Rock ‘n Roll

March 10, 2011 at 11:11 am (Black and White Photography, History, Landscape Photography, Leah McDaniel Photography, Oregon, Oregon Photography, Photography) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

I have always had a fascination with rocks.  When I was a kid I had a rock tumbler that stayed in perpetual motion in the garage.  Watching the dull lumps of stone transform into glittering beauties always kept me enthralled.  Perhaps it gave me hope that ugly ducklings could indeed turn into swans, outside of sappy fairy tales.  I say perhaps because I can’t really remember what I was pondering that far back, but I digress…

When the weather was more springlike last month, hubby and I went on a few photo field trips, focusing (literally) on the rock structures around Central Oregon. 

He drove and scouted.  I shot.  As he pulled the car over, I would hop out, set up, take several shots, hop back in the car, and roll on to the next location.  It was fun, fast, and we covered a lot of ground (and rocks) in a short period of time.

Lucky for us we had a few days’ window of warm, mostly sunny weather before winter returned to pound us back into resigned submission until springtime really decides to grace us with her presence… probably sometime mid June.  :~)

Anyway, before you roll on, here are the promised rocks of Central Oregon.

Steins Pillar

If you have read any of this blog in the past, you probably realize by now that I geek out about history.  So, if I happen to know anything about the history of the photo, I spill it.

Steins Pillar is a well-known landmark outside of Prineville, Oregon.  By all rights it should be spelled Steen’s Pillar after Major Enoch Steen (US Army) who chased the Snake Indians all around central and eastern Oregon in 1860.  But over a century of misspelling have brought the incorrect version of his name into common usage, as far as this landmark is concerned.

Vital stats?  The largest monolith here is 350′ high with a 120′ diameter.  The slightly overhanging cap has presented a challenge to all those with the urge to conquer the dangerous climb to the top.  The use of pitons and other intrusive climbing aids are dangerous and difficult to use because of the friability of the rock, but despite these problems, Floyd and Glenn Richardson, Don Baars, Leonard Rice and Rodney Shay succeeded as the first to climb to the top of the pillar in 1950.  Why, you ask?  I dunno.  It must be a guy thing.  After all, just look at that pillar.  ‘Nuff said.

Eagle Rock

 This formation is located in Crook County on the Post-Paulina Highway.  Interestingly enough, we saw two bald eagles in the area that day.

Green Rimrock

We stopped for this because of the green color on the basaltic rimrock.  The unusual color is due to the flourescent green Lichen growing on the stone.

Newell Ridge

Newell Ridge

Newell Ridge is located on the Hay Creek Ranch.  It is named for Roy Newell who homesteaded the area in 1906.  Just around the corner is a single pioneer grave in an empty field.  Those pictures are for another time though.

Pipe Organ Rock - Crook County

One of my favorite columnar rock structures.  This one isn’t so easy to get to.  We travelled over 25 miles or so on dirt roads like this:

The sign in the distance says, "Impassable When Wet"

I can’t remember exactly, but I think we lost count of the cattle guards we passed over at about 35.  I am glad we had a week or two of dry weather or we never would have made it out.  In case you are curious, the road pictured above is Twelve-mile road.  Drive it at your own cautious discretion.

More Columnar Basalt

This formation is at Lake Billy Chinook.  This is a spectacular area to view the different geologic formations of Central Oregon.

Rimrock over the lake

Rimrock sentinels stand guard over Billy Chinook.

Basalt Outcrop Near Tumalo Falls


 Prineville Reservoir was formed back in 1961 when the Crooked River was dammed about 20 miles east of Prineville.  The reservoir was formed for irrigation purposes, but today it is an important source of recreation as well for many in the area.

Rimrock over Prineville Reservoir

Here is a shot in black and white.  Which do you prefer?

Ice on the Water beneath the Rimrock


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