Sherman County eNews #182


  1. Sherman County Emergency Services Activity Reports

  2. Sherman County’s Rattlesnake Rock Officially Named

  3. Whitley Read Baby Shower Cancelled

  4. Starvation Lane-John Day River Takeout Closure begins July 12th

  5. Happiness is Not an Event

1. Sherman County Emergency Services Activity Reports

~Shawn Payne, Sherman County Emergency Services North Sherman County RFPD

April 2018 Activity Report

Date Time Incident Location
4-26 7:10 PM Grass Fire I-84  MP# 111
4-28 9:59 AM Ambulance Medical Assist Wasco
4-28 11:38 AM Ambulance Medical Assist / Life Flight Deschutes State Park
4-28 11:00AM Ambulance Medical Assist Wasco

North Sherman County RFPD

May 2018 Activity Report

Date Time Incident Location
5-04 6:30 PM Unknown Medical – Nothing Found I-84  MP# 103
5-07 5:38 AM Vehicle Fire US Hwy 30 1 mile East of Biggs
5-08 6:27 AM Lift Assist Dinty’s Motel in Biggs
5-12 4:32 PM Provide Reach and Treat for Ill Person Mack’s Canyon
5-17 1:37 PM Motor Vehicle Crash Clark Street in Wasco
5-26 5:57 PM Snake Bite Victim – Assist with Life Flight Deschutes River 11 Miles up
5-28 1:11 PM Ambulance Medical Assist Wasco Market
5-28 2:21 PM Ambulance Medical Assist Wasco Market

North Sherman County RFPD

June 2018 Activity Report

Date Time Incident Location
6-01 9:33 PM Ambulance Medical Assist Sinclair Station in Rufus
6-03 10:17 PM Lift Assist Wasco
6-06 1:49 PM Vehicle Fire I-84  MP# 111
6-08 7:39 PM Fire in Bark Chips ABC Daycare in Wasco
6-11 5:12 PM Grass Fire US 97  MP# 47   ***UTL
6-13 10:27 PM Motor Vehicle Crash I-84  MP# 109
6-14 7:14 PM Motor Vehicle Crash 700 block of Clark St. in Wasco
6-16 4:45 PM Grass Fire – Lightning Kopke Lane in Kent
6-17 11:35 AM Ambulance Medical Assist Methodist Church in Wasco
6-20 5:55 PM Ambulance Medical Assist Rufus
6-22 8:00 AM Grass Fire Rosebush Lane in Grass Valley
6-23 11:16 AM Unknown Medical US Post Office in Wasco
6-23 10:40 AM Grass Fire 91610 Biggs-Rufus Hwy in Rufus
6-26 9:17 PM Structure/Grass Fire Rufus
6-26 8:30 AM Mop Up of Rufus Fire Rufus
6-26 6:25 PM Smoke Investigation Wasco

***UTL Unable to Locate

2. Sherman County’s Rattlesnake Rock Officially Named

Snake-CartoonStyle-FINLocals have long called it Rattlesnake Rock. On June 21, 2018, the Reston, Virginia-based U.S. Board on Geographic Names notified Sherry Kaseberg of their approval of her proposal to “make official the name Rattlesnake Rock for a pillar in Sherman County. The name has been added to the Geographic Names Information System, the nation’s official geographic names repository, which is available and searchable online at  The entry reads as follows: Rattlesnake Rock: pillar; 50 ft. tall; located 1.4 mi. SW of Biggs Junction; the name refers to rattlesnakes which can be found at the location; Sec 18, T2N, R16E, Willamette Meridian; Sherman County, Oregon… … USGS map – Biggs Junction 1:24,000…”

First proposed to the Oregon Geographic Names Board with letters of support from land owners, land managers, Sherman County, Sherman County Historical Museum and Maryhill Museum of Art, the proposal was forwarded to the U.S. Board for final approval.

Rattlesnake Rock is located west of the Oregon Trail descent to the Columbia River and Welk Road and north of Frank Fulton Canyon, a route of early stage and freight wagon drivers. Clem and Eula Welk and their children lived a short distance south where they raised wheat and cattle for several decades. Mike and Jeanney (Welk) McArthur testified as to the Welk children’s name for this feature and for rattlesnakes found at this Rock close to a small spring. Mike McArthur noted that it was occasionally used for hunting geese in season. It is on private property—so, please, no trespassing.

It is best viewed from vantage points on the grounds of Maryhill Museum of Art across the Columbia River! The Maryhill Overlook (1997) by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works was designed to point directly at Rattlesnake Rock (…/maryhill-interpretive-overlook).

A geologist suggests that Rattlesnake Rock is a remnant of the Missoula floods that came down the Gorge, sometimes over-flowing the Gorge rim, scouring away most of the thin layer of Columbia River Basalt. Perhaps the waters formed an eddy, sparing this bit of basalt and forming its circular features.

Kaseberg’s local history collection is online at and in Sherman County Place Names, Streets and Roads, 3rd edition, 2009, a spiral bound, 180-page collection of notes which may be purchased at – and as a benefit for – the Sherman County Historical Museum in Moro.

3. Whitley Read Baby Shower Cancelled

Baby shower planned for Ryane Whitley Read has been cancelled due to early arrival of baby girl Aurora. It will be rescheduled!   

4. Starvation Lane-John Day River Takeout Closure begins July 12th

sign.boatrampEffective July 12th, the seasonal closure of the Starvation Lane takeout will be in effect.

The gate at the end of Starvation Lane will be closing on July 12th due to low water conditions. This seasonal closure, coordinated with Sherman County, will remain in effect until river levels rise in the mid-late fall.

The river will be inaccessible to vehicles and trailers. Those with small watercraft such as kayaks or float tubes may still use the takeout by carrying watercraft to the parking area from the waters edge.

Those interested in floating this section of river during summer months can access the waters edge with a trailer/vehicle at the McDonald Crossing takeout near river mile 20.

5. Happiness is Not an Event

What makes you happy? Where do you find joy? No matter who you are, the answer to these questions is always the same. A radical statement? Perhaps. But one thing is for certain: we spend our lives looking for happiness. The challenge is in knowing where to find it.

Do you know anyone who is always looking for happiness? What about people who are constantly in pursuit of joy through some activity, or people who complain that their relationships are dull, their job oppressive?

They act as if happiness and joy are to be found “out there” somewhere. They seldom come to terms with the idea that happiness is inside them. You see, we can’t look for joy as we do a lost article of clothing. We make our own happiness. We define it for ourselves and experience it in our own unique way. In fact, the happiest people in the world would probably still be happy if they were stripped of everything but life.

Many people whose bodies are crippled or who have lived a life of deprivation and disadvantage still are able to smile and joke their way through life, while those working with them who have every physical and economic advantage are often sour, complaining and depressed. The challenge is giving up on the habit of seeing only the negative, and in knowing where to look for the “happiness insights.”

The answer is simpler than you may imagine: Open up the doors to your heart and let joy, laughter, and light heartedness come in. Many a relationship has been saved by a good belly laugh. Let’s face it, a sense of humor is one of life’s greatest gifts.

Just remember, what makes you happy is not an event but a point of view. Once you have it, you’ll find joy and good fellowship wherever you look. And the benefits will increase exponentially – at home, at work and at play. ~The Pacific Institute