It’s hard to believe when you look at the pictures in this gallery that they were taken in a place that’s only about a two-hour drive from Portland. The Cascade Range “rain shadow” effect keeps Oregon’s eastern 2/3 much dryer than lands west of the mountains. Average annual rainfall for Sherman County is a scant 13 inches. Compare that to an average of between 40 and 50 inches for most communities in the Portland Metro area.

Sherman County, often known as “Oregon’s Grain Belt” due to extensive wheat cultivation, is now also being called the state’s “Wind Belt”: Wind farms have sprung up all over the county in the past 20 years.

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