Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Geo 365: March 13, Day 72: Fort Rock

Looking up at Fort Rock from near its base, the precipitous cliffs of the tuff ring jump out. It's difficult, not just in this photo, but in real life, to get a sense of scale here- there's little but sagebrush for context. However, this spot is the one with the highest relief, and the Wikipedia page says the prominence is nearly 350 feet, so this is by no means a trivial edifice. The cavernous weathering over this surface is terrifically appealing to raptors. They nest and roost in those little hollows, which afford both protection from the elements, and, I'd imagine, an excellent vantage point to watch for prey in the surrounding agricultural flats.

As I've mentioned, Fort Rock is a smaller version of Table Rock, examined in detail over the past couple weeks, but without the final effusive basalt flows. It's also much better known, and has been designated a State Park. It's day-use only, but it does have bathrooms with running water, and shelters for picnicking. The facilities are minimal, and as the day was moving along quickly, we didn't spend as much time here as the feature warrants. However, we did manage to squeeze in some highlights, which I'll showcase in coming days.

Photo unmodified. August 20, 2011. FlashEarth Location.

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