More About Glacial Erratics

Two of my favorite Washington State erratics are not even in Washington – but they were. They’re now down in Oregon, south of Portland, and how they got there… Well, there’s a story I’d like to tell.

Perhaps the most exotic and unlikely erratic in the world got started on its journey a long time ago from a place in the dark emptiness between the stars. It is not only an erratic, it is an iron-nickel meteorite, and it is big. It is the largest such traveler in North America and is a member of the top-ten largest meteorites in the world. We can’t know where or when it fell to Earth as there is no tell-tale crater near it today, so we’ll pick up it’s journey 13,000 years ago when Lake Missoula was formed in Washington, Idaho, and Montana. That lake is going to need an introduction for this tale to make sense.

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Newby Lake Fire is Down But Not Out

Last night’s dinner at Ali Nakkour’s fabulous Sully’s Restaurant in Loomis was over-shadowed, literally,  by the smoke from the Newby Lake fire that appears to have been reborn. Wild fires have a horrific side, but nature has a way of presenting a beautiful side to things. These photos were taken on the road from Loomis to Nighthawk. We also caught a group of goats right across the road from Sully’s having an evening meal.

These fires remind us of the great risk our fire fighters take and everywhere in the North Okanogan there are signs posted by families and businesses giving heart-felt thanks for the work they do.

I have to add a plug for Ali Nakkour and his family – they have the best menu you’re going to find in the North Okanogan, and there are fire fighters all over the area that will attest to that and the personable hospitality you find there. And they’re now featuring your favorite Esther Bricques wines! Let them know you appreciate their support for the most beautiful community you’ve never heard of.

 

Newby Lake Fire over Palmer Lake
Newby Lake Fire Near Palmer Lake
Newby Lake Fire over Palmer Lake
Newby Lake Fire over Palmer Lake
Newby Lake Fire over Palmer Lake
Newby Lake Fire over Palmer Lake
Goats at Sully's Restaurant
Goats at Sully’s Restaurant

Photos by Nancy Peterson

Erratics in the Okanogan

This is the second installment of a series discussing how the ice age affected the North Okanogan and eastern Washington state. The first installment can be seen here.

Our first wandering boulder can be found alongside Havillah Road 6.1 miles northeast of Tonasket, according to Google Maps. This is a really big rock and it’s just sitting out in the middle of nothing right where it was dropped from its ice sheet. I’ve included GPS coordinates so you can fly over it with Google Earth.

Coordinates of the Havillah Road Erratic
Coordinates of the Havillah Road Erratic

And if you’re in the area and are hoping to visit the site then just follow the map from the town of Tonasket on Hwy 97. Please – at all times respect the private property of the families on whose land these and other natural interests live.

Route from Tonasket to the Havillah Road Erratic
Route from Tonasket to the Havillah Road Erratic

I don’t know of an official name for this big guy, but it is really a splendid thing to see. I need to consult with local experts to verify it is an erratic and to discover any history that may be known about it. There’s another just a short distance to the south across the roadway and I’ll be presenting that later. Here is me stepping over snakes and other imagined beasties as I approach our first erratic in the wild.

Yet Unnamed Havillah Road Erratic
Yet Unnamed Havillah Road Erratic

Update: Somehow this seems too easy, but the name for the adjacent spur road is Split Rock Road which leads me to conclude the rock’s name is, um…, Split Rock.