“Oregon or Bust” — Smith Rock hosts archaeology series

Smith Rock State Park

This year’s annual Oregon Archaeology Celebration highlights the United States expansion and settlement of the West. Join us at the Welcome Center at 7 p.m. on Fridays throughout October.  Each 1 1/2-hour presentation includes a question and answer period.

  • Oct. 3: “Oregon’s Fur Trade Era.” Dr. David Brauner of Oregon State University will describe the early global competition over the abundant natural and physical resources in the Oregon Territory.
  • Oct. 10: “Finding Fremont in Oregon, 1843.” Loren Irving, past Chairman of the Oregon Historic Trails Advisory Council, will detail the “Great Pathfinder” John C. Fremont’s historic expeditions to map the Oregon Trail.
  • Oct. 17: “The Lost Meek Wagon Train.” Prineville’s Bowman Museum historian Steve Lent will recount the disastrous 1845 shortcut off of the main route of the Oregon Trail.
  • Oct. 24: “The Legend of Skull Hollow.” Smith Rock Park Ranger Eric Iseman will describe key incidents and locations relating to the Snake Indian War of 1864-68.
  • Oct. 31: “Hardiness and Hope on the High Desert.” Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick will discuss the hardships endured during the Homestead Era in Eastern Oregon.

Presentations are open to the public and free of charge with a $5 day-use or annual pass required for parking.

Smith Rock State Park (park information and driving directions)

Tumalo campground closed during restroom renovations

Day-use area open

Tumalo State ParkTumalo State Park campground is closed for the season to replace restrooms and showers buildings.

The campground is scheduled to reopen July 1, 2015, and reservations for space after that date will be available through the normal reservation process, nine months in advance. If the project finishes ahead of schedule, campers will be able to reserve dates prior to July 1 by calling Reservations Northwest beginning April 15 at 1-800-452-5687.

The project costs approximately $800,000 and will be funded by Oregon Lottery dollars dedicated to state parks. Project coordinators are also in the process of applying for a grant.


Grant’s Getaways: Yaquina Head

If you’re looking for a place to stay on your visit to Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, campgrounds are waiting at Beverly Beach State Park (4 miles north) and South Beach State Park (7 miles south).