Portland Oregon City Center with Mt. Hood in background, Nov. 2013.
Portland OR, 1920's or 1930's with Mt. St. Helens.
Portland OR with Mt. Hood, 1920-30's.
(Above) Portland Oregon City Center with Mt. Hood in background, Nov. 2013.
(Below Left) Portland 1920's or 1930's with Mt. St. Helens.   (Below Right) Portland same era with Mt. Hood.
Portland OR, 2013, Morrison St.
Portland OR, 2013, Pioneer Square
Today, Portland's City Center blends the old with the new.  Both are now valued, but too late for some awesome old buildings.
Historic Map, Columbia River Gorge
While the Willamette River is a fine river, "The River" is the Columbia.  The Willamette runs through Portland before joining the Columbia.  Ocean going ships have docked at Portland since the beginning of Portland.  This is why Portland is the largest city in Oregon.
The Mighty Columbia has been altered by Man as much as any other river in the USA and probably more.  It once raged with treacherous rapids.  It now sleeps behind dams waiting to produce electricity.  But before Man had his chance, Mother Nature did her share of alterations.  Lava flows blocked the Columbia's path forcing her to cut a new channel.  Glaciers gouged her canyon deep.  Native American legend claims a natural bridge once joined both sides of the Columbia River Gorge until a great battle between 2 gods over a woman brought the bridge crashing down.  The rapids and canyon wall formations attest to the truth of the legend.  When the Pioneer Wagons floated down river, all they found were rapids with no easy way around.  Everything had to be moved to land, then reloaded onto boats at the bottom of the rapids.
Old White Collar Line map shows the Columbia River Gorge as it was when steamboats and sternwheelers traveled up and down the Columbia River on a regular daily schedule.  They traveled from Astoria to Portland, from Portland to the Dalles, and from Portland to Seattle.  The date of the map and pictures from White Collar Line are uncertain.  Ads for Line were found in 1900 but the company operated for many years.  Today, sternwheelers offer tourists a scenic view of both Willamette and Columbia Rivers.  Some offer delightful dinner theaters.
Cascade Locks built 1896, with sternwheeler
Celilo Falls now under dam water
Volcanic Mystique:
Man is Not the Only Force reshaping the Northwest.  There are 7 extinct baby volcanos within Portland Oregon's city limits.  A partially exposed core is visible at Mt. Tabor Park.  Most snow covered mountains of the Cascade Range are sleeping giants.  Mt. St. Helens in Washington State blew its top off in 1980.  Her ash coated Portland and many other northwest locations.  Portlanders were greeted at their banks with signs, "Please remove masks before entering."  Mt. St. Helens has now settled down and human eyes are adjusting to the altered view.
Columbia River, OR, 2003 sunset
Portland Docks on Willamette River early 1900's from White Collar Line brochure
Multnomah Falls Photo by J.L. Hicks from White Collar Line publication, early 1900's.  Note no bridge.
Multnomah Fallls 2003.
Multnomah Falls  The tallest of several waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. 

(Below Left) Multnomah Falls Photo by J.L. Hicks from White Collar Line publication where it is stated,  “The greatest of the falls is Multnomah, which drops, a roaring river, over a precipice 800 feet from brow to base.  It is just over the starboard bow as the boat again crosses to the Oregon shore. … All the falls are full of Indian legendary and enchantment, and each has its pretty, or tragic story.”  There appears to be no bridge, place date of photo pre 1914.
Today, Multnomah Falls still falls but its total height is now stated as 620 feet.  White Collar's yardstick was off.  A grand hiking trail climbs to the top, across the foot bridge seen in most modern pictures.  Time has re-sculptured the falls a bit.  Large boulders can be seen at the base, that have fallen, as well as a tree or 2.  More from Wikipedia.

(Below) Multnomah Fallls 2003.
(Below) Multnomah Falls, looking down from the bridge, 2003.
The Scenic Columbia River Hwy:
Originally the road was far above today I-84.  It offers many incredible views for those with courage, and time.  It's narrow and winding with blind curves, yet well worth the effort.  More from wikipedia

Hood River

to Gov. Camp:

Take the loop from the Columbia River Gorge back to Portland, via Hwy 35, from Hood River to Government Camp.  Hood River, is known for Apple Orchards and Wind Surfers, Hwy 35 climbs the east side of Mt. Hood, past the ski areas, the hiker's Cloud Cap Inn, to join Hwy 26 near Government Camp.  The route crosses the 1846 Barlow Wagon Road used by many pioneers to enter  "Oregon," which at that time meant the Willamette Valley.   Another must see tribute to the post depression master craftsmen is Timberline Lodge, located at the tree line of Mt. Hood (above that line trees are unable to grow.) 
It's all downhill from Government Camp's 5,000 foot elevation, to Portland in The Valley below where the floor is about 50 feet above sea level.  It takes less than an hour to get from Gov. Camp to Portland city center, except during rush hours when Portland becomes the one of the grandest gridlocks in America.  Being the number 1 destination for persons moving from another state has come at a high price to we few who were born here.
Mt. Hood from Hwy 26 Oregon
Bonneville Dam
Salmon, at Bonneville Dam fish ladder viewing.
(Above) Portland Docks on Willamette River early 1900's from White Collar Line.  Air Quality has always been a concern in Portland.  The air is far better today than it was.  Today Portland's Waterfront is a place of pleasure and an international port.


The River


(aka Mighty Columbia)

(Above) Celilo Falls now under dam water
(Below) Cascade Locks built 1896, with sternwheeler
(Below) Salmon, at Bonneville Dam fish ladder viewing.

Day Trip:

The Mt. Hood Loop: 

Portland Oregon, Columbia River, Mt. Hood,
(Below) Historic map of Columbia River from Portland OR to The Dalles, pub. by White Collar Line,  lists the scenic, extinct, and now flourishing.
Portland City Center, photos 2013

(Above) Pioneer Square

(Left) Morrison Street looking west
This brief description of the loop begins in Portland, and travels east along the Columbia River and returns via Hwy 35 and 26.  The loop is equally beautiful traveling in reverse order.  Historic images may help to appreciate the views.

Portland, Oregon, USA

Bonneville Dam was built 1933-1937, a tribute to the master craftsmen put to work after the Great Depression.  Construction was no easy task.  It remains a powerful producer of hydro-electric energy.  The best part of a visit to the damn is the fish ladder viewing areas.  Watch salmon leap up the ladder.  See them swim under water. More from Wikipedia.
(Above) Hood River Valley, 2003
(Below) Hood River Valley, with Mt. Hood, 2003.
(Above & Left)  Large boulders can be seen at base of Multnomah Falls that have fallen from face of cliffs towering above.  The great Spirit Nature, believes in change.
(Below) Columbia River, 2003
(Below) Preserved Sternwheeler doced on Columbia.
Hood River Valley, Oregon, 2003
Mt. Hood from Hood River Valley OR
(Above) Mt Hood from Cloud Cap Inn, August 1984.

(Right) Mt Hood from Hwy 26, as viewed when traveling from Portland, taken in August about 1984.  In winter snow covers all. In 2014 the glacier in this pictured was significantly smaller.
(Above) Note no bridge above lower falls in this early 1900's pic.
Mt. St. Helens, June 2014, from Hwy 26.
She blew her top off in 1980.
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Last revision: 10 Jun 2016
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