My home for the first 17 years of my life. The county is fairly sparsely populated; the only city of any real size is the county seat of Albany. Most of these statements apply to everything outside of Albany; I never really think about it as being in the county anyway (it's right on the edge between Linn County and Benton County). Linn County is in the central Willamette Valley, north of Eugene and well south of Salem, the state capitol. From my (old) house, you can see the foothills of the Cascades right outside the window; the Coastal Range is just visible, way out to the west.

For local religion, we have the three Ms: Menonnite, Methodist, and Mormon. If someone is religous in this area, it's a better than 90% chance that they belong to one of these three groups. Like much of rural Oregon, it's a pretty conservative area, in sharp contrast to the general liberalism that flavors the larger cities (PDX and Eugene in particular). Entertainment for the youths is limited to using .22s to shoot the nutria that swim in the ditches, doing crystal meth, and (for the ladies), getting pregnant at 16.

The primary methods of employment in the area are agriculture, mostly raising sheep and growing grass seed, and working at the local pulp mill, co-owned and operated by James River (now Fort James) and Pope and Talbot. My father has worked there for the last 18 years.

During the spring, it's said that the sheep outnumber people; I don't know for sure but it could easily be true. The weather is pretty dismal 8 months of the year, just like most everywhere in western Oregon, basically just rain, rain, rain, constantly all the time from late October until mid June. Honestly though, I prefer that to the arctic freezes we sometimes get during the early spring; I hate the cold, especially because it often results in the death of our sheep (yes, my family has some sheep), and/or our crops, depending on how late it happens. The summers easily make up for it, being completely beautiful, with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s and decent humidity pretty much all the time. It's wonderful for running, too.

When the skies are clear at night (almost always in the summer), you can see countless stars; the only real light source in the sky for most parts of the county is Eugene, or Albany if you live closer to the north half. It makes for wonderful viewings of meteor showers, too.

I've been living in Baltimore for 4 years now, but I still miss this place. Update 1 year later: This last bit is, to be honest, a big fat lie. I was bored out of my mind there. I might go back someday, but not until I've got my fill of indie rock girls, dive bars, and dead rats (three reasons to love B'more).

If, in the incredibly unlikely chance that there is any noders out there from Linn County, /msg me and say hi

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