As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolThe Fourth of July is a magical time of year, when you get forced to eat near family members you’d rather see eaten by land sharks (they totally exist). The grills are going, the bugs are biting, and all manner of toxins are exploderized into the air via ridiculously expensive exploderizing things. Speaking of which, Uncle Phil is doing great up in the emergency room. There’s a good chance his finger will grow back. (It won’t.) There’s only one problem, of course.

The Fourth of July was last Monday.

But hey, not all is lost. This is the Seventh of July, and that sounds mighty fine, does it not? As Oregonians, we won’t let a little timeliness or arithmetic get in our way now, will we? Our state is vast and ripe with Seventh of July celebrating opportunities… just remember to stay safe (unless you go to Gresham, because that’d be counterproductive)!

Nobody is actually sure if Madras exists, but we can be damn sure that if it does, there are at least six Dutch Bros. Coffee stands scattered about. Pay this sleepy little 6,000-human town a visit and slam a large lime/cherry-blended Rebel at each one. Once your eyelids have curled back over each other and you’re seeing the infrared and UV light spectrums, spend the rest of the day hunting down extra-dimensional beings with a makeshift trident (stick, tinfoil). They look a lot like Earth’s cats.

Silver Falls
Being sure to stop in Albany to buy a lunchbox full of meth first, Silver Falls is a great place to visit while burning some serious crystal. Make it to all of the waterfalls along the 7.2-mile loop in less than 30 seconds. The best part? When you inevitably fall off due to doing what onlookers could only describe as “dancing and itching while fighting invisible fairies,” you’ll be able to climb right back up the cliff face with your bare hands. The worst part? Your teeth. Yeah. They’re not going to come out of this unscathed.

Just outside of Sand People territory, Ontario is home to absolutely nothing. Relax at their day spa, which has no receptionist. Or walls. Sample 14 different kinds of dirt. Want a little action and adventure? Wander over the border into lovely, insignificant Idaho and shoot some Jawas off of their speeders with a rifle that’s way too damn long. And when you fire a laser comes out and you’ll be all like, “Hey, this is cool. A little bit of the Old West, a little bit of the future. That’d make for a beautiful TV show by Joss Whedon that would get stupidly canceled and piss off the whole Universe.” Also, Ontario has a fine lemonade stand.

The prime destination for sport NIMBYers, there’s always some construction proposal or another to be shot down. Head on over to the famed Circle Boulevard, head just south of Highland. Now, puke your guts up after staring at those new townhouses that kind of look like the Gingerbread Man’s nightmare mixed with a wafer cookie filled with crème de la poop.

You’re just in time! This weekend Portland is hosting the World Flashing and Hipster Cannibal Knitting Tournament. H&M’s designer clothing shop will be selling trench coats half off so that you may surprise your surpriser in style. When you get hungry from all of that lunging, scarf down some raggedy human meat pizza at the one and only Schmizza, where there will be plenty of Schwinns to yarn bomb. And while you’re there, ask them wtf they were thinking, opening up a Schmizza Public House in Lebanon. Because seriously, someone needs to ask them about that. It seems like a really impractical location and nobody is ever in there because they’re too busy keeping up their roles as part of the McDonald’s Mobius strip.

Oregon’s premier coastal attraction (aside from the obviously better Seaside), this is the perfect place for anyone interested in competitive “tacky art that Grandma would buy” shopping. Lose your shirt vacuuming up novelty junk on the bayfront, or check out the awesome aquarium, which in no way has a sea lion named Boots, despite putting up billboards all over the damn place advertising him. I drove all the way over there to see his ugly mug and nothing, nothing at all. Liars. Boots was freakin’ CGI or something, designed to trick us. Dammit.

Probably the most popular Seventh of July destination, our state’s capital is home to the finest collection of anti-abortion billboards on the West Coast. Charge up that smartphone, because you gotta catch ‘em all! Of course, not without enjoying premium Sam’s Choice cola from your camouflage-painted mid-80s Toyota truck, which smells of vanilla-scented candles, cigarettes, and diapers.

The thrill of danger, Gresham’s year-round “Am I going to get robbed or murdered?” city theme is a big attraction, only ramping things up for the Seventh with free car door lock inspections and a tour of their bizarre red and dark wood “World of Walmart Craft” Walmart Supercenter. I saw a real-life pimp in there once and it was awesome. He was wearing pajamas and everything.

By Johnny Beaver

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