We left Bend and motored north in the high desert toward Portland. On the way stopping at Smith Rock, a geological wonder that world class rock climbers have discovered. Around 30 million years ago, a gigantic depression (caldera) was formed by the sudden collapse of overlying rock into an underground reservoir of molten rock. The resulting eruptions produced massive amounts of ash and debris, nearly filling the caldera. These deposits eventually hardened into rock: the largest is known a Smith Rock Tuff. Then about half a million years ago, flows of basalt lava poured into this area from vents nearly 50 miles away capping off much of the tuff that filled the caldera. The flat upper area of the park is on the surface of these now-hardened lava flows. Over time, erosion by the Crooked River has exposed and sculpted the magnificent landscape.
Then a brief stop at a pumpkin patch and a Native American Casino where I came out $9.00 ahead.
And on to Mount Hood covered with fresh snow and up to Timberline Lodge that was built by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, 1936-38, and dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt. 80% of the cost to the WPA was for labor with about 100 workers at a time. Jobs were rotated to provide for as many people as possible in need. I have always known of a town called Government Camp on the slope of Mt. Hood and realize now that it was where the tent community developed for laborers. Furniture, fabrics and rugs were all handmade, carvings, paintings and sculpture abound.