There is a reason Oregon natives try to convince everyone that their state isn’t nearly as great as it seems – if everybody knew how gorgeous Oregon is, the United States would be unable to handle the mass migration that would occur. The Oregon coast is a wonderful blend and cacophony of ocean and shoreline life. I have spent time tide pooling among the rocky coast, and amount of life that stays behind in a few small pools of water is incredible. It was here that I saw my first wild sea anemone, a creature that seems very surreal when you see it just beneath the surface of the water. Snails, plants, small fish, and crabs were just a few more inhabitants of the pools, and one pool was so filled with crabs that we couldn’t resist the urge to pick up a couple of the smaller ones. Despite gently and safely grasping the sides of the crab’s shell, one of them still managed to get a nice vice grip on the end of my finger, and after that I decided it was probably best to just look at them. Further out on the rocks, there were several seals that were sprawled out in the sun. I would have liked to get a close look at them, too, but that would have involved either some swimming or some dangerous rock climbing, so I we settled for watching them from a distance. Keeping with the sea life trend, we also visited the Portland Aquarium, which was fun and interesting but not nearly as enjoyable as seeing many similar creatures while tide pooling. We didn’t spend much time in the inland areas of Oregon, as our coastline stops were a bridge between touring Washington and California, but driving along US Highway 1 offered some wonderful views of the coast and parts of the nearby hills and forests as it snaked just between the two. Another feature of the Pacific Northwest that I absolutely love is the weather. For many people, frequent rain is a bother and seems to negatively affect people’s moods. For me, though, warm and rainy weather is my favorite, and the sounds and smells of fresh rain enhance and complement the vibrant greens of the coast in a wonderful way. Overcast days make me feel cozy and comfortable, so Oregon and its neighbors always seem very attractive to me as places to visit and even places to live.