This is the view from Erratic Rock State Natural Site
near McMinnville, Oregon. The large rock in the foreground originated in the northern Rocky Mountains, nowhere near this spot. It is the only rock of its type outside of Canada, and was transported here during a massive ice age flood
around 15 thousand years ago. It stands as an extreme example of weather-driven events.
The view across the valley helps give a sense of the flood's scale. During the event, an entire lake the size of the Great Lakes suddenly emptied when an ice dam gave way, resulting in something known as a "glacial lake outburst flood
". The water swept across eastern Washington, through the Columbia River Gorge, and filled the valley shown here (the Willamette Valley) before finally emptying into the Pacific Ocean.
The amount of water was so large that it filled the valley to a depth of hundreds of feet. The water would have been filled with debris, including icebergs, one of which was carrying this boulder. The iceberg finally came to rest here, at what was probably the western shore of the temporary lake.
As you look out over the valley, try to image the vast scale of this catastrophic event, the amount of water needed to fill the valley before you, the forces powerful enough transport a 90-ton boulder across hundreds of miles. Yet, this was just a blip on a global scale, virtually nothing on the truly vast scale of the cosmos. It's easy to feel very small when contemplating such scales, and wonder about our place in grand scheme of things