I am staying in Creswell, which is a wide spot in the road between Eugene and Cottage Grove. It's the kind of place you would expect to find a cafe named Joe's Diner, which is exactly where I ate last night and this morning. It's a farm belt/timber town. People here for the most part work by the sweat of their brow. None of this hoity-toity Eugene PC vibe for them.
I saw a couple leaving the diner last night, and they are perfect examples of this place. They looked to be in the latter stage of middle age. They got into a truck that wasn't exactly fresh out of the showroom. The paint was faded, and there were dents here and there. Why didn't their vehicle look pristine? It didn't have to. This was a working family's truck, ready for duty on some farm or maybe on a logging road deep in the forest. Typical Creswell kind of place.
I will be stopping in other towns somewhat like Creswell, places like Prineville and The Dalles. I expect to see a few trucks with faded paint, and drivers who don't care that their vehicles look that way. I also will be in Bend, which is upscale, trendy and drop-dead beautiful. I have to use one line about Bend here. One of my favorite sources for articles at The Bulletin was Dr. Tom Carlson, who moved to Central Oregon from Minnesota. When I asked him why he settled on Bend, he said, "it's a small town with swish." I still laugh about that line.
Creswell isn't swish. It's a town of strong shoulders, aching backs and not much for the kids to do. Nice place to visit. It strangely feels a little bit like home.