Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Scene of Run Appaloosa Run

The Okanogan valley in north central Washington has been a bit smoke choked from fires in the North Cascades.

The valley has been shaped by glacial ice. The Okanogan ice lobe flowed down this valley to the Columbia Valley where it blocked the Columbia River and covered the northern half of the Waterville Plateau. As the ice retreated, ice margin terraces were formed along the valley sides and have been further enhanced by the erosion from the Okanogan River.

One of the terraces in Omak is used in a horse race. A race that Disney made famous with the movie Run Appaloosa Run. I visited the starting line area of the race that is still run as part of the Omak Stampede.

Start line

View from start

Approaching the edge of the terrace

The plunge to the river

Getting a sense of the steepness of the Suicide Run slope

Galloping a horse down this slope into the river is hard to imagine. But it is an old tradition with deep cultural roots. It takes a special horse that can tolerate a steep run, a swim across a river, and lots of distractions.


dave said...

An old tradition with deep cultural roots!
I wonder how many other acts of outright abuse and cruelty we'd abide were those our only criteria.

Silas Sinn said...

Not as steep as I remember.