Why Write About Places?

Why do places look the way they do? This is the question that geographers obsess over. The why of a location's appearance is always an interaction between the needs and desires of the people who live and work there now and the physical circumstancesOR: South Coast Region, Coos County, Coos Bay Area, Coos River Mountains, The Coos River, Chandler Bridge, c. 1952 [Ask for #271.142.] they find themselves in. Those "physical circumstances" aren't just the natural environment and geologic features; they are also the alterations made by past inhabitants, which the present population can choose to live with, alter, or replace.

What use is this sort of inquiry? For one, it helps in picking out good photo subjects. The things that really add to the character of a place are typically the most visually compelling, and this sort of knowledge helps you pick them out. Indeed, it's a help for any type of artist who uses scenery as a starting point. But more generally, it makes scenic travel more enjoyable when you can pick out, and admire, what makes (for instance) the Coos Bay coast uniquely different from that of Eureka.

But most of all I write about it because it fascinates me. It's why I got a Masters in Geography many years ago. It's why I insist on adding maps to these pages (even though map-making is hardly my core skill); the why of a place almost always depends on where it is. In this section of the blog I'll dive deep into the why and where, for those who share my interest.

OR: South Coast Region, Coos County, Oregon and Northern California coast map, with land areas transparent. Shows Los Angeles to Vancouver, BC [Ask for #990.099.] 
 
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Exploring the Pacific Coast
Coos Bay, OR
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