Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We're Going to Oregon

        We're going to spend May and June volunteering at Gnat Creek Fish Hatchery near Astoria, Oregon.  We are really excited about this assignment.  We have spent very little time in Oregon in the past and the area around Astoria, as well as the rest of western Oregon, looks like it will be very interesting to explore.  The hatchery sounds like a volunteer site we will enjoy.  The work is mostly outdoors and the 20 hours a week are flexible.  We really enjoy this kind of physical labor and the opportunity to work independently.  We have talked to two people there—Roger, the hatchery manager, and Pam, the volunteer coordinator.  Both sound nice and easy to work with.


        The biggest adjustment will probably be going from the semi-arid, high-altitude environment of the eastern Colorado foothills to the rainforest environment of the west coast of Oregon.  Pam said, "It rains a lot here."  We will need to find rain boots and I will need a jogging suit that repels rain.  We have heavy yellow two-piece rain suits, but we certainly don't want to run in them. 


        I do look forward to running at sea level.  And we read this weekend that Portland, OR, is one of the fittest cities in the US.  The tourist opportunities along the Oregon coast, at the mouth of the Columbia River, and in the Willamette Valley look so interesting.  We wonder how we will see everything.  Three years ago we visited a Lewis and Clark museum in Great Falls, Montana, on our way to Alaska.  This year we will explore Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark wintered after following the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean.  Our travels give us such opportunities to learn more about our nation's history.   

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