Visiting Fort Rock

I’m catching up blogging on a few adventures from this summer, now that the rainy season has come. In April we decided to take our new Dodge Challenger for a little road trip, and headed east to something I have had on my to-do list for a long time, but never quite got around to – Fort Rock, Oregon.

We drove out over Mt Hood, and onto the dry side of the state. It is amazing how different the East side of Oregon is from the damp, green West side.

We had not visited Fort Rock because it is not really near anything else we’ve wanted to visit. The land around it is very flat, and then this big rock half-circle raises up on the horizon. 

Story clouds made for some dramatic lighting.

Fort Rock museum had some historic buildings that had been saved from around the area and relocated to the museum.

Although the museum’s General Store faced Fort Rock, I thought it made a more dramatic piece to put them together.

Driving out to the Rock, we started to get a real feeling for how HUGE it was.

We parked in the little parking lot at the base and hiked up into it. (Dave included for scale)

There were lots of neat rock formations up inside the Fort.

And some man-made formations.

I’ve been told this whole area was a vast inland sea eons ago, which is why the rocks have this water-worn look to them.

From the back wall of the Fort, we could look across the formation and out onto the plains.

Everything is so big and vast, and the living things here seem to have quite a struggle on their hands. We found lots of rabbit carcasses among the sagebrush.

It feels like you could just walk forever and not run into anything.

In these days when it seems like everybody is out for themselves, it does my heart good to read about farmer/conservationists who loved the land enough to set it aside and preserve it for future generations to enjoy. Thank you, Long family.

After Fort Rock we headed for Hole in the Ground, another nearby geographic oddity. I grabbed a bag of chips we had bought at the beginning of our journey and discovered they had blown up like a balloon, almost to bursting! That’s beacuse we had bought them at sea level, and brought them up into the high desert, and the difference in air pressure caused them to expand. Crazy science!

We drove through this singed pine forest.

Then we arrived at Hole In The Ground, A HUGE depression. I believe it was volcanic. In Oregon and Washington, when someone asks if a geographic feature is volcanic, the answer is almost always Yes.

Our beautiful new Challenger made the trip effortlessly. What a nice, comfortable, modern car! I hope we enjoy many more road trips in it.

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