Crossing the Crooked River

Monday September 23rd 2019

After a wet and rain day on Sunday, today was a dry day with filtered sunlight all day. The only thing blocking the sun was a layer of thin wispy clouds high in the sky. The temperature made it to a little above seventy.

I explored the area south of my RV home toward Bend Oregon today. My first stop was at the Peter Skene Ogden State Park. This park is basically a wayside park on the side of US 97 which is the main north south route on the east side of the Cascades. The park is located were the highway crosses the Crooked River three hundred feet below the road’s surface.

New modern highway 97 bridge over the Crooked River.
1929 bridge across the Crooked river with the active modern bridge behind.

In this location there are three bridges across a narrow canyon with the river below. The first is a railroad bridge built in 1910 to support a short line railroad from the Columbia River to Bend Oregon. The second bridge was the built in 1926 to carry the traffic on US 97 across the river. It is currently used as a walking path. The third bridge is the current highway bridge across the canyon which opened in 2000.

1909 railroad bridge across the Crooked river. Two snow capped mountains in the Cascades range peek over the bridge deck.
A railroad service truck cross the railroad bridge riding the rails.

Each bridge is an impressive structure, but the real beauty is the canyon. The steep brown and black walls are three feet high. The river below is a flowing narrow green ribbon. Looking to the west above the railroad bridge the snow capped peaks of the Cascade mountains keep watch over the area.

The canyon and river turn to the north just west of the railroad bridge with more mountain peaks in the Cascade range visible in the distance.

After visiting the park, I continued my drive south to Bend. I’ll be repeating the trip on Wednesday when I leave the area. On the way back I stopped at the Walmart in Redmond to stock up on groceries. This is a big newer Walmart that has a wide selection of merchandise, but they needed to do a better job keeping the grocery shelves stocked. My other gripe is the high number of self service checkouts vs. staffed checkouts. There were only two checkouts with a human to assist with checking out.

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