My Oregon Trail

Isabelle Ashby, Junior Staff Writer

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Now, I’ve been all across the country because I traveled a lot when I was little. I originally came from Arizona and lived there for seven years before we decided to hop somewhere else. We were always on the move, jumping from place to place during vacations and trying to find a place to settle before we came to Maryland. I’ve been to a lot of places; some of them stick out and some of them don’t. Although, one place that I would absolutely love to visit again would be Oregon.

Most of my father’s side of the family resides in Oregon, and have been there for years. I was most familiar with my mother’s side though, having grown close with some of my cousins enough to call them my best friends, even siblings. But three years ago, I would have told you that I know almost none of my family on my father’s side. So, with that as motivation, my dad took my little brother and I and hopped onto a plane back to Oregon.

I was not enthusiastic about this trip since I always had a hard time adapting to new changes around me. And even though I should be used to traveling, I actually despised it due to my lack of patience and my restlessness. I always had to be doing something, so sitting for hours on a plane didn’t appeal to me. Nor did the change in environment. When we first arrived in Oregon, I didn’t mind the scenery much and flopped right into bed… only to wake up to the laughs and obnoxious chatter of relatives who had come to see us. I wasn’t too thrilled about meeting them, as being introduced to new people always made me nervous. Stepping out of that room and putting on a smile was about the hardest thing I did during my stay there.

But as it turns out, I was a little silly about being afraid to meet them, as they were about the friendliest people I’ve met. And as I shook hands with more and more people. I never realized that I had so many relatives that I didn’t know… nor the fact that I began to feel welcome around so many warm faces. That first day was a warm up for me, and the trip only got better.

We stayed there for about two weeks (which wasn’t nearly enough time) and during those weeks, we explored and experienced things we never had before. Most of which was hiking. We hiked through caves, down rivers, through forests, and stood right beside large waterfalls. Not only are you able to admire the view of water cascading on rocks below with rainbows streaking through it, but mist washes over you and you stand there feeling satisfied that you had made it so far and had been rewarded with such a stunning view.

The other activities we did were just as enjoyable such as swimming in lakes, visiting zoos, reunion parties, drive-in movies. And just driving around the area and capturing pictures was also an amazing experience since about any place in Oregon was beautiful enough to stand there and admire for hours.

Leaving was the most difficult thing I’ve had to do, and regrettably so. I would give many things to go back again and stay for a while. But ever since my trip there, I’ve been a bit more open to traveling and a bit more hopeful towards experiencing what new places have to offer. But I don’t think any place in the world could top my trip to Oregon.

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