I don’t know what exactly freaks me out about driving in Roseburg. The population is less than half of what I’m used to – but I’m also used to driving on a grid – and having streets that are numbered rather than all names.
Oregon drivers (as a whole) seem a lot more courteous than Utah drivers – not that Salt Lake accounts for all Utah drivers. But Salt Lake County makes up for over 1/3 of Utah’s population at 1,029,655. The entire Douglas County has a population of 107,667 with Roseburg population at only 21,181 but still the largest city in the county with the next largest city coming in at 7,810 and then Myrtle Creek at less than half of that – and the numbers go down from there.
Overall, the state of Oregon has a higher population than does the state of Utah; Oregon residence are just more spread-out throughout the state making their largest counties from 300 – 800 thousand people and most of their smaller counties with still a higher population than the average Utah county (the largest after Salt Lake has less than 600,000 and goes down from there)
Oregon is a very large forest dotted with cities. Except for the Portland area, it seems you have to drive through a huge amount of forest before the next city. In Salt Lake it is often not known when you have passed one city and entered another as there doesn’t seem to be a break between them. That's always nice when either your car or stomach are acting up - unlike the county where we currently live. Can't say the same for the entire state of Utah - as there seem to be a lot more rural cities than what we've found in Oregon.
We’ve been to Grants Pass and Eugene – both in other counties – both much larger than Roseburg. In fact, Eugene is the second largest city next to Portland, with Oregon’s state capitol, Salem, coming in 3rd. Roland is usually always behind the wheel. I've driven to Canyonville by myself - but I still don't like getting on the freeway - even though I5 has a dense population of cars (at least in Douglas county) as opposed to I15 (the Salt Lake to Provo commute) and one doesn't have to wait in line just to get on the ramp or merge at the speed of light.
The speed limit posted is 65 except for Semi trucks which is posted at 55. Often I just stay in the lane with the trucks - except for when they are really slow and have their blinkers on and are moving in the shoulder lane. The highways are steep. They go up and down and wind all over the place. Our car is even less used to it than I am. And pulling over too far on the shoulder makes for an unpleasant drop. I don't understand why there are so few guard rails.
Some Oregon drivers are ruthless - like tonight. We were returning from Roseburg when all these cars passed us as though we were standing still - and it was Roland behind the wheel - not me. Usually we do not see that many cars wiz by. But the county fair is on - we don't know how far they may have traveled to get to Roseburg in the first place - or how far they have to travel to get to work.
The big city of Roseburg is not actually all that big. I just refer to it as such because of the rural area where we are currently living. It's a 17 - 21 minute drive from where we live. It is where we go to do major shopping, visit the hospital, attend the cinema, stuff like that. Somebody had told us that Grants Pass was about the same distance and a better drive. It wasn't.
It took twice the amount of time to get to Grants Pass as to Roseburg - and though it didn't seem quite as steep, it was definitely a lot more smokey the particular day we chose to go. I had a massive headache - but I can't complain. There are firefighters among others who are much closer to the elements than I.
Grants Pass pride in the bears. Local artists create bears to be displayed along the streets for the summer. We were told that by the end of summer the bears are auctioned off and new creations are made with each summer. I know we didn't see all that are found on Google.