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The Great Outdoors

In 1919, Oregon passed the nation's first gas tax. The tax charged drivers one cent per gallon of gas purchased. The funds from the gas tax would go towards improving Oregon's roads and help "Get Oregon out of the Mud", as the slogan said.  The gas tax funded the Columbia River Highway and the Pacific Highway among others. By the late 1920s, Oregonians were wandering all over the Pacific Northwest in their automobiles. The new highways provided clear routes to the Pacific Ocean, the Columbia Gorge and surrounding areas. College students like Edith Hansen McGill could travel easily around the state and enjoy Oregon's natural beauty. Just a few of her photographs of outdoor pursuits are below. You may view additional pictures of hiking, going to the beach, visiting lakes and canoeing, handling guns & hunting; or continue on to the page on swimming.

For further reading on the gas tax and the development of Oregon's highway system, click here.