I am just about ending an interesting long weekend here in Oregon – I have a long overnight trek home to Moncton.
We finished up last night with a Bruce Cockburn concert in a small hall with folding chairs in Eugene, Oregon. The place was supposed to hold a maximum of 400 people but there must have been 600 or more there – 200 standing the whole concert. Bruce was outstanding – a good mix of old and new and his own kind of disarming humour.
The interesting thing was the demographic of the group. The average age was easily late 50s – many of the men had pony tails and the women were dressed in hippy garb. It was very interesting – this group looked happy and well contented. It was fun to be plunked down in this group of folks that came of age in the late 1960s/1970s.
Oregon looks a lot like New Brunswick – with mountains. The wood products industry is a major player, agriculture and fishing to a lesser extent. More blue collar than I expected but quite a few multinationals. Intel has 15,000 employees in the state and Boeing looks to be a huge employer here as well.
Over 10% unemployment and some pretty tough economic times here.
For me its a bit of intellectual oxygen. To see another environment, to talk with folks, to observe, to emmerse for a few days.
All in all a great trip despite the wind burn and altitude sickness from trying to climb the most deadly mountain in North America (more people have died on Mount Hood, I am told, than any other mountain in North America).