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Monday, August 1, 2011

Who the heck is Billy Chinook and why a lake?

Today we again started with a bike ride in Dry Canyon, this time 8 miles.  It was already pretty humid and the temperature was up to about 77 by the time we finished.  (felt like 90).

After that, we came back to the RV and planned our day’s outing to Lake Billy Chinook state park.  The park is really hard to find.  There isn’t much in the way of signage from highway 97 and what signs they have are confusing because it is also called Cove Palisades.

But after going about 7-8 miles out of our way, we turned to GPSy on my phone and she directed us to the lake.

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The lake swimming area with a boat outside the barrier

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The swim area and canyon wall.

After having our lunch at a picnic table right on the shore of the lake, we drove along the top of the canyon to some vista points.  Here you can see down into the gorge that the river/lake have created.

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Then we went to Crooked River Ranch.  This area also is in the bottom of a canyon.  Before going down, we stopped at a rest area/vista point and had a great view of the river and surrounding bridges.

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A railroad bridge across the Crooked River (looking SW)

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The highway 97 bridge across the Crooked River (looking NE)

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Looking straight down to the River (300 feet below).

As we were coming home, we could see the clouds building up in the sky.  Sure enough, 2 hours later we have rain and lightning and thunder.  We had a strong microburst wind that really rocked us, but it lasted less than a minute.  The rain was large drops but also stopped after a few minutes and the ground is already drying up.  The temperature has dropped some 13 degrees in about 10 minutes but I suspect it will climb a bit as the storm moves away.

So OK, just who was Billy Chinook?  And why does he get a lake named after him?

Possible answers:

a)  A past congressman from Oregon in the early 1900s.

b)  A famous songwriter and singer

c)  An Indian Scout

d)  Nobody, just some guy who wanted a lake.

Scroll down for the answer:









c) A Wasco Indian Scout who traveled with explorer John Fremont in 1843.

If you chose answer b, you get partial credit.  There really was a songwriter named Billy Chinook.


Sue and Doug said...

nice bridge shots today, Dave!..and as for Billy Chinook?..never heard of him until today!!..thanks for the lesson!!

Russ Krecklow said...

That's a pretty desolate looking place, isn't it? Since it's a great recreational area for boats, it does get a lot of use. The fishing is pretty good too, I hear.

Glad you're enjoying your time there in that area. Sorry we couldn't make it over.