Friday, October 23, 2009

Watch Out Ceder Butt!
Here comes Oreon Butte!

Oreon? Was this Butte named for a favorite cream-filled cookie? A constellation? Oreon the hunter! Nope! Just another topographical typographic error! Did Joe Biden and George W. Bush survey the Blue Mountains? Nope-but whoever did, did indeed work for the federal government and they literally left their mark here on West Butte in the Blue Mountains of southeast Washington by leaving this botched benchmark. West Butte at 6,292-feet is the fourth highest summit in Washington's Blues. It commands an excellent view of Oregon Butte which this geodetic marker is pointing to and referring to), the highest summit in Washington's Blues. But almost as interesting as the views from West Butte is this misspelled marker. And just like Cedar Butte's famous geodetic marker, "Ceder Butt," Oreon goes down in the geographic gaffe hall of fame! Are there more out there? I want to know about them-possibly they'll make fodder for my next book, "Day Hiking Wahington!" And if you are interested in hiking to West Butte, I refer you to the excellent guidebook by James P. Johnson, "50 Hikes for Eastern Washington's Highest Mountains," and of course my upcoming Backpacking Washington book (due spring 2011).

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