THE WILLAMETTE-PUGET SOUND VALLEY 206. Another great valley.—The Pacific mountains again divide in Oregon, Washing ton, and British Columbia, thereby making room for the Willamette-Puget Sound Valley. This valley is to these states what the Great Valley of California is to that state.
Between these two great Pa cific valleys there is a wild region of forested mountain, through which passes the one railroad, connecting the north and the south Pacific coasts.
207. Climate. — The Willamette-Puget Sound Valley has more rain than the Cali fornia valleys, more frost in winter, and a cooler summer. The climate here has brac ing winters and delightful summers, a combi nation such as cannot be found in any other large part of the United States or Canada. We must go to France and southern England to find its match.
It is hard for people living in a certain latitude on the Atlantic Coast to understand how different the climate exactly west on the Pacific Coast can be. Roses bloom at Christmas time at Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, and at other places around Puget Sound. In much of this valley snow at sea level is a curi osity, rain in July or August is rare, and thunderstorms are so nearly unknown that many people are greatly frightened when one occurs. In the summertime a person in the sunshine rarely feels hot, and he always feels cool in the shade. The people are right in claiming that their climate is wonderful. Indeed, • a geographer, Dr. Huntington, of Yale, says that this climate is the best in the world to keep people healthy and to make them active in mind and body, because it has frequent small temperature changes with the passing of cyclones. It is warm enough in winter to tempt people to go out of doors. It is cool enough in summer to make people want to do things, rather than to sit in the shade.
208. Forests and valley, once forest-covered, is now an island of farm land in a sea of forests. The mountains on both sides of the valley are buried deep be neath the dark shade of the most wonderful forests in the world. For miles and miles the tramper must make his way between trunks of pine and fir that are four, five, and six feet in diameter, and reach up seventy-five or one hundred feet to the first limb. Splendid
forests still cover part of the valley floor.
Trainloads of logs wind down from the mountains. Log rafts float upon the Sound. Seattle, Tacoma, and many smaller towns have big sawmills. This is the greatest lumber-manufacturing region in the world, and it is also close to the reserves of the choicest standing timber to be found in any place that is easily accessible. (Sec. 162.) 209. Agriculture.—The summer is too cool for corn, but wheat, barley, oats, and potatoes thrive amazingly. In the Willamette-Puget Sound Valley there are many cattle and much poultry, for which fields of barley, oats and clover furnish good food. Pastures are green all the year. To supply the large de mands of Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Olympia, and Tacoma, many dairy farms and market gardens are needed.
Fruits grow bountifully. Strawberries are equaled only by those of France. Cherries grow tq great size. Plums are abundant, and many prunes are dried. Many of the fruits of California are grown here, but the chief commercial fruits are of the more northern kinds—plums, pears, cherries, and apples. These fruits are also grown in the British Columbia part of this lowland— Vancouver Island—and on the opposite shores of the mainland. Many shipments of beautiful fruit are sent each year to eastern markets. Loganberries, raspberries, and blackberries also thrive abundantly in these valleys. From the canning factories, the fruits are sent in jam cans to grocery stores, and, in the form of syrups to soda fountains in all parts of our country.
If all the suitable land of this valley were cleared and used for intensive farming we should have an agriculture like that of France and England, whose climate is moist and cool. In those countries, barley, potatoes, forage beets, dairy products, hogs, poultry, fruits, and vegetables are largely produced, and the production of such things may be greatly increased in the Willamette-Puget Sound Valley.