09 August 2014

Eastward Bound: Columbia River Gorge, Part II

As I have mentioned the terrain in the eastern portion of the Gorge
 is much drier then in the western part.
We saw lots of wind turbines in this area...
I know there's some controversy associated with them, but I really enjoy seeing them.
Several bridges cross the Columbia along the Gorge--
at Cascade Locks, Hood River, The Dalles
and here at Biggs Junction.
Not far from the other side of this bridge you can find a replica of
Stonehenge and the Maryhill Museum.
And continuing up Highway 97 would bring you to
central Washington State and the Yakima Valley, Cashmere
 (home of the Applets + Cotlets Candy Factory),
Leavenworth, Lake Chelan and on into the interior of Canada.
We did this trip many years ago...
Always the river...
wonder what my forefathers thought of this area.
The drive seems long even today in a car,
but with wagons and on foot--
I can't even imagine.
Glad we were making the trip in an air conditioned car.
I guess I am pretty spoiled:)
One thing I would love to share with my ancestors is to see the river as it was then--
when the Celilio Falls still roared and the Cascade rapids were still wild.
I've seen photos and film footage...
but they only left me wanting to see the real thing.
Alas, that was before my time :(

Look! More wind turbines...
so LOVE my zoom lens:)
Besides history, I find geology interesting.
Perhaps because one of my ancestors worked in mines?

Yea! We made it...
past the Cascades,
past several bridges,
past some agricultural areas,
past lots of wind turbines on the ridges,
three dams,
towns and cities.
Now it's time to leave the river and move on
into the Blue Mountains
and NE Oregon
(one of my favorite places).
Are you ready?
Columbia River Gorge
(more info about the geology, history, etc. of the area)
 Stonehenge + Maryhill
Celilio Falls and the tribes

06 August 2014

Eastward Bound: Columbia River Gorge, Part I

It was truly a last minute decision that found Aimee,
Aimee's youngest son
and the Small One
headed eastward one warm summer morning.
Want to come along?
Taken in the beautiful lush western portion of the Columbia River Gorge--
an area my pioneer forefathers would have been quite familiar with as they traveled the so-called 'river route' (albeit westward) to their new home in Oregon.
Lots and lots to look at in this area:
trees, mountains, waterfalls, great rock formations
and always the river,
 with its windsurfers, sailboats, barges and more!
It truly is the one of the most beautiful places in Oregon and Washington.
As you travel westward, the terrain becomes increasingly drier.
The trees change too and become the type you would expect in a drier, more desert like terrain that you find east of the Cascade Mountains.
I probably should mention you pass by some towns on this route:
Cascade Locks
(home to the sternwheeler Columbia Gorge that you can travel on from May to October)
Hood River
(very famous for windsurfing and orchards),
The Dalles
(near where the once beautiful Celilio Falls was...
before it disappeared forever under the waters impounded by one of the three dams we would pass)
and some other small communities like Mosier (yummy apricots to be found here) and Biggs.
Overall though it's pretty desolate...
but, in its own quiet way, interesting.
More later...
Links of Interest:
Cascade Locks Info (sternwheeler and more)
Columbia River Gorge Visitor Info
Hood River Tourist Info
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