rockartoregon.blogspot.com is a component of To Become Visible. It aims to inspire respect rock art of Oregon, the Great Basin, and the Northwest. The project examines environmental, social, and political contexts and contemporary representations of rock art, petroglyph boulders, and related landscapes.
At the eastern tip of the backwater of Lake Celilo, the Columbia River impoundment by the Dalles Dam, basalt cliffs rise out of the still water. If you stand on the cliff’s edge, on the Washington shore, you will look south and east at the downriver face of the John Day Dam. Power lines lacing through looming gray lattice towers rise and fall conveying the river’s captured power to distant places. White, tri-bladed wind turbines form their own turgid lines of ascent and descent along all the receding ridges up and down the wide river plain flattened by ice age floods. This particular cliff-place, with its basalt block columns, offers the largest accumulation of“bear paw” petroglyphs on the Columbia, an estimated 150-180.