The Echo / Wanapum area about 20 million years ago was humid and the topography was a network of streams and hills. There was no Cascade Range, and moisture-laden clouds sweeping inland from the Pacific created an environment in which a rich and diversified forest thrived.
Floods of molten balsaltic lava welled up through fissures in the earth's crust, eventually engulfing an area of 200 000 square miles to a general thickness of several thousand feet. Between eruptions, lakes and marshes formed and forests grew. With each lava flow the forests were destroyed. Some logs were engulfed, preserved and ultimately petrified.
To log this Earthcache e-mail the cache owner do not post answers to these questions:
1. The raising of the Cascade Range began with the end of the outpouring of lava approximately how many years ago?
2. With the raising of the Cascade Range, what happened to the eastern Washington area?
3. What force has led to the exposure of petrified wood that can be found in the area today?
4. Post a picture of yourself and GPS at the cache site.
Highways in this Area
Before the days of the railroad, the transportation of the mail and interstate travel were dependent on public roads. The federal govenment encouraged the early development of early post roads. (Roads used for the distribution of US Mail). Then, with the coming of the railroad, the government switched it's interest in roads to railroads as a better means of interstate travel. It wasn't until the coming of the motor car that the federal government renewed it's interest in public roads.
By 1906, the need for a better organization to build roads was recognized. Thus the State Legislature established what today is our Department of Highways. Stagecoach and covered wagon trails slowly gave way to dirt roads which were passable at least in dry weather. Thus, in turn, were succeeded by macadam and occasionally fir plank roads.
Remnants of early day roads can be seen at this site in the valley below. The first roads in this area were constructed about 1918 and followed the contour of the hillside down to a ferry landing. In 1930 an improved highway was constructed.