Historic Hood River
Dean Fletcher told me W. F. Laraway called this boulder “the pebble.” It is a glacial erratic– a granite boulder rafted to the Hood River Valley on an ice floe during one of the cataclysmic floods of the Ice Age.
I posted another view of it a while back and two possible locations were suggested: Charlott suggested Van Horn Butte, and Don suggested his property near Panorama Point. I’ve since spoken with the folks at Oregon’s Department of Geology and Minerals (DOGAMI) who shared a survey of glacial erratics in the valley. Sure enough, there is one of this size on Van Horn Butte, reported by none other than Harlan Bretz himself. I spoke with the current property owner, who says there is no boulder there today but there is some evidence the boulder might have been blasted away to make room for a homesite. I have not been able to track down Don to see his candidate, but I’m confident when I finish scanning the collection we’ll have some better evidence to resolve this mystery.
I’m adding this link from DOGAMI for the hardcore geologists among us. Warning: you will be downloading an 800MB zip file which includes a 2012 map of the geology of the Hood River Valley, as well as a full set of GIS files. If you have GIS software you will be able to load the shapefile for the Missoula Flood data which includes the location and additional details about the various glacial erratics, including the one at 842 feet on Van Horn Butte reported by Harlan Bretz in 1919. If you don’t have GIS software you can still look at the very interesting detailed map showing the makeup of the valley and the location of all the known fault lines.