, get most the state’s sports fans’ attention, and all of Nike founder (and U. of O. alum) Phil Knight’s money. Also, Eugene, home of Ducks, is right off of I-5, the main north-south highway running through Oregon, and eventually up to Canada.
Conversely, the Beavers, of Oregon State, are perpetually in a position of playing second fiddle to their avian cousins, both on the gridiron and in affections of Oregonians. And Corvallis, where Oregon State is located, is somewhere between the Pacific Ocean and Nevada, for all I know.
There’s the the state’s politics. Oregon had voted Republican in pretty much every presidential election through 1984. The older George Bush didn’t do so well with the Oregon crowd in ‘88, and the state has voted Democrat ever since. I can’t say for certain if presidential politics had anything to do with Oregon voters’ decision to vote in legalized pot back in 2015, but I’m sure that choice has only helped the business at the famous Voodoo Doughnut shops in Eugene and Portland.
But, whatever your politics are, Oregon has you covered.