The Pacific Northwest Changed Us


We spent two weeks traveling the Pacific Northwest in May of 2021. We have a video showing highlights of that trip, linked below. We landed in Portland, OR, drove a total of 3,500 miles over the course of two weeks, through the center of Oregon to the California Redwoods, up the Oregon coast to Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier. It didn't take us long to know "we could live here". The driving is better, the people are genuinely kind, the environment holds unlimited adventure and we love the GREAT OUTDOORS!  The pines are slim, tall and for us, unexplored.  The coastline is insanely attractive for me, as a photographer and beach goer.  It's an understatement to say we had a really, really, really GREAT time in Oregon!  Plus we visited the last Blockbuster, how can you go wrong there?

When we arrived home in Travelers Rest, within a few days we started talking more seriously about the possibility of actually moving to the Pacific Northwest. Why do all of those Pros above matter? Fulfillment in a short life, for sure. Giving my son Owen (now 10) the experience of a life-time could create generational change in a positive way.  There are complications to moving out west, however.  My 10-year old son is in a shared custody agreement and there's no way I would leave without him.  Owen's Mom would be interested in moving out west but she has challenges in her own life, such as nearby aging parents (whereas both of my parents have passed).

I bought a truck a few months ago with the intention of pulling a small camper and now we're talking about potentially pulling something that is 36 feet long and living in it?!  My truck isn't capable of hauling the weight so it would mean swapping out the truck!  Yikes!  I've always wondered why a "new" truck would be for sale with so few miles on it... now I know at least one possibility.

Jobs - huge.  All 3 of us would need to find jobs, ideally remotely.  Only a global pandemic could make this so possible.  Prior to the pandemic, almost any employer would say "Oh, remote work is impossible!".  Covid-19 showed them otherwise. :)  Right now my wife is in a good position at work and leaving that position would give anyone pause.  

That's it... post # 1 about this subject.  I want to catalog our experience so we can look back at the memories, decision making, etc as we go along.  Check back to see where we are in 10 days, 10 weeks 10 months, or 10 years.  We'll get there if we truly want it!

- Joe

1 comment

Hey Joe, Not sure if you remember me, we went to school at Smithville. Just wanted to say I love your photography. Growing up taking photo and doing a lot of traveling with my parents, we found to get a lot of great photos you had to get off the beaten path. Get up early when no one was around to avoid the crowds.
I don’t do much if any photography anymore, cause I just don’t have time, running the printing business, running with Central Fire in Smithville and woodworking keep me busy.

Just wanted to say Hi and tell you to keep up the great work. Love the Black and White photography, it was my favorite to do when I was taking photos.

I love the quote about photos being a return ticket to memories.

Have a great one,

Dale Atkinson

Dale Atkinson January 27, 2022

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