Archive for June, 2010



June 9, 2010

Yesterday we went on a field trip out to Horse Thief Butte and the surrounding area. I had left my didgeridoo out there over the weekend and needed to retrieve it. Erica and Chris had never seen Horse Thief before so I figured that it would  be a good field trip for the three of us to take.

Below the butte and across the lake are the petroglyphs, one of them being of the Thunderbird. It was nice to see it on the rocks. We’re going to schedule a trip for the guided walk that allows access to the other petroglyphs and pictographs that are still in their natural locations.

In 1956, when the John Day Dam was completed, thousands of petroglyphs were submerged under the advancing waters of the dam swollen river.

This area was the great gathering grounds for tribes of the entire Columbia River Drainage. Goods were traded from all over the region and in this great market place a person could acquire items from all over North America that were moved along the various trade routes that had existed since time out of mind.

Today, the area is quite. There is a small campground at the lake and ample fish to be caught. Nearby is Marshal’s Winery…a must visit for anyone passing through. Ron Johnson is very personable and funny and he makes excellent wine.

The Missoula Flood made it mark here, carving out the buttes and scouring the terrain. This legacy of beauty has not been destroyed by the Dam, but gone are Celilo Falls and the Long Narrows, both important fishing grounds.