Marion County is a county in Oregon, and home of the the state capital, Salem. Located in the middle of the Willamette Valley, most of the county is less than an hour south of Portland. Depending on definitions, the county is either adjacent to, or part of, the Portland Metropolitan Area. While relatively small compared to other counties in Oregon, the county's area of 1200 square miles still makes it about the size of the proverbial Rhode Island, and it has a population of around a third of a million people, about half of whom live in Salem.
The county has a dichotomy of sorts: Salem, while less culturally liberal than Portland, is still an Oregon city, with the attendant attitudes and pasttimes, especially since many people who live there are highly-educated government employees. Just a few miles outside of Salem, in the smaller exurbs, which were and are based around agriculture, the culture changes very quickly, to being much more conservative (at least by Oregon standards).
The county also has many areas of natural beauty, including the Willamette, hundreds of square miles of rolling farmland, Silver Creek Falls State Park, and, in the east of the county, the entrance to the Mount Jefferson wilderness.
Brevity Quest 2020