Saturday, September 01, 2012

US Hwy 30: Cascade Locks, Oregon

When Lewis & Clark first came through this area, they encountered a section of very wild rapids on the Columbia River which they were forced to portage around. Subsequent travelers faced the same problem, and a small river town evolved in the area to serve their portaging needs. Originally named "Whiskey Flats" -- a place known for its taverns and other unsavory businesses -- the town was renamed Cascade Locks after a series of locks which were built in the area to facilitate shipping.

Those locks were submerged when the Bonneville Dam was built a few miles downstream, raising the water level by sixty feet and taming the river in this area. The town of Cascade Locks no longer had an economic vitality, and settled down to become only the very small, historic river town it is today. The dam went on to play a large role in the region's economic development, and the facility offers a very informative visitor's center and tour.

The area offers other notable attractions, my favorite being this sculpture.

It shows Sacagawea pointing the way west for Lewis & Clark and -- even more to my liking -- the lesser known Seaman, the Newfoundland dog who was constant companion to Lewis throughout the Voyage of Discovery.

For once, at least, the characters who actually knew what they were doing are recognized in full, absent the headliners!

The town's most prominent feature, however, is the impressive and somewhat daunting "Bridge of the Gods."

The weather is absolutely spectacular -- clear, sunny and cool! -- so I'm heading out to do some more exploring… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I just came across your blog, so amazing! Thank you so much for including my art work in it!
Very exciting travels! :)
Take care and beautiful journeys!
Heather Soderberg