Head West, Turn Right

The Joint Blog of the Conservative Northwest Blogging Alliance: Red State Points of View from a Blue State Point on the Compass.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

What Lies Beneath... Or Not

(Cross-posted at Memento Moron)

Oregon's quarter came out this year, and I've finally had a chance to look at it, even spend it. I'm still disappointed.

Like most Oregonians surveyed, I wanted this design to be chosen:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

But Governor Kulongoski went with this one:

He said this about the process of choosing a quarter design: "This is a unique opportunity for Oregon," said Edwards. "Our quarter will communicate to the nation and the world our values and OregonĀ“s natural beauty."

I think this one falls short.

I have to admit, in it's final minted form it's a rather pretty design:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

But despite my love for Crater Lake, it really doesn't convey the significance of the Oregon Trail design. The Oregon Trail was the single most defining event in the history of this state, and indeed, one of the most important events in the history of the NATION. It's that significant.

The rationale behind Kulongoski's decision was at least in part a desire to avoid upsetting Native American groups. And while I understand that the colonization and settling of this continent by Europeans is a sore issue for First Peoples, pretending it didn't happen isn't going to make things any better for anyone. There's more to this state than pretty scenery. There's history here, there are stories to be told.

In a way, the image on the quarter itself suffers from the same lack of depth in portraying Crater Lake as it does in portraying the depth of this state. You see a shiny, flat surface to the lake. What it doesn't -- indeed what it CAN'T portray, is the fact that Crater Lake, at over 1,400 feet, is the deepest fresh water in North America. It's also some of the cleanest, clearest, bluest water anywhere in the world.

So come visit this state. When you do, go see Crater Lake -- it's worth the trip, and the quarter doesn't do it justice. The sight will take your breath away.

And while you're at it, see the rest of the state too. Take in all the beauty about which I've blogged. Visit Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark spent their Pacific winter. Visit the Oregon Trail museums (we have 2), and the Brownsville Pioneer Museum. learn about our culture, our history, as well as our scenery. The quarter doesn't do them justice either.


At 1:19 AM, Blogger ccw1220 said...

Growing up in Klamath County, I'm partial to the Crater Lake design.

Of course, any Oregon design would have beaten Mississippi's Magnolia (come on, riverboats anyone?), the geography lesson of the Michigan quarter, or Ohio's claims to other state's fame (an airplane that made its first flight in North Carolina and an astronaut that only leaves the Earth from Florida).

At 5:51 AM, Blogger Brian B said...


Oh, don't get me wrong. I firmlu believe that Crater Lake is the most beautiful place in the entire beautiful state.

As for Ohio: Cut them some slack: The Wright Brothers may have made their first flight in North Carolina, but they grew up and built the plane in Ohio.


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