Always Take the Long Road Home

After two straight days of hiking up hill, I didn’t think I wanted to do another Columbia Gorge or Mt. Hood hike, but I didn’t see much reason to head straight home since Leslie was going to be gone for the weekend. So I decided to take the long way home and follow the Columbia River

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eastward to Umatilla and then head north. I spent the night at Beacon Rock State Park and headed out in the morning with designs of idling the day away taking pictures.

It didn’t take long to find a place to stop and get my first shot, the north side of Mt. Hood,

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quite a contrast to the shots taken the day before from the south side of the mountain. Of course, this is also a telephoto shot and only shows the top of the mountain. Still, it seems there’s more snow on the north side of the mountain than on the south side.

It’s hard to spend a day in the Gorge and not learn something new about it if you’re paying attention. This trip I noticed that the Indians had set up a traditional fishing platform, seen off the little green peninsula in the center right of the shot (as always, click to enlarge).

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Coincidentally, I stopped at a pullout near Celilo Falls, which, as it turns out, was one of the most important fishing and trading areas for local Indians and served as the center of a widespread trading network.

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Of course the falls disappeared in 1957 when the Dalles Dame was built. In this shot taken from a few miles up the road, looking back at Mt Hood towering over these arid, rocky cliffs you can actually see the bridge in the background of the previous video.

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At Maryhill’s Stonehenge, Mt. Hood finally disappears from sight when you reach the plateau above the Columbia.

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What do you think?