Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Journals

Columbia River Gorge: Geology, Myth & Legend

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Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge Photo, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon More Photos
Quote: The Columbia River Gorge (including the Columbia River Gorge Natural Scenic Area), east of Portland, is a landscape of scenic wonders, spectacular waterfalls, unique museums, historical venues, windsurfing, and other water sports. A trip through the gorge can be combined with a visit to beautiful Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood.

Columbia River Gorge: Geology, Myth & Legend

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Overview

Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge Photo, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
Quote:
It’s a big river. Water from the 1200-mile long Columbia River constitutes the Western Hemisphere’s largest discharge into the Pacific. Joining the Snake it flows westward through a gorge 100-miles-long and 3,000-feet-deep. Washington and Oregon share this boundary, the now dammed river running deep and placid compared with the wicked mercurial rapid-filled channel Lewis & Clark and Oregon Trail travelers had to navigate. There are dramatic climate changes too. Portland’s 40 annual inches of rainfall becomes Bonneville’s 75, becomes The Dalles 14, as cresting the Cascades moves you into desert and high plains. Possibly called the Ou...Read More

Maryhill Museum of Art

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Attraction

Maryhill Museum of Art Photo, Goldendale, Washington
Quote:
Sam Hill dreamed of establishing a Quaker community on this bluff overlooking the Columbia River near Goldendale, Washington. He built a house naming it for both his daughter and wife, but the latter objected to living so far from anywhere and so it would never be their home. Friend Loie Fuller, pioneering modern dance innovator for the Follies Bergere, suggested making a museum instead and was instrumental in acquiring the Rodin pieces it would contain...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Maryhill Museum of Art
35 Maryhill Museum Dr
Goldendale, Washington 98620
(509) 773-3733

Stonehenge Memorial

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Attraction

Stonehenge Memorial Photo, Goldendale, Washington
Quote:
Four miles east of the wonderful collections at the Maryhill Museum of Art (see my entry here) its builder, Sam Hill, erected the nation’s first memorial to the dead of W.W.I . Having been told the original Stonehenge was used to make war sacrifices he saw the symbolism of his Stonehenge Memorial being d...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Stonehenge Memorial
1-mile east on Hwy 14 of the 14/97 junction
Goldendale, Washington 98620

Historic Columbia Gorge Highway / Vista House

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Attraction | "Historic Columbia Gorge Highway/Vista House"

Historic Columbia Gorge Highway / Vista House Photo, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
Quote:
More than a way to get from A-Z, the Historic Columbia River Highway (Hwy-30), designed to showcase the natural beauty of the area, is an experience in itself. An early example of cliff-face road construction (1913-1922) combined with a highway, and based on the Swiss Auxenstrasse, it’s the very first scenic roadway in America and a National Historic Landmark. As you climb the often steeply inclined curving road, twisting to conform to the landscape upon which it was meant to make a minimum impact, views open up. Do...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Historic Columbia Gorge Highway / Vista House
40700 East Historic Columbia River Highway
Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Bridge of the Gods

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Attraction

Bridge of the Gods Photo, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
Quote:
You’re traveling east through the Columbia River Gorge along the Oregon side. Just at the town of Cascade Locks a road runs north crossing a bridge spanning the river. Travel onto and across the bridge and when you reach the other side you’ll be in Washington State. This 1856-foot cantilever bridge of steel, rivets and cross-bracings is called the "Bridge of the Gods." The bridge was constructed in 1926 but the name, applied to this precise spot, goes back hundreds of years. You might imagine that this means a wooden or stone bridge previously existed to be replaced by the present bridge. Well, yes and no. There was a stone bridge of sorts he...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Bridge of the Gods
Exit 44 off I-84 at Cascade Locks
Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Multnomah Falls

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Attraction

Multnomah Falls Photo, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
Quote:
[Waterfall facts: A single drop is properly called a fall while multi-drops, as here, are falls. A single drop is unbroken top to bottom while multies drop to ledges before dropping again. Groups, such as Niagara, are falls regardless of the number of drops. A continuous flow, which is not seasonal, defines year-round fall(s).] The dramatic 620-foot double drop of Multnomah Falls down the side of Larch Mountain (from a spring at the top) are the second-highest year-round waterfalls in the US. Prior to the opening of the casinos this was Oregon’s top attraction, drawing the most visitors annually, ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Multnomah Falls
I-84, Exits 31, 28, or Troutdale loop via Hwy-30
Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood

