Islands & Rapids: A Geologic Story of Hells Canyon

This book, the first written on the geology of Hells Canyon, will be the definitive text for decades. It tells the story of the canyon's geologic evolution and includes a mile-by-mile guide to the major geologic features along the Snake River from Oxbow, Oregon, 100 miles north to the confluence of the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers.

The geology of Hells Canyon is the story of rocks that began their time and space journey somewhere in the ancestral Pacific Ocean. The shapes of continents and oceans were much different then; if we were to step back 300 million years in time we would scarcely be able to recognize the surface of our planet. Islands and Rapids tells the story of the collisions between island arcs and continents, floods, landslides, rafting the river, fascinating early settlers, and the natural history and lore of Hells Canyon.

The story walks a narrow path by describing complex geologic ideas and theories in a manner that laymen can appreciate and students and professional geologists can use.

A glossary and annotated bibliography complement the author's narrative along with his personal reminiscences, fourteen geologic maps, and more than 100 photographs.

©1998 Tracy Vallier - All rights reserved / Paperback / 151 pages / $25.00


   Click here to download a pdf file containing the Table of Contents page from the book.

   Click here to download a pdf file containing the General Geologic Column.

   Click here to download a pdf file containing the Introduction.

A Crow in the Seven Devils Mountains

Stories and poems in this book move through a wide range of landscapes, including Hells Canyon, Seven Devils Mountains, Iowa, and Ireland. Themes include apparitions, battles, conscience, death, farm-boys, geology, ships, and sorrow. Several of the farm-boy and science-related stories are based on remembered events. The reader will be able to separate fiction from fictionalized remembered events.

The stories and poems in this book were selected from more than two hundred that I’ve written and archived during the past two decades. Most stories consist of two to four pages, although many are much longer. “A Crow in the Seven Devils Mountains”, “Get Maggie”, and “Iron Maiden” were shortened from intended novellas.

Most writing is fiction, even biographies and memoirs. Authors generally come to that conclusion as they gain experience. Memory is a fickle companion, particularly for writers. No memories are entirely true; just ask a sibling or good friend who shared an experience with you. Seldom will two people remember an experience the same. Essays and science articles are more factual, but even science “truths” change with time because of new techniques, equipment, data, and interpretations.

Readers may relate to main characters in the stories, “Marbles in a Jar”, “It Don’t Matter”, and “Stroke of Bad Luck”. Humor is revealed in “Fiona”, “Germination”, “Long Handled Spoon”, “Maybe If”, and “Pulpit Prank”. There are segments, challenges, and issues in these stories and poems for all readers.

©2011 Tracy Vallier - All rights reserved / Paperback / 235 pages / $18.00


   Click here to download a pdf file containing the Table of Contents page from the book.

   Click here to download a pdf file containing the sample short story:  “Tail Gunner”.

   Click here to download a pdf file containing the short story:  “Farmhouse Apparition”.

Conversations with an Idaho Bartender

The stories in this book are set in the bar of a western Idaho town where a broad cross section of conservatives, liberals, and moderates live in restless harmony. You choose the town. It could be any of the towns between Homedale and Lewiston. I chose western Idaho for the setting, but I could have selected any state in the Pacific Northwest.

Several chapters are based on conversations I've overheard in bars, coffee shops, and restaurants. I heard two while on rafting and jetboat trips through Hells Canyon. The remaining stories are included because the topics will be of interest to you. The bar, town, characters, and stories are fictional.

Many parents and teachers tell us what to think and not how to think. Data and logic too often are overlooked in our search for simple answers to serious social and science questions. Chapters in this book deal with some of the questions that welcomed in the twenty-first century.

Read the conversations between Frank and his customers, and then decide whether or not they include some of the answers. You won't agree with every opinion, and that is the reason why this book was written.

©2009 Tracy Vallier - All rights reserved / Paperback / 203 pages / $16.00


   Click here to download a pdf file containing the Table of Contents page from the book.

   Click here to download a pdf file containing the Introduction.

   Click here to download a pdf file containing a short chapter sample.

