While staying at Cottonwood Canyon State Park in Oregon, we decided we were interested in visiting Stonehenge. Wiltshire, England seemed like too far to go, so we went to Maryhill, WA which was only about 30 miles away.
The Maryhill Stonehenge, built by Sam Hill, was the first monument in the United States to honor the dead of World War I. The center altar stone is lined up with sunrise on the summer solstice. Hill had incorrectly believed that the original Stonehenge had been used as a sacrificial site, therefore constructed the replica as a reminder that humanity is still being sacrificed to the god of war.
If you are interested in visiting other Stonehenge replicas in the United States you can find a Roadside America map here.
Guest Blogger – Michael Parker (He’s the husband and has to do what I say, so not really a guest, but it sounds cooler)
Take a moment and close your eyes… I want you to imagine something with me (I know you’re peeking – How else could you still be reading this?):
It is millions of years ago and a young river has begun its work sculpting out layer after layer of rock to create a canyon filled with prairie grasses tucked between basalt peaks.
Okay, you can open your eyes now (stop faking it, I know you didn’t really close them – we already talked about this). Did you see it? No? Well, then here’s a few pictures.
Let me tell you what you’re looking at; this is Cottonwood Canyon in Oregon. The canyon was carved out by the John Day River so the state park we stayed at could be built. The state park, conveniently named Cottonwood Canyon State Park, has bikes you can check out to cruise some of the trails
So I went for a ride on a bike that turned out to be a time machine.
The history of the formation of the region is laid out before you on these trails. Like an enormous novel that took thousands of years to write each single page, the canyon tells the story of a time when Mother Earth was a bit more feisty and stressed out; throwing lava around, shoving piles of subterranean rock into mountains above the surface, all while stripping chunks away with water. What we are left with is an amazing , awe-inspiring display created by the grandest architect of all – nature.
Whether you decide to hike them, or bike them, when you stroll down these paths take your time. Mother Nature took around 16 million years to design this canyon – don’t be in such a rush that you miss the details she put into it.
Footnote about what I learned about myself:
This was my first trail ride on a mountain bike in many years and I am glad it was an easy ride because I am now very aware that I am still overweight, out of shape, and getting older everyday. Thankfully they had a few spots along the path for break. I used every one of them.
After the awesome (yet CRAPPER), time at Fort Stevens, we took a drive through Astoria to see the sites.
The Wildlife As we were pulling out of Fort Stevens State Park there was a small group of elk leisurely grazing right next to the road.
The Astoria Column The Astoria Column was finished in 1926. The Column is a historical monument which tells the story of the discovery and settlement of the Columbia River until the arrival of the railway.
The monument only costs a few dollars, but it is good for the entire year in case you want to visit again – or gift to someone else that is going. (I don’t know if you are really supposed to do that, so you didn’t hear it here!)
The Goonies The Goonies was filmed on the northern Oregon coast, including locations in Astoria. The old Clatsop County Jail was in the movie, and it is now a Film Museum. We also sought out the house from the movie, but sadly they do not welcome guests anymore.
The Peter Iredale Shipwreck The Peter Iredale shipwreck was also in a few movies, including The Road starring Viggo Mortensen. The novel, The Road, was written by Cormac McCarthy and is an awesome read! The story takes place after the apocalypse, telling you about a man and his son trying to survive.
Astoria is lovely with views of the Astoria Bridge from most of the town. Over 75% of the homes in the city were built prior to 1959. The old homes are large and beautiful, with attention to details.
I have managed to wrestle the computer away from the dogs so that I could get back to work on my own blogging, but I imagine that they will take over again! Once they learn a new trick...
Beverly Beach State Park is about five miles north of the city of Newport along the central Oregon coast. I would love to tell you wonderful things about the park, but we barely left our trailer because they have mosquitoes the size of tanks.
The one thing we did notice at Beverly Beach is some really cool trees they have there. These high-rooted trees grow this way because of high water in the soil.