Fort Rock Signs
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 43° 22.389 W 121° 03.967
10T E 656672 N 4804069
Four signs in shelter at Fort Rock
Waymark Code: WMG03
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 06/29/2006
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 19

Signs are located in shelted north of parking lot.

Marker Name: The Birth of a Tuff Ring
Marker Text: They say it happened more than 100,000 years ago. Molten rock, squeezing its way toward the surface, ran into groundwater. The result? Great explosions of steam, lake-bed mud, and billions of glass shards. Wave after wave of this boiling mixture swept outward leaving layers of glassy mud. After each blast, some layers slumped down into the crater. The debris formed a massive ring around a broad crater. Later, the glassy mud of the 6000 foot wid tuff ring solidified into rock.

At its creation, Fort Rock towered 400 feet above the floor of the old lake bed. The long gentle slopes of its youth were eroded into tall cliffs full of holes and cracks. Today, about 300 feet tall and smaller in diameter, the rugged crescent is all that remains of the tuff ring.

Prevailing southwesterly winds whipped relentless waves against the fort’s perimenter, eventually eroding the gap in the rock you see today.

As you view this 40 mile-long valley, imagine how much of this area would have been covered by the lake. Picture herds of bison, horses and camel-like animals, grazing on lush grasslands along the lake shore.

Imagine also Southwestern-style pinon pine forests blanketing much of this area, and maybe even flocks of long-legged pink birds along the lake shore, whose likeness still graces select suburban lawns.

Marker Name: The First People of Fort Rock
Marker Text: Near the end of the last Ice Age, America’s first people migrated into this lake-filled basin, finding a climate cooler than today’s. A warming trend increased evaporation and the lake shrank. Soon these people discovered caves carved by waves when lake levels were higher.

Around 9000 years ago, the arid-loving sagebrush had replaced much of the marsh grasses. Despite the change from temperate to semiarid, human habitation in the caves is thought to have continued for more than 11,000 years. Bones found in caves suggest that game continued to be plentiful. Charcoal from fire pits traces the gradual disappearance of plant types no longer resident here.

More than 70 sandals have been found in a variety of caves in the Fort Rock basin. Woven from sagebrush bark, the artifacts are some of the oldest found in the Northwest. Mats and baskets were also fashioned from the bark. Arrowheads and spear points, scrapers, gravers, and fish net weights fashioned from stone also found throughout the basin tell the story of a resident population with many choices at mealtime.

Marker Name: Cowboy, Horseman, Philosopher
Marker Text: ”Reuben Long, has lived on the desert all his life, taking the cold, the wind, and the pitiless summer sun, and giving back gentleness and understanding. He is known to thousands as a desert philosopher, with wit and wisdom far beyond most of us.” (Written about Long, the coauthor of “The Oregon Desert.”)

Born in Lakeview in 1898, Reuben A. Long continued a family ranching tradition. At the peak of his career, he and his wife Eleanor owned 7000 acres and leased 30,000 acres more. Besides Hereford cattle, the Longs raised fine horses that were featured in countless western films.

”God has quit making land, but he keeps right on making people.” -- Reuben A. Long

Before his death in 1974, “Reub” and his wife Eleanor, donated 30 acres of their land --this land -- to the people of Oregon. It is a special landscape, one that endowed him with sage humility, move than enough to sustain a cowboy’s twist of humor.

The fourth sign is general info about the State Park.

Historic Topic: Geological

Group Responsible for placement: State of Oregon

Marker Type: Roadside

Region: Central Oregon

County: Lake

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Sage Rat 5 visited Fort Rock Signs 09/18/2009 Sage Rat 5 visited it
Queens Blessing visited Fort Rock Signs 05/25/2009 Queens Blessing visited it
TheBeanTeam visited Fort Rock Signs 04/20/2007 TheBeanTeam visited it
Volcanoguy visited Fort Rock Signs 06/30/2006 Volcanoguy visited it

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