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What is it really like to live in Bandon?

If you’re like most visitors we meet, you live in California or somewhere in the southwest, and you and your spouse are educated, employed in a corporate or professional position, have achieved wealth of consequence, and have kids who are segueing into adulthood and a path of their own.

You’re thinking about retirement and your assets. Stocks, bonds worry you. They don’t hold the promise they used to. CDs have no interest. You hear land is still undervalued in some areas, especially when compared to California.

You’re healthy, active, ready for a change. Adventure beckons.

Oregon keeps coming up in conversation.

It sounds so appealing on many dimensions. … But then there are the stories in the news. It sounds a bit crazy weird. A consistently Blue State that’s conservative? Guns—does everyone have one? It’s wild, beautiful country, for sure, but amenities?

Will I be bored in Oregon? Socially isolated with only a thin book for companionship?

The answer so many of us have come to realize, is that Oregon is a wonderful, healthy place to live. For those who’ve lived much of our lives in major metro areas, we wouldn’t trade Oregon for anywhere else.

It feels clean. The air smells good, filled with the scents of nature and new beginnings; pungent, earthy, of the ocean and life as it was meant to be.

There’s a terrific feeling of being in touch with pristine nature, and a burgeoning sense of self sufficiency.

Sure, there’s lots of rain in the winter, but it’s not as bad as you’ve heard. Storm fronts move in, interspersed with sunshine, hail, and puffy clouds. The water cleanses and keeps everything lush and green. Summers are relaxed, long, dry and balmy. It’s never swelteringly hot; never frigidly arctic either.

What about a horse ride on the beach? Or a hike through the wilderness, across blue-green mountain creeks, and rivers filled with salmon and steelhead? Anyone for wind surfing or kiting at Floras Lake or Pistol River?—camping at Bullard’s Beach?—whale watching, birding, kayaking?

So much of the food is fresh; direct from local growers. Being a rural area, family farms abound, with fresh fruits and vegetables for much of the year. Locally grown beef, lamb, pork, chickens, turkeys, eggs, etc. are here. The fish and crab are as fresh as can be, often pulled from the waters the very same day. Local cheeses, wineries, chocolates, are easily discovered.

Shopping? All the essentials and more. There are books, crafts and galleries. A variety of terrific restaurants. Much is ordered on the internet. Costpro Direct delivers some 4,000 Costco items weekly to Bandon customers.

There’s a terrific library and the Sprague Theatre. More theaters in nearby Coos Bay/North Bend and Coquille. More great restaurants in these towns as well.

Ashland, of renowned cultural repute, is an easy three hour drive, offering even more theatres, restaurants and galleries. Shakespeare, the Cabaret, Camelot, Market of Choice, Trader Joe’s, Harry & David’s.

Anyone up for a tour of fine vineyards and estate bottled wines as they wander through lush Oregon valleys?

Or a three day rafting/kayaking trip down the mighty Rogue River, stopping at lodges each evening for hearty meals as dusk descends?

There are a multitude of opportunities to volunteer, help out, and make a difference in someone’s life.

What about the people? Like anywhere, there’s a diversity of interesting people to meet. Educated, professionals, artists, writers, people from all walks of like, who decided that Bandon offers a lifestyle more in keeping with their sensibilities.

There’s a stillness and peace of mind that comes with living here, a sense this is what life is supposed to be. There’s time and opportunity for introspection and consideration, far from the rat race we all at one time or another have put up with.

Some will complain that Bandon is hard to get to. The knowing response is: for those who value their sanity, it’s well worth it.