Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern boundaries respectively. The area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of traders, explorers and settlers; the Oregon Territory was created in 1848, and Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Salem is the state's capital and third-most-populous city; Portland is the most populous. Portland is the 30th-largest U.S. city, with a population of 575,930 (2008 estimate) and a metro population of 2,175,133 (2007 estimate), the 23rd-largest U.S. metro area.
The valley of the Willamette River in western Oregon is the most densely populated and agriculturally productive region of the state and is home to eight of the ten most populous cities. Oregon's 2000 population was about 3.5 million, a 20.3% increase over 1990; it is estimated to have reached 3.8 million by 2008. Oregon's largest for-profit private employer is Intel, located in the Silicon Forest area on Portland's west side. The state has 199 public school districts, with Portland Public Schools as the largest. There are 17 community colleges, and seven publicly financed colleges in the Oregon University System. Oregon State University in Corvallis and the University of Oregon in Eugene are the two flagship universities of the state, while Portland State University has the largest enrollment.
Major highways include Interstate 5 which runs the entire north-south length of the state, Interstate 84 that runs east-west, U.S. Route 97 that crosses the middle of the state, U.S. Route 101 that travels the entire coastline, and U.S. Route 20 and U.S. Route 26 that run east-west, among many other highways. Portland International Airport is the busiest commercial airport in the state and is operated as part of the Port of Portland, the state's busiest port. Rail service includes Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway freight service, Amtrak passenger service, as well as light rail and street car routes in the Portland metro area.
Oregon enjoys a diverse landscape including a scenic and windswept Pacific coastline, the volcanoes of a rugged and glaciated Cascade Mountain Range, dense evergreen forests, and high desert across much of the eastern portion of the state. The towering Douglas firs and redwoods along the rainy Western Oregon coast provide a dramatic contrast with the lower density and fire prone pine tree and juniper forests covering portions of the Eastern half of the state. The eastern portion of the state also includes semi-arid scrublands, prairies, deserts, and meadows. These drier areas stretch east from Central Oregon. Mount Hood is the highest point in the state at 11,249 feet (3,429 m). Crater Lake National Park is the only national park in Oregon. Oregon is the United States' leader in forest fires; in 2007 Oregon had over 1,000 forest fires.
Humans have inhabited the area that is now Oregon for at least 15,000 years. In recorded history, mentions of the land date to as early as the 16th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries European powers and later the United States quarreled over possession of the region until 1846 when the U.S. and Great Britain finalized the division of the region. Oregon became a state in 1859 and is now home to over 3.5 million residents.
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- Mount St. Hilary
The Transformers space cruiser, the Ark, crashed into the side of the dormant volcano roughly four million years ago, where it lay undisturbed until the volcano erupted again in 1984. The explosion reactivated the systems aboard the Ark, which promptly set about restoring the Autobots and Decepticons on board.
Mount St. Hilary would serve as the headquarters of the Autobots for the next few years. At one point, Wheeljack installed a number of automated gun emplacements around the volcano. These were hidden inside the rock face, emerging through sliding panels as they were needed.
Under the leadership of Optimus Prime, the Autobots completed repairs on the Ark and successfully relaunched it into space. The hole left behind still contained a variety of discarded machinery and communications systems.
The Autobots have repaired the buildings within Mt St. Hilary for storage and emergency operations, and have installed a landing platform outside the volcano to house the Ark between missions.
During the Great Flood of 2011, much of Oregon's west coast was flooded, including the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene. Above-water Mt St. Hilary was used as a centralized location for search & rescue operations as well as a refugee camp for displaced Americans.
What If? Universes
In 1982, Dr. Mindbender discovered an alien craft buried in a dormant volcano in Oregon. Finding an amazing species of giant robot inside, Mindbender removed and repaired them, removing their cores for study and installing controls to pilot them directly or remotely as drones. With powerful mecha at their disposal, Cobra's army seems unstoppable.
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