Just got back from a 5 day excursion to the most remote part of Oregon - 8 hours from Portland, one way.
This is the Alvord Desert. Many people - even photographers, haven't heard of this place. The playa (ply-ah) is 6 miles wide and 11 miles long. It is longer than the playa in Death Valley. The Steens Mountain and Pueblo Mountains shield the Alvord Desert from precipitation. The Alvord is the driest place in Oregon, averaging 7 inches or less a year.
I want to return here in the summer. There is NO better place to witness lightning storms in Oregon than the Alvord. It does get hot here, however... hmmm