Natural Setting

RUGGED coast line, sandy beaches, heavily timbered ranges, snow-
capped peaks, broad river valleys, rough drainage basins, lava
fields, gigantic geologic faults, and rolling upland plains cut by deep
gorges, spread out in changing panoramas in this land of scenic surprises.
Rugged masses, but slightly changed from the form of their volcanic
origin, stand out in contrast to wide areas with lines softened by

Oregon is a land divided by great mountain barriers into regions of
productive farms and desert wastes; it is a land of crowded habitations
and scanty settlements, of lofty eminences and deep depressions, of iso-
lated mountain-hemmed areas and open plains beyond the limit of
vision, of deep lakes and barren playas, of rushing rivers and dry water
courses, of dense forest undergrowth and park-like stands of timber.

The present State, formerly part of a vast area known as the Oregon
country, is bounded on the north by the State of Washington, on the
east by Idaho, on the south by Nevada and California, and on the west
by the Pacific Ocean. Forming the larger part of its northern boundary
line, the historic Columbia River gives the State somewhat the shape
of a saddle, with its pommel near the river's mouth. The Snake River,
with a rugged gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon of the Colorado,
forms more than half of the eastern boundary. These two rivers, with
the three hundred miles of coast, make more than two-thirds of Ore-
gon's boundary line.

The state's extreme length, along the 124th meridian, is 280 miles;
its extreme width, between Cape Blanco and the eastern boundary
line, is 380 miles. Including 1,092 square miles of water surface, its
total area is 96,699 square miles, making it the ninth largest state in
the Union. With the exception of the far eastern portion, it lies in the
Pacific Time Belt; and it embraces 36 counties.

The lofty and frosty-peaked Cascade Range divides Oregon into
two unequal parts. To the east is the broad plains-plateau section; to
the west, and comprising about one-third of the state's area, lies the