Moffett Mystery Spring

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mandrake
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Moffett Mystery Spring

Post by mandrake » May 7th, 2014, 5:02 pm

Thought this'd be of some interest to folks into the Gorge's historical curiousities, but I randomly stumbled across an old spring with obvious man-made improvements on descending the northeastern ridge from Wauneka Point. The spring is backed by an old mossy retaining wall (couple feet high, perhaps 20-30ft in length) similar to those seen occasionally along the Old Columbia River Hwy (OCRH). There's a small basin - and, just below,half-hidden in the vegetation what looked like the remnants of a barrel-sized wooden structure surrounding a hole a several feet deep with water flowing through the bottom. (Nice place for the unwary to break a leg.) It's located near the mouth of Moffett Creek and south perhaps 0.15mi away from the bike trail. So probably not related to the OCRH, unless it was some old pullout or campground...or...?? Approx. loc: UTM 10 579849mE 5052521mN. I'm aware of other locations in the Gorge where pipes were used to tap springs or creeks higher up for power (ex: Herman Creek, Nesmith), tho' the flow rate here wouldn't seem to justify such an operation... particularly with the proximity of Moffett Creek nearby. Any old homesteads known to be in this area? There were lots of animal trails around the spring, although I did think, just prior to finding the spring, that the area I was hiking looked suspiciously like an old road grade. Possibly some more exploring is warranted hereabouts.

Few pics:
IMG_0081.jpg
Basin close-up
IMG_0084.jpg
Spring underneath a spreading cedar
Map.JPG

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Eric Peterson
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Re: Moffett Mystery Spring

Post by Eric Peterson » May 9th, 2014, 6:38 am

Cool find...

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AFLitt
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Re: Moffett Mystery Spring

Post by AFLitt » March 21st, 2015, 8:55 pm

mandrake wrote: It's located near the mouth of Moffett Creek and south perhaps 0.15mi away from the bike trail. So probably not related to the OCRH, unless it was some old pullout or campground...or...?? Approx. loc: UTM 10 579849mE 5052521mN.
Can't quite get these co-ordinates dialed in. This is south of the new State Trail?
Recreating The Historic Columbia River Highway:http://www.recreatingthehcrh.org/

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kepPNW
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Re: Moffett Mystery Spring

Post by kepPNW » March 23rd, 2015, 5:32 am

AFLitt wrote:
mandrake wrote: It's located near the mouth of Moffett Creek and south perhaps 0.15mi away from the bike trail. So probably not related to the OCRH, unless it was some old pullout or campground...or...?? Approx. loc: UTM 10 579849mE 5052521mN.
Can't quite get these co-ordinates dialed in. This is south of the new State Trail?
Nice converter tool here: http://home.hiwaay.net/~taylorc/toolbox ... eoutm.html

Puts that point (45.62164, -121.97575) here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/45%C2 ... !1e4?hl=en
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

(Photos · PortlandHikers)

Lurch
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Re: Moffett Mystery Spring

Post by Lurch » March 23rd, 2015, 6:46 am

He did show it plotted on the map guys :P

I know I've seen springs with similar stonework around, I just can't think of where right now... Haven't had my coffee yet

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BrianEdwards
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Re: Moffett Mystery Spring

Post by BrianEdwards » March 23rd, 2015, 7:32 am

Cool find
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

Rather B Hiking
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Moffett Mystery Spring

Post by Rather B Hiking » May 6th, 2015, 6:51 pm

There was plenty of early activity in that area of the Columbia. A portage road operated on the Oregon side of the river from around 1861. You can see some early photos of the area if you scroll down at this site. You can walk a short section of the old route on the Tooth Rock Loop Hike, , and more traces of it are visible from Gorge 400 west of there. Also along Gorge 400, on the bench above Bonneville Dam, you can see where there used to be houses – there are some unnaturally level areas where daffodils bloom in the spring!

A sawmill was operating at Eagle Creek in 1867, and there was a Middle Blockhouse somewhere in the area.

The best hint though may come from the 1919 National Forest Brochure linked in another thread. From page twenty eight in the brochure (page 29 in the PDF):

“The Columbia Gorge Park is on the south bank of the Columbia River, 38 miles from Portland, and is reached by the Columbia River Highway. It is also convenient to the Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Co. and Columbia River steamboat service; and in the outing season has daily automobile stage service from Portland. It is 22 miles long and from1 to 4 miles wide, and some of the best view points are near the highway. A complete scheme of development of the park for summer recreation purposes has been undertaken by the Forest Service. . . .”

Those man-made improvements might have been done by the portage company, or possibly by the Forest Service as part of the “complete scheme of development”.

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Chase
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Re: Moffett Mystery Spring

Post by Chase » November 25th, 2015, 7:05 pm

mandrake wrote:It's located near the mouth of Moffett Creek and south perhaps 0.15mi away from the bike trail. So probably not related to the OCRH, unless it was some old pullout or campground...or...?? Approx. loc: UTM 10 579849mE 5052521mN. I'm aware of other locations in the Gorge where pipes were used to tap springs or creeks higher up for power (ex: Herman Creek, Nesmith), tho' the flow rate here wouldn't seem to justify such an operation... particularly with the proximity of Moffett Creek nearby. Any old homesteads known to be in this area? There were lots of animal trails around the spring, although I did think, just prior to finding the spring, that the area I was hiking looked suspiciously like an old road grade. Possibly some more exploring is warranted hereabouts.
Possibly related to these?

Spring to a house:

Image



"Camp Grounds" labeled here, but on the wrong side of Moffett:

Image

Lurch
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Re: Moffett Mystery Spring

Post by Lurch » November 26th, 2015, 3:22 pm

Chase I think your homestead is on the front face of Waunkea. Moffet comes out about 1/4 mile into section 29. Interesting find on the map though, curious if there's anything left
moffet.jpg

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Chase
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Re: Moffett Mystery Spring

Post by Chase » November 26th, 2015, 4:24 pm

Looks like you are right, Lurch.

Other stuff I found which may put a reader to sleep while digesting turkey:
IMG_7446.JPG
IMG_7447.JPG

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