Okanogan SYKES–WEB

The flowering brush and a brilliant rock set above a winding river with a rolling horizon are Horace Sykes motifs, and the West’s as well. Again, Sykes did not caption of label this Kodachrome, but I suspect from first glimpse that it was somewhere on the Okanogan River. I am getting better with the Googlecopter. The first time I searched the river for this subject I did not find it. This time I started at the river’s outflow into the Columbia River (at Brewster) and determined to follow it north at about three hundred feet off the ground. I was rewarded within moments. Here about 30 miles north of Brewster the valley narrows, squeezed by rock. The bigger one of the left is an extention of Short Mountain. The town of Riverside is about five miles behind Sykes. It is there that the highway leaves the river and goes to the other side (west) of Short Mountain. It rejoins the river about seven miles up stream from Sykes at Tonasket. In the distant horizon (about 15 miles north of Sykes) is the pointed peak of Whitestone Mountain. It is unique in both its coloring and topography, reaching 2800 and a few more feet, which is 2000 feet higher than the river here below Sykes. Directly below is a “now and then” comparison of Riverside that we did not use in the book “Washington Then and Now.” The “then” was photographed by Frank S. Matsura, a pioneer Washington photographer who made his home in the Okanogan Valley in 1907, and build a great photographic record of it until his death by tuberculosis in 1913. Jean took his “repeat” in 2005.

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