- photo by Leslie Pugmire Hole/copyright Redmond Spokesman
Traveling at 55 mph along Highway 97 gives drivers and even passengers little time to note the drama surrounding the crossing of the
And the simple brown “Peter Skene Ogden Scenic Viewpoint” sign just south of the
Both omissions are a shame because the
The viewpoint is a state park but was originally developed by the Oregon Department of Transportation after construction of the first automobile bridge in 1926. Until that time cars and wagons struggled down a narrow grade east of the spot and crossed
In 1911, when the Oregon Trunk Railroad was blazing a path south from
By 1926 the region had grown enough that work began on
Shortly after that time the viewpoint was built, with sturdy stone walls lining the cliff’s edge, affording perfect views of the rail trestle with mountains beyond, an impossibly deep canyon and the new automobile bridge.
In 2000 the site underwent another transformation when ODOT constructed the
The trio of arch bridges follows the same curve and from certain angles appear to blend into one.
A paved trail leads from
Likewise if you cross the
Two important dangers to be aware of at the wayside: The park has restrooms and plenty of nice grassy areas for an impromptu picnic. It also hosts an impressive colony of ground squirrels that aren’t shy about stealing food.
On a more serious note the basalt cliffs have claimed the lives of numerous dogs and a few people over the years and the danger is clearly posted everywhere.
Mr. Ogden must have been quite the fellow, travelers in the Northwest must surmise. There’s
All that honorific naming must mean the Canadian-born explorer was a great man who did great things, right?
Well, we know he was a very busy explorer. For more than 30 years