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Attraction

Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood Photo, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
Quote:
Timberline Lodge, sited at the 6,000-foot level of 11,237-foot Mount Hood, hosts the Northwest’s longest skiing season, 351 days. The surrounding Mount Hood National Forest offers a variety of other Recreation choices. That‘s one way of approaching it. What I find compelling is the blend of a wonderful work of architecture, infused with the spirit of those whose physical labor created it, sited as it is in this marvelous place....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 16, 2004

Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood
Highway 26 at Government Camp
Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Bonneville Fish Hatchery / Sturgeon Viewing

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Attraction | "Bonneville Fish Hatchery/Sturgeon Viewing & ..."

Bonneville Fish Hatchery / Sturgeon Viewing Photo, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
Quote:
There’s a small white house with steps leading down to an open doorway. Through this portal is a small room, one wall lined with windows. Through the window the world is filled with green light and monsters. If you don’t descend there’s a view from above, on the side, looking down towards the windows. Here the world is still green and drowned. If you aren’t paying attention you won’t notice the monsters. Then a shadow passes below leaving you amazed at the creature’s size. And you’ll look for the others; there’s never just one monster. These monsters have been around for about 200-million-years. They have hard skin with bony plates and whiskered chins. They don’t blink, but who can tell whether they’r...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 19, 2004

Bonneville Fish Hatchery / Sturgeon Viewing
70543 North East Herman Loop
Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Bonneville Dam & Lock

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Attraction | "Bonneville Dam & Lock"

Bonneville Dam & Lock Photo, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
Quote:
"Your power is turning our darkness to dawn. Roll on Columbia, roll on." So says the song. In 1941 the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) hired Woody Guthrie to write 26 songs commemorating the construction of the N.W. dams. Roll On, Columbia, Roll On (to the tune of Goodnight Irene) was the most popular and actually became Washington’s official State Song in 1987. Named for Benjamin d...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 20, 2004

Bonneville Dam & Lock
Exit 40 I-84,OR. Milepost 40 Highway 14
Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Maryhill Winery and Amphitheater

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Attraction | "Maryhill Winery & Amphitheater"

Maryhill Winery and Amphitheater Photo, Goldendale, Washington
Quote:
The landscape here is dry with the exception of a wedge of green lawn and the vines. There are dramatic contrasts of dark and light. The position is elevated and so you can see for miles. Nearing the edge of the bluff below you’ll see, along the river, the main vineyard’s oasis of green complimenting the greenish-blue water. Overlooking the grandness of the Columbia River Gorge the Maryhill Winery holds one of the more enviable gorge winery locations (see map for other locations). The wine itself is also enviable, having received numerous awards, a significa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 21, 2004

Maryhill Winery and Amphitheater
9774 Highway 14
Goldendale, Washington 98620
(509) 773-1976

Beacon Rock

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Attraction

Beacon Rock Photo, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
Quote:
Beacon Rock, the world’s second largest monolith behind Gibraltar (1396-feet), in the Columbia River Gorge marked the end of the Columbia River cascades; a series of rapids, remnants of a collapsed natural dam. Situated within 4,650-acre Beacon Rock State Park this 848-foot basaltic andesite volcanic neck or plug, the core of a volcano (estimated age 9-million years), was exposed by the Missoula Floods. It was at here the Corp of Discovery noted the tidal influence indicating they were...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2004

Beacon Rock
SR-14, Skamania County, Washington
Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

The Columbia River Gorge Geology

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Story/Tip

High Cliffs, Sheer Walls Photo, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon
Quote:
(The following is meant to give my journal Columbia River Gorge: Geology, Myth & Legend context rather than to be an exhaustive study.) The Geology of the Columbia River Gorge has shaped a startling beautiful place. It remains as a reminder of the volatile forces that have been Earth‘s geologic history. Rising far to the north at Lake Columbia in British Columbia the Columbia River, a Washington and Oregon’s boundary for most of the length of both State, travels 1214-m...Read More