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The free event is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Estacada Public Library

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: RICK THOMPSON - An upcoming event at the Estacada Public Library will focus on the influence of the ice age floods on the Oregon Trail.

An upcoming program at the Estacada Public Library will focus on the ice age's influence on the pioneers who journeyed along the Oregon Trail.

Rick Thompson, president of the Lower Columbia Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute, will have photos and maps as he shares information about the ice age's Lake Missoula Floods. The free event is scheduled for 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the library at 825 N.W. Wade St.

The Lake Missoula Floods occurred approximately 20,000 years ago, near the end of the ice age. Among other effects, the floods left wide and flat channels from Pendleton to The Dalles where wagons traveled on as pioneers traversed the Oregon Trail.

"It's fun to see the lights go on as the realization occurs. Most people have no idea," Thompson said.

He also noted that the flood shaped hills in Portland and waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge.

In the Carver area, Thompson noted, the floods left holes in the bedrock that Native Americans used to grind acorns and other items.

Thompson is excited to share these effects of the floods and others during the presentation at the Estacada library.

"The idea of the Lake Missoula flood is fairly new," he said. "The scientific community didn't accept it right away. Some might have heard about the ice age flood in school, but generally not much is known."

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