Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Columbia River Gorge

We are at Lepage Corp of Engineers Park (COE) in Rufus, Oregon and have been keeping very busy.  In the past few days we have gone on a two hour sternwheeler cruise up the magnificent Columbia River, gone to see an evening presentation at the Goldendale Observatory across the river in Goldendale, Washington, got up close with Mt. Hood, and visited the towns of Hood River and The Dalles, Oregon as well as White Salmon and Goldendale, Washington. We have viewed many wonderful waterfalls, a Veteran's Memorial in the form of a replica of Stonehenge and another Veterans Memorial in The Dalles.  At the observatory we got to see Saturn, our moon, and a double star.  We also got to listen to one of the greatest radio stations we've ever heard, KLCK-1400 AM.  Great oldies and fantastic programming and D.J.s.  For example: This morning they played 90 minutes of songs with the word "Angel" in the title.  Very creative.

Question: Think of the river that is near your home, or where you grew up.  Now, how many dams where on that river, producing electricity for your state?  Most of you will say, "none."  But, on the Columbia River there are 14 dams providing electricity.  That might tell you of the power and importance of the Columbia River to the Northwest.

Amazing Fact: This is the spawning area for six species of Salmon and some of them have to climb past 9 dams to get to their spawning grounds.  No wonder most die from exhaustion after the trip and spawning!

Our campsite at LePage COE park in Rufus, Oregon

Majestic Multnomah Falls (620 ft)
Mt. Hood
The Stonehenge Memorial has the plaques honoring all the local men who died in WWI
Inside the Goldendale Observatory
The Sternwheeler "Columbia Gorge"
A fish ladder at Bonneville Dam-during the current Sockeye Salmon run, 42,000 or more  a day can climb this ladder.
After climbing the fish ladder, every fish is guided past this narrow glass opening and counted and categorized by species.  We watched them being counted and entered into the computer.  How boring is that job?                 
Debbie at Vista House, above the Columbia Gorge
Can you see Vista House sitting atop the gorge in the center of the picture?
                                      Click on the video to see Debbie enjoying the cruise.                        

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