Congleton Hollow: Rock Collection

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At the center of Oregon there are MEATLOAF SANDWICHES! Don’t believe me? Drive out to Post (the geographical MIDDLE of the state) and see for yourself. Don’t drive too fast or you’ll miss the painted wooden sign that adverts home-made beefy comfort food. This is cow country, there isn’t much else out here. Just desert Juniper, cows and a speckling of opulent ‘RanchMansions’.

Oh, it is beautiful though! The Crooked River quite literally runs right through the heart of Oregon, and she is so lovely! It’s quite the watersight to see; a golden river among the desert, buttes and blue skies all around.

100 years ago this river was an integral spawning ground for Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Trout. Willows lined every bank and beavers flourished, especially here near Post. Fur trapping and irrigation of the river eradicated the beaver population. In 1910 The Cove Power Plant was built on Lake Billy Chinook which slowed upriver migration of Chinook Salmon. The Ochoco Dam was constructed in 1920 to create two irrigation reservoirs to serve Crook County. The dam blocked migration for the salmon all together. Today, only the native red-band trout remains.

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The road to Congleton Hollow is long and windy. It gives you a lot of time to think, about anything, everything and especially this desert. Why do people live here? How do people live here? Did other people flourish here in times past? OH! There’s a magpie! Ew, it’s eating a deer. Magpies eat meat? Hmmm.

It is a great mental boost to know that at the end of the road there is treasure! 

Congleton Hollow Road
Road to the treasure!
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Treasure site #1, down in the dry creek bed beyond Juniper tree.
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Treasure site #2, another dry creek bed.

And now…

THE TREASURE!

Oregon Agates
Agates and (green) limb casts.
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Opalized Petrified Wood and part of a thunder egg with quartz. The tiny round piece (upper right) is slice of petrified wood that has opalized.
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Petrified Bone (rear) and petrified wood.
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Agatized limb cast (willow or aspen?), half an agate and a fragment of a Thunder Egg.
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Quite an interesting rock indeed…
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Close up of limb casts and agates.

It is quite the phenomenon to look down at the ground, out in the LITERAL middle of nowhere and see a shiny crystal. It makes you feel special; to find this little gem in the sand. You have to wonder how these things even came to form. If you want to really know then here is the Long Explanation. In laymen’s it seems that they are formed like ALL good things; by combining particular circumstance and immense pressure. 🙂

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The drive home is the best part. Take a drive East into the desert and then return. After hours of solitude and sagebrush rises The Great Cascades and behind it is the western sun!

The mountains give direction to the land and like a sailor coming to port, I am grounded.

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The Cascades nearing Prineville
Sunriver Sunset
Ahhh, home!

From Prineville follow Hwy 380 towards Paulina, Oregon for 51 miles.

Turn right on Congleton Hollow Road. After 3.9 miles take a left on the road and proceed 0.4 miles, and park.

Travel another 0.3 miles on Congleton Hollow Road to a turnout, just past the concrete bridge. Here material can be found on both sides of the road.

The last site can be found by taking the left fork of the road just past the turnout. Follow it 0.4 miles to the top of the hill, and you’re there.

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