Early Winter at Champoeg


By a nail-biting vote of 52-50 in 1843, Oregon became a provisional territory of the United States. The voting site is at Champoeg Park on the Willamette River about 20 miles southwest of Portland.

There was a city at Champoeg (cham-poo-e’) at one time, but several floods in the late 1800’s destroyed most of the buildings. The entire area is one large floodplain, mostly controlled by upriver dams these days.

In early winter I detoured around a large pond near the trail, then visited the pavilion and monument commemorating the 1843 event.

Next a short loop to the west along the river was followed. The cottonwood trees were very large, as big as any I have ever seen. After returning to the pavilion, I began hiking to the east on a cinder path, which soon turned to a paved lane along the River.

I took a side path to an 1845 pioneer woman’s gravesite and explored a nature hike loop.

Because of trail maintenance, I turned around at Champoeg Creek. Usually I hike an additional 1 1/2 miles to the Butteville Store, originally opened in 1863.

The hike back to the trailhead was very pleasant with squirrels and songbirds keeping me company.

Gray Squirrel

Gray Squirrel

Trees learn to survive in the water in a floodplain

Trees learn to survive in the water in a floodplain

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Trail passing through a meadow

Trail passing through a meadow

Pioneer woman's grave site

Pioneer woman’s grave site

Trail heading back to beginning

Trail heading back to beginning

Not a good place to have a home in the late 1800's

Not a good place to have a home in the late 1800’s

Reflections in the river

Reflections in the river

Sword Ferns along the trail

Sword Ferns and Licorice Ferns along the trail

 

 

Categories: Portland Area HikesTags: , , , ,

2 comments

  1. Another lovely hike through the Oregon countryside, and I enjoyed it so much, John. Fascinating history here today, along with the beauties of the present. I loved seeing the tree with the water levels on this floodplain. And that beautiful golden-crowned sparrow, you captured the golden. My best wishes to you for a new year filled with hardy hikes and more stunning beauty.

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