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Pioneer Roads Field Trip with John Zancanella

  • 21 May 2022
  • 8:45 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Big Sky Park on Neff
  • 1


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ASCO’s Pioneer Roads Field Trip

with John Zancanella

Date: May 21, 2022

Trip Recap

Dusty roads, wide-open spaces, fine company, and images of wagon trains defined our day in the Oregon Outback with John Zancanella. His deep dive into the pioneer roads crisscrossing the region unearthed new information that expands and clarifies the historical record. And he shared it with us. 

John sparked our imagination with tales of birth, death, dangerous encounters, and blue buckets of gold at our nine stops along sections of Meek, Elliot, Macy, and Steen’s wagon roads. We walked in the ruts of Oregon’s intrepid pioneers, drove next to or on their route, and gaped at the place where they descended over the steep rimrock into Bear Creek. Thanks to John, I don’t think any of us on this field trip will venture into the Outback without thinking about those who came before.

Submitted by Val Anderson, Field Trip Coordinator. Photos by Scott McKenzie


Trip Posting

John Zancanella will share his new research on pioneer roads particularly related to Meek (1845), Elliot (1853), Macy (1854), and Steen (1860). The field trip is limited to 5 cars (20 people) as we will be making frequent stops with limited roadside space. The trip will be 6-7 hours and we will travel 130 miles. Please consider contributing for gas if you are a passenger.  High clearance cars and 4x4’s are not needed but we will be traveling on gravel/dirt roads. We will get dusty.

Registration opens May 7th at 8:00AMThe first 20 to sign up will be asked if they are willing to drive and how many their car can hold (including the driver). The coordinator will select five drivers and notify them. Five cars are the limit.  Unassigned seats will be filled at the rendezvous point. Please do not participate if you wish to drive alone, are not willing to carpool, and are unwilling to fully agree to the ASCO Field Trip Liability Release. All participants need to be vaccinated and must be ASCO members.

Unable to attend?  John plans on giving a presentation on Pioneer Roads later in the year.

Rendezvous at Big Sky Park on Neff

9:00 Depart. Take Hwy 20 east to Brothers with stops at Dry River Cyn and SR27. Stop at Brothers rest stop. Continue Hwy 20 east to Van Lake Rd, turn left. Stop at Elliot (1853 ruts). Continue north to SE Merrill Rd, turn left. Stop at Meek (1845), Macy (1853) and Steen (1860) ruts. Continue west to Pringle Flat and lunch. North on Pringle Flat Rd to Bear Cr – Fife Rd and turn left. Continue west and turn right on Roberts Rd to Little Bear Cr Rd (2 short stops). Continue southwest down Little Bear Cr Rd to Bear Cr (SR27) and turn right (stop). Continue north on SR27, across Bear Cr to top of grade (3 stops). At this point the tour is nearly complete, can decide to travel to Powder House Cove site (5mi round trip) for rest stop and questions. Otherwise, folks can head back on the Reservoir/Alfalfa Mkt Rd to Big Sky Park and Bend.

5:00ish Return to Big Sky Park


  • Water (lots), snacks, lunch
  • Hat, umbrella for shade, and sunscreen

Contact: Val Anderson archoval@gmail.com, Field trip coordinator

Mailing address: PO Box 8146 Bend, Oregon 97708-8146

Email: ascoinfomail@gmail.com

"Archaeological Society of Central Oregon" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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