A public service for those who have heard of Oregon but don't know much about it. First we answer the question Where is Oregon?
Oregon, with the assistance of the state of Washington, serves to maintain the cosmic balance by providing a decent separation between the mutually incompatible cultures of Canada and California.
If you think the climate of Oregon is wet and mild with lots of big trees, ferns, and moss, you are only one third correct. Actually two thirds of this state is high desert cowboy country.
To understand our climate it helps to understand our geography.The bottom of the Pacific Ocean is sliding under the Western edge of North America at the Oregon coast. This collision causes the land to crumple forming a continuous range of coastal mountains averaging from 300 to 600m with a high point of 1250 meters.
To the east of the Coast Range is the Willamette Valley. This is the Oregon everyone knows: mild rainy winters, dry summers, deep rich soil. Some of the finest farm land on the planet.
Approximately two hundred miles east of the coast is the Cascade Range, a chain of volcanic mountains considerably higher that the Coast Range with a high point of Mt Hood at 3246m.
Moist air blows off the Pacific Ocean and falls when it hits these mountains . One third of the state gets most of the moisture and the other two thirds gets what is left. As a result, Eastern Oregon has always been a land of cattle and sheep grazing, gold mining and ghost towns.
Elevation and average precipitation for some cities:
Another thing many people do not know is how open our open spaces are and how much of it we have. For instance we have an area that is 70% the size of Germany with a population only 4% the size of Germany's.
Even this understates the case. Oregon's population is heavily concentrated in the metropolitan Portland area. Much of Oregon's eastern reaches are too thinly populated to be considered 'rural' by the census bureau and are classed as 'frontier'.
So it's very easy to get away from it all in Oregon.