Headwaters of the Metolius-Cove Palisades-Smith Rock

July 10, 2007

On what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer, nearing 100 degrees, we embarked for Eastern Oregon with John Goddard as our capable driver. After a brief stop at McKenzie Bridge Ranger Station, we reached the head of the Metolius River. While most hiked to the spot the river emerges from the ground, the Refreshment Committee supplied us with goodies.

We took the alternate road by Lower Bridge and the diatomite mine to Terrebone. Diatoms are microscopic primitive plants with a covering of silica which creates a white powder. When we reached Cove Palisades State Park, we parked where we first looked down on Lake Billy Chinook. We could see the sand and gravel which once filled the entire valley. Then both the Crooked river and Deschutes River cut down, creating parallel valleys. Then lava came down both streams and nearly filled both valleys. Then both rivers excavated valleys which we see now. Where the river lava flows came together, is called “The Island”. We ate lunch by the lake shore in the shade, then crossed Crooked River arm of the lake, and crossed the isthmus to the Deschutes side. Owing to lack of time, we moved on without getting off the bus. On the way to Smith Rock, we stopped at the Peter Skeene Ogden Overlook of the gorge of the Crooked River. At Smith Rock, we could see where the ridge to the north was made of volcanic ash and is said to be a part of the colorful John Day Formation, although the color red was missing. The lava flow that came down the Crooked River pushed the river against the cliff, and cut down to form the valley we now see. We stopped briefly for a rest stop in Sisters in the Sisters city park, and reached home about 6:30pm

Riders were members: Ewart Baldwin (leader), Pat Baylis, Marcia Berman, Marianne Camp, Ingrid Carmichael, MaryLee Cheadle, Sharon Cutsworth, Rachele Fiszman, Barbara Flanders, Dennis Flanders, Jeannette Forsman, Marc Hansen, Dora Harris, Margit Hollerud, MaryAnn Holser, Ben Jeffries, Vi Johnson, Rosella Jones, John McManigal, Lenore McManigal, Cleora Mersdorf, Barbara Payne, Don Payne (co-leader), Bill Prentice, Margaret Prentice, Edna Robertson, Edith Rode, Nola Shurtleff, Paula Sievers, Julie Snell, Janet Speelman, Richard Speelman, Mary Ellen West and Vera Wooley; and nonmembers: Louise Behnke, Jim McWhirter, Kate Pryke, Jean Reimer, Heather Rode and Shelley Turner.

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