I am an east coast kind of person - I'm most familiar with it. I have lived between the Midwest and east coast all my life. Between last year and this year, my husband and I were on a mission to see all of the 48 lower states. Last year, it was from DC and LA and back. This year, it would be DC To Seattle and back. Neither one of us has seen the upper Northwest. We usually don't see the typical stuff either. We drove right by Portland, Oregon and headed right to Astoria, Oregon by way of the Columbia River that separates Washington from Oregon. Somewhere along the way was Mount Hood, but we hardly noticed it. So this evening we noticed some weird noise coming from the river, upstream from the Pacific Ocean. It was a herd of sea lions making the biggest fuss on the pier. So we took a walk in the freezing temps - mind you it is June - over to the pier where the noise was coming from. Passing by them were the barges coming up from the Pacific Ocean. It all feels so strange - like being on the other side of the world. And as a matter of fact - it is.