The Trout Creek basalt columns are located at Trout Creek Recreation Site alongside the Deschutes River north of Madras, Oregon. They consist of large vertical columns about 100 feet high, part of the Columbia River basalt formation which spans much of eastern Washington & Oregon. Anybody into rock climbing has likely heard of this location, known since the 1970s for its crack-climbing w/ routes ranging from 5.10 to 5.12 in technicality. Due to increasing popularity, the site is closed seasonally for the protection of nesting raptors. I thought on a nice day like this there would be plenty of climbers out scaling but I had this spot virtually to myself. While the Deschutes River passes through plenty of canyons w/ exposed basalt columns, these ones are truly striking, particularly the ones that have fallen, giant hexagonal crystals that are quite massive & somewhat difficult to climb through. Look up the columns to see white markings from chalk in the cracks made by climbers scaling up. In the backdrop is the Warm Springs Indian Reservation across the river as well as distant Mount Jefferson.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.