Shadows in the Loess Hill

The Loess Hills of western Iowa have extraordinary features that shape the lives of the people who depend upon poor soil and unpredictable weather to survive. Against this backdrop Damien Steinman is a tenant farmer during 1918 and 1919. The First World War is over, the flu pandemic is just about eradicated and the infamous Prohibition Amendment to our constitution is ratified.

Damien is married to Annie; they have five children, four girls and a boy. Boredom with his life and an obsessive infatuation with women send him on a well-traveled road that inevitably leads to tragedy. He falls in love with a beautiful young neighbor girl and his life is caught up in a whirlpool of lust and lies.

Can Damien escape the downward spiral that has become his life? Landscape, weather, neighbors and family unwittingly conspire to bring about his fate.

©2009 Tracy Vallier - All rights reserved / Paperback / 212 pages / $18.00


   Click here to download a pdf file containing the Author's Note from the book.

   Click here to download a pdf file containing the Preface.

   Click here to download a pdf file containing the Table of Contents page.

   Click here to download a pdf file containing a short chapter sample.

The White Wolf and Seven Spirits

A long time ago Nee Wahee journeyed to a mountain range in what is now western Idaho on a quest. A large white wolf accompanied the boy as he talked to seven mountain spirits about destiny, leadership, trust and happiness.

Now, sit down across the campfire from a mysterious old man as he tells you about the boy's journey. Listen to coyotes howl in the distance, watch the full moon bathe the landscape with light, and smell smoke from a blazing campfire while this magical story unfolds.

©2009 Tracy Vallier - All rights reserved / Paperback / 87 pages / $17.00


   Click here to download a pdf file containing the Table of Contents page from the book.

   Click here to download a pdf file containing a short chapter sample.

Exotic Terrane (VHS)

The film, EXOTIC TERRANE, traces the fascinating history of the mysterious rocks in the Hells Canyon region on the Oregon-Idaho border, and provides an overview of tectonic activity along the Pacific coast.

The geologic term "exotic terrane" refers to a group of rocks, a fragment of a formation, that attaches itself to a tectonic plate and ends up at a new site, totally out of place from its origins.

Fossils of a tropical coral reef are being discovered in northeastern Oregon. Geologists Tracy Vallier, George Stanley, and Ellen Bishop analyze these rocks and place their origins in a marine environment near the equator.

Beautiful scenery, computer modeling, discoveries in the field and narration by John Forsythe combine to create an adventure in science.

©1992 Doug Prose - All rights reserved / Video / 28 minutes


Seven Devils Books does not own the publishing and distribution rights to the Exotic Terrane film. The Earth Images Foundation may provide you with rental or purchase information. This film is distributed by Bullfrog Films.

 

 

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An Introduction to Hells Canyon Geology

Hells Canyon is a ten-mile wide canyon located along the border of eastern Oregon and western Idaho in the United States. It is North America's deepest river gorge at 7,993 feet (2436 m). The canyon was carved by the waters of the Snake River, which plunges more than a mile below the canyon's west rim on the Oregon side and nearly 8,000 feet below the peaks of Idaho's Seven Devils Mountain range to the east.

The definition of Hells Canyon is controversial, and depends on the opinions of individual scientists, managing Federal agencies, business entrepreneurs, and towns’ chambers of commerce that advertise to attract visitors.

Dr. Vallier defines Hells Canyon as that south-to-north length of the Snake River Canyon from near Oxbow, Oregon to the Snake River’s confluence with the Grande Ronde River in Washington. This definition fits the geologic features of the island arc’s magmatic axis and its associated rocks (Wallowa terrane). Older rocks in the Snake River Canyon south of the Oxbow to Huntington are mostly parts of the Baker and Olds Ferry terranes. And, north of the Grande Ronde River confluence, the canyon is cut predominantly into younger Miocene basalts.


For more information about the geology of Hells Canyon, please take a look at Dr. Vallier's personal website: hellscanyongeology.com

To view Dr. Vallier's extensive scientific bibliography as author and co-author, which includes more than 250 entries, visit the bibliography page in his website.