Despite how it may seem, there are lots of places in Oregon I've never been, including places with great geology. Off the top of my head, a few examples include:
- Crest of Steens Mountain
- Smith Rocks State Park
- Leslie Gulch and Owyhee Canyon
- Jordan Craters
- Saddle Mountain
- Richardson's Rock Ranch
This is prompted, in part, by Callan Bentley's geomeme of two posts back, and in particular by my exasperation at Lava River Cave as one of only two Oregon sites listed. There's nothing wrong with Lava River Cave, and it will definitely make my list. It's the longest tube in Oregon, it's developed, so anyone in moderately good physical shape can enjoy it, and it's easy to get to and find. On the other hand, I can think of three other lava tubes that I think have more to offer than this one (I will be including these in my final list as well). They are, in descending order, Derrick Cave, Wind Cave, and Malheur Cave. The first has an amazing slew of cool features, the second is breath-taking in its sheer size/cross-sectional area, and the third has an underground lake as its terminus. If I had to pick my top two Oregon sites, I would cheat and pick three, with Newberry Volcano and Crater Lake in a tie for first, and the Columbia River Gorge in second. NV and CL are, in broad terms, very similar. Much of what one can see at CL can only be seen at a distance, though there are things to see there that aren't visible at NV. On the other hand, there's plenty to see at NV that's not at CL, and it's easier to get hands-on there. Toss-up. (Honestly, though, if I wasn't inclined to cheat, I'd have to give CL the nod on the basis of its scientific importance.)
The reason I'm posting this heads-up, though, is to request help. I'll probably spend a couple of weeks or more working on this. Maybe much more. If you've spent time geologizing in Oregon, please leave a comment on this post, or @ me on Twitter (@lockwooddewitt), with sites that struck you as particularly geologically awesome, important, or beautiful. As I said, there are plenty of Oregon spots I know are important, but nevertheless have not had the opportunity to visit. I'll be relying on Geology of Oregon to fill in some of the gaps, but I am curious to hear what others have to say, and it will help me avoid missing sites that deserve to be included.
Thanks ahead of time for any help given.