Remains at Terrebonne, Crooked River Gorge, and Metolius

http://gazette9.com

 

 

 

There may be an old depot now operating as a restaurant in Terrebonne. To me, what's really worth seeing in this area is the bridge over the Crooked River Gorge, 3 miles north of town.

Remember the lines combined at Metolius - the race was over - but they were still in such a hurry to get traffic moving on the line they started running trains over this bridge with only half the rivets installed, and continued running trains 340 feet above the gorge over the 5 weeks it took to finish the trestle to "code".

Working conditions weren't exactly up to modern code, either. The men camped in the gorge and had to climb 340 feet up rope ladders to work in the morning. Oh! Left your tools on the other side? Walk the plank!


Southbound at sunrise over the Crooked River Gorge, 6/11/2012.

Built in 1910, the bridge is still in service, and the state has set up a nice park for people to pull off US 97 and admire it, and the 1926 highway bridge adjacent, and the modern US 97 bridge just a few yards away.

A state trooper said he used to drive over the 1926 bridge before the new one was built. "I can't tell you what it was like passing a semi in a snowstorm on that old bridge." Yes - the guardrails are quite low and it's a long way down. People still do what they have to do to get the job done.

Over the weigh-station hill on US 97, bear left on a back road through Culver to Metolius, where the old depot's been saved from the scrapyard. There's talk of a museum - for now it's just used for community events. But peer in the back window facing the tracks - it is a bit of a museum already.

4 miles further, turn east on Brewster to 97 at the south end of Madras. I recommend the Trout Creek BBQ on the northwest corner - excellent chow at good prices - just the thing for dinner outdoors on the grade through Willow Canyon.

Madras to Trout Creek>