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Crooked River Gorge High Bridge EarthCache

Hidden : 06/21/2010
2 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

The Crooked River High Bridge spans the Crooked River Gorge in Jefferson County, OR. The bridge is now the location of a footpath in Peter Skene Ogden State Viewpoint. It was once a part of Hwy 97.

At 295 ft above the canyon floor, this bridge was the nation's highest single arch span when constructed. The bridge is a steel arch type, designed by Conde McCullogh and was completed in 1926. The bridge was in use until 2000, when it was replaced by the Rex T. Barber Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The Crooked River gorge is an amazingly beautiful 300 ft high Basalt Canyon. The viewpoint park is named for Peter Skene Ogden, a trapper employed by Hudson's Bay Company; the first explorer of this area in 1825. The gorge was impassable until 1911 when the first of three bridges was built. The first bridge was a railroad bridge.

Picture of the railroad bridge at the gorge taken by nymphnsatyr, June 20th, 2010

The Crooked River is a tributary of the Deschutes River, which in turn is a tributary of the Columbia River. As mentioned, this particular gorge features 300 ft tall Basalt walls. Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock, which is fine grained. Fine grained volcanic rock is formed when lava cools rapidly. Basalt is black or grey, and has been found on several planets including Earth's Moon and Mars.

Basalt is one of the most common types of rock found on the planet Earth and is composed mainly of plagioclase and pyroxene minerals and is classified as an igneous rock. Most of the ocean floor is Basalt!

Basalt can be identified in several different shapes based on how and where it erupted. Basalt that erupts in the open air can have a 'frothy' texture, and look like it has holes in it. For example, in Hawaii, 'Pahoehoe' (Pronounced Pa-hoy-hoy) is a fluid hot form of Basalt that fills up hollow places and creates lava lakes and lava tubes.

Another shape you will see is what is called Columnar Basalt which is formed when the lava flow cools relatively quickly. The columns can have anywhere from 3 to 12 sides! The slower it cools, the wider the columns are.

Under the water, Basalt forms a pillow shape, the outside may be glassy. Basalt pillows come in many different sizes and can even be several meters across.

To log this cache, please send an email with your answers:

1) Find the plaque at the posted coordinates entitled "The Crooked River (High) Bridge." You will see a quote from The Portland Oregonian about the bridge. What is the date of this quote?

2) According to the plaque, what is the name of the Railroad bridge that also crosses the gorge here?

3) Based on the descriptions of Basalt shapes, look at the Basalt walls of the gorge; what shape are they?

Things to keep in mind, safetywise:

•  There are multiple signs at the park that advise visitors to leave their dogs in the car. Many dogs have died from falling into the canyon. Please be cautious.

•  Please supervise children carefully!

Congratulations steben6 for being FTF!!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Lbh fubhyq frr gur fvta ng gur pbbeqvangrf.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)