Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 5: The Columbia River Gorge

Next on our road trip through Oregon was the Columbia River Gorge.  It was kind of interesting because for the most part the Columbia River was a huge part of the Oregon Trail and the expedition completed by Lewis and Clark.  There are all kinds of landmarks along the way.
River boat on the Columbia River in Cascade Locks, Oregon...they have dinner cruises through the gorge

Statues of Sacajawea and Lewis' dog, Seaman at the Cascade Locks Marine Park

The Bridge of the Gods, is the only bridge that crosses the Columbia River between Portland and Hood River, Oregon.  
The town of Cascade Locks was named after a set of locks built so that boats could get past a section of rapids on the Columbia River in 1896.  A dam was built in 1938 and submerged the locks so they are no longer in use.
View of the Columbia River

Our next stop was the Bonneville Fish Hatchery...I wasn't really excited about this but it was actually REALLY interesting.  I will never look at salmon the same again.

Fish ponds

Feeding the fish

Visiting Herman the Sturgeon...he is 425 pounds and over 60 years old

Trout being feed

I remember learning about a salmon's life cycle in school but I had totally forgotten about it until we visited this hatchery.  Once the salmon here hatch they are released into the river and make the journey to the Pacific Ocean.  When they reach adult hood and are ready to reproduce, they swim back upriver to the exact spot where they were born!  I have always known this but it was amazing to see the salmon in action.  They begin arriving in September so we were there at the perfect time to see them swimming up the fish ladders trying to return.  This hatchery was built in 1909 to help boost the salmon population.  When the dam was built in 1938 the hatchery had to really up their production because the dam was preventing the salmon from swimming upstream to spawn naturally. 

If you look to the left of the running water, that big ripple in the water is a salmon swimming up.  Every now and then we would see one swim up the rung of the ladder.

We were there on a weekend so there were no workers and it wasn't in operation.  The pond was closed for some reason but it didn't keep the salmon from trying to get there.  They were jumping out of the water and FLINGING themselves up against the wall.  It really shows how strong their instinct is.  They just kept doing it over and over again.  There were lots of people watching and we wondered if any salmon ever makes it over the top?

Kellan and I at the salmon fountain.

This truck was in the parking lot.  I know I said the hatchery was interesting but I don't think it was interesting enough to make it an after wedding stop.  Oh well...maybe they were doing an Oregon honeymoon?

We definitely agreed with the name...it did look just like a horsetail.
This is a huge scenic attraction and one of the big spots that everyone tells you to go see in Oregon.
Multnomah Falls Lodge overlooks the waterfall.  Its not a hotel but an excellent restaurant.

I don't know if you've noticed but up to this point in the trip there are virtually no pictures of me without this fleece.  I could have saved a lot of packing room and just worn anything because it was going to be covered up anyway.  I was chilly pretty much everywhere.

Pork chop with huckleberries and asparagus.

Prime rib with mashed potatoes and asparagus.

Multnomah Falls...2nd highest waterfall in the United States

Michael and Kellan running down the path :)  Kellan was squealing and laughing so loud!  People were jumping out of their way...

The Vista House built in 1917 is a monument to honor all of the pioneers who traveled to Oregon, especially the ones that traveled down the river.  It sits on a top edge of the gorge overlooking the Columbia River from 733 feet up.

Views of the river and gorge from Vista House

This is the view of Vista House from another lookout point a few miles down the road.  You can see it on the cliff to the right.
Next, we drove through the rest of the gorge to Portland and kept heading north to spend the night near Mount St. Helens in Washington.  We were all over the state of Oregon and made a brief visit in Washington...more on that tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I think Kellan wants a big dog like that one, Mom. And isn't it amazing how little fish can instinctively remember where they were born and swim through a vast expanse of ocean and rivers to get back there? Sea turtles do the same thing coming back to lay eggs in the same spot they were hatched on every year. I think God had a hand in that, don't you? Glad you are taking all these pictures and documenting this trip for Kellan to read one day. He looks like he was having a blast with daddy racing in his stroller. The waterfalls are always a favorite of mine, and yes, I agree with the name of that one.