Rockhounding adventures: Lookout point Reservoir


Some days the constant fog of winter in the Willamette valley just drags you down into the gloom. Luckily though you do not have to go far to get away from it. And it leads to one of my favorite hobbies that does not involve fishing. Yes I know nearly everything I do somehow involves fishing, but on this adventure I did not even bring my fishing pole.

Oregon is a great state if you like to rock hound. Along every river that feeds into the Willamette you can find some type of rock. My favorites tend to be a variety of different agate and Jasper. Both tumble well and make great jewelry or just polish and add to the fishtank or into a jar. My fishtank is nearly all agate I have found over the years. And since they are polished usually algae cant grow on them. But I am getting sidetracked. Our adventure today was to check out the upper end of the reservoir and the exposed area from the lake being at low winter levels.

First stop of the day was way up where the river is.

For years I have drove by when the lake is at low levels and saw what I thought was an old road along the flats. Today was the first time I have ever walked down to it. Any old flooded town that gets exposed is considered an archeology site and by Oregon law cannot be disturbed. But you can still walk around and explore. What I thought was an old road is actually an old railroad bed. All the tracks and most but not all of the timber has been removed but old railroad spikes are everywhere.

Lots of these old concrete bridges along the old tracks.

On our first stop the rocks looked promising and we found several smaller agates and some green jasper. It looks like the gravel and rocks that were used to construct the railway were all brought in and the agates and jasper were from wherever that was dug up at. Climbing up the edges beyond that we did not find much of anything. After a nice walk and some complaining kids who didn’t like the lack of pretty rocks we headed back to the truck and headed down the road some more.

First agate at stop two.

The next location was much better for some agates and jasper. My oldest daughter found a nice pocket of blue agates exposed on the surface. They should tumble up nice for her. I was finding some nice larger pieces of red jasper. And found enough to run through my tumbler.

Very rough piece of jasper

Overall it made for a nice day out of the fog and into the sun with the family.

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