One of Ruth’s friends sent us a charming, touching YouTube video called Kyle the Goose-Lake Oswego, OR. It was followed by “Man and goose forge unusual friendship” (On the Road: CBS Evening News). Oswego Lake resulted from the breakup of the ice dam that kept Glacial Lake Missoula from inundating the West Coast, until it didn’t. This ice age flood left its watery mark on Ruth’s father’s property that became the Johnnie and Bill Koller Wetland Park, Ruth’s exciting legacy. Check out Kyle.
Lake Oswego is an affluent community in the Portland area, and Lake Oswego, or Oswego Lake, flows through its center. Once a channel of the Tualatin River, this large body of water now seeps slowly into the Willamette River. When the Ice Age flood reached this area, an underwater vortex called a kolk enlarged a river channel and formed current-day Lake Oswego. “Kolk” isn’t the only new word I learned doing research into this lake that is far larger than the one on the old Koller property. It has an almost 14 mile shoreline. This shoreline today is private land lined with fine residences. It’s also Kyle’s home and loved by water skiers. I also now know the meaning of “hypereutrophic”. which best describes this lake’s water. “Hypereutrophic” means very rich in nutrients and minerals.
Native Americans called this lake Waluga (Wild Swan). Early settlers less romantically called it Sucker Lake. Before both groups lived there, it was in the Tonquin Scablands Geologic Area that included the place where Portland is now. Back then it was under water. Ruth & I haven’t seen Oswego Lake yet other than in the YouTube video. Our next adventure will include it, a lawyer who worked with Paul Hennon, our liaison and Tualatin Community Services Director, and perhaps some locals who knew Ruth’s father after we lost contact with him.
According to Paul, it will be years before this wetland park can be developed into a tourist lure. Koller Lake is currently choked with water lilies. We’re hoping that some significant geologic puzzle pieces will connect and that some prehistoric animal bones will be found before a citified park becomes a reality.