Thursday, March 4, 2010
Sunset Magazine vs. Brad Ford
Sunset Magazine had a nice article in it today, that I forwarded to Brad because there were mentions of a few small Oregon towns that we are fond of.
Brad decided to take matters into his own hands, as usual, and write his own top 10 small towns list because he obviously disagreed. I invite you to compare.
Brad Ford's Top Ten Oregon Small Towns:
It has too much yuppie crap in it, but thank God there are some empty buildings, some evidence of manufacturing, fishing, and logging, and the dream of adventure when you're looking out to the mouth of the Columbia.
No town has less yuppie crap in it than Lebanon. There's only one coffee shop, but otherwise the smell of people living on the land is real. I think there's still an A&W.
8. The Dalles.
Beautiful train tracks run right through the middle of this slaughter-town. All the beauty of a port with sun and a dessicated landscape. It's one of the few towns that still has a trace of Indian heritage in it.
It's yuppifying a little, but only insomuch as the rodeo is popular. Otherwise, it's far away from the world and even a little way from the freeway. Luckily, they still don't have jobs there.
Who could dislike a town that gets 80 inches of rain a year? I remember being there on Halloween and seeing the local kids in real costumes all happy and excited. Their parents work in dairies. That's America.
It sits on a hill overlooking Longview, which is reason enough for any town to be rated well. A handful of old two-story buildings, a dock on the Columbia, and a couple taverns. You could live your whole life there and never go to Clatskanie.
4. Fort Rock.
This is a really little town. You can't do anything here except wander around. There is a museum run by a nice lady. There's an abandoned gas station. Also, Fort Rock is right there.
This town is built right on the Willamette and everyone either works in the paper mill or on a farm. I think the mill is open for now, but when it closes down it'll really get good there. This is the kind of place that makes you want to sit by the river and polish off a bottle of Old Charter.
The only viable businesses in Gardiner on the mouth of the Umpqua are a tavern and I think a body shop. It has a few old houses that are reasonably maintained. Thank God it has seen better days, and you get to talk to people at the tavern just thrown randomly into their lives, not fighting it a bit.
Hines is great because it isn't even Burns. Once in history, someone probably thought something was going to happen in Burns, since it was on the railroad. Now it's just in the middle of the desert. It has the smallest Indian reservation in the state right next to it with a casino, so I've heard. So you can go over there, but neither at the casino nor in Burns are you in Hines, which is clearly the end of the line. Whatever part of California or Seattle you are from, you will go back refreshed from your trip to that motel in Hines secure in the fact that your life is fast paced and fascinating.