When we decided to quit our jobs and leave our safety net to move to you, I never dreamed I would end up loving you as much as I do. Some people thought it was a little crazy and silly, but a new home out West was just what we needed, and you seemed like a good place to start. It was the best decision we ever made.
Your landscapes take my breath away. Your Cascade Mountain range was the perfect place to enjoy the powder, views, and thrills on skis each winter. Your many lakes, waterfalls, and rivers captured my heart. I walked around your Deschutes River Trail hundreds of times and every single time you made me smile. I love how I can get to your forests, mountains, rivers, coast, lava lands, desert, lakes, canyons, buttes, and rock cliffs in just a short drive, and enjoy the beauty of the drive along the way.
You introduced me to what being “snowed in” means, and taught me how to enjoy the stillness of sitting by a fire with white outside my window. I love your summer warmth, fall leaves, spring wildflowers, and white winters. I love your constant evergreen smell. It’s my new favorite smell.
I love that you have no lizards and roaches to dodge, but that your wildlife is abundant and I can expect to see a deer hanging out in my yard on most days. I love your adorable chipmunks, marmots, and even the geese that poop everywhere.
You taught me how to slow down and appreciate nature more, but also how to be more active without focusing on how I look, but how I feel instead. You gave me the opportunity to try things I never have before, like mountain biking, fly fishing, and sport climbing, and made me a more brave and adventurous woman.
Your people are kind and friendly, and while Portland is proudly weird, I love how there is a lot of respect for the rest of the world within your state borders. You won’t find people sitting inside watching reality TV shows. They’d rather be participants in life instead of spectators. People are finding out about your beauty and moving in, and when they leave you, they always end up coming back. I understand why.
So, I am sad that we have to break up for a time. But I will come back to you. As much as I love you, there are people in my life that I love too, and unfortunately they are far away from you. Getting the people that I love in the same place that I love is not going to happen, so for now I must choose. You’re wonderful, Bend, Oregon, the best place I’ve ever been. I am so thankful for the time we got to spend together.
For now I have to say goodbye, but know that I’ll be missing you, your beauty, and your fry sauce. I will see you again. Stay awesome! I know you will.