Friday, June 17, 2016

Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge

Yesterday was a big day.  Around 30 years ago when I served as the Executive of the Friends of Vista House - I asked the management of the Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge if they would like to give our interpretive volunteers a complimentary trip on their boat so that our volunteers would be able to tell all the visitors about their cruises.  :-)  The Friends of Multnomah Falls joined in and also the Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept. volunteers, too.  So, we took our grandsons and learned a lot about the gorge while cruising along.  I have no idea why my hair looks like it is falling off my head.. 

So, off we went "rolling down the river".  I love standing over the paddle wheel as it churns through the water.

Dayle took the boys and headed up to the wheelhouse to talk to the ship's Captain.  I went to the bow of the boat to snap a photo.. and over the loud speaker I heard.. "Hi, Teresa Kasner!"  Our old friend Mike was at the wheel!  We had our sailboat in the marina here way back in 1990 and we made friends with a fellow sailor named Mike.  Lo and Behold.. now he's the captain of the ship!  :-)  

The mighty Columbia River.

Caleb with Captain Mike.

Hayden and the skipper.

At one point you can see the Historic Columbia River Highway which is out of commission at this point, and below is Interstate 84, which replaced the historic highway.

Fishermen trying to catch a salmon for dinner.

The local Native Americans have fishing rights to catch all year, there are fishing platforms all along this section and a fish shack is built here and a village just beyond.  I am supporting that we help the Indians get a better village here.

My grandsons posing in the bow of the boat for grandma.

I could stare down at the water for hours.

The ship first heads down towards Bonneville Dam and tells us about it, then turns and heads back under the Bridge of the Gods and upriver by Stevenson, Washington.  Oregon is on your right and Washington to the left.

I never get tired of passing under the bridge and seeing it against the blue sky.

Can you see the old locks on the right?  Hence the name of the town, Cascade Locks.  Now the locks are in Bonneville Dam, allowing for ship traffic up and down the river through the dams.  Now the locks you see are where the fisherman line up to fish on the edge.

A fishing guide, I assume.  Good advertising!  LOL!

The Osprey were busy on this day catching fish for their babies in the nests.  I was pretty thrilled with the shot I got on my new camera - you can even see the blue of his eyes and see the fish he's devouring in his talons?  You can see the brown body of his mate on the nest to the left of him.

See the inlet back there?  That's Government Cove.  We sailed up there when we first got Stargazer and dropped anchor and spent the night there.  It was magical.  Dayle grilled two filet mignon on the BBQ in the cockpit, we wrapped two twice baked potatoes in foil and warmed them on the grill and I steamed broccoli in the galley, then we enjoyed a delicious dinner while floating on the water and watching Osprey dive for fish right off the stern.  It was a warm summer night with a full moon.. we were rocked to sleep by the river and watched the moon swing back and forth out the companionway door, rather we were swinging back and forth but it looked like the moon was moving.  :-)  We left the hatch open above the queen sized berth and fell asleep watching the stars twinkle above.  Ahhh the memories.

The mounded mountain there is Wind Mountain and the bigger one behind it is Dog Mountain, both in Washington State.  I went to Camp Wind Mountain as a Girl Scout for two summers.  The first summer we climbed to the very top of Wind Mountain and the second summer we summited Dog Mountain.  I think I was in 4th and 5th grade.  I picked strawberries to earn the money to pay for camp.  :-)

In Washington, you can see Skamania Lodge and to the left below the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum.  Both are amazing places.  In fact, I feel the need to visit the lodge again soon.  You should see the view from there!

I think the architecture of the lodge is reminiscent of Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood.

Heading back to the dock.. the Port of Cascade Locks.

After we disembarked, we drove around to the yacht basin parking lot to snap a photo of the sternwheeler.

I always enjoy looking into the marina and remembering when we had our boat there for two summers.  That empty slip in the center was ours.  One time we had sailed into Government Cove and the motor had a problem, so we had to head back under sail power only and had to sail into our slip and quickly drop the sails.. it worked flawlessly but was a bit stressful to say the least.  :-)  But the people on the docks were quite impressed.  LOL!

As we headed out of the park, the sternwheeler was heading out again and Dayle snapped this photo for me.

We then took the boys to the playground to blow off some energy before the 30 minute car ride home.  The Port of Cascade Locks Marine Park is so beautifully maintained.  There is also a boat launch at the locks area, a museum, and a new brewery and restaurant.

We got the boys hot dogs, chips and a soda on the beginning of the boat trip, so of course, it was ice cream time for dessert.  :-)

I just love Cascade Locks.  It's a little town nestled near the river with tall craggy mountains protecting it on the south of town.  A poor lost dog passed by me while the guys were buying the ice cream, one guy grabbed it's leash, another guy looked on his tag, read the phone number and I called the number and talked to the owner who didn't even know he was gone!  Her husband soon came to rescue the dog, come to find out his daughters had taken him out and "tied him up" using a hair tie.  So, I told the boys that we are the good people who rescue hummingbirds and lost dogs.  :-)

We pulled in to the tiny park under the Bridge of the Gods and I took one last photo of the beautiful river gorge before we hit the freeway to home.

The boys climbed up on the rock wall and we got a last snap.. :-)  

A good day was had by all.  Thanks for joining in with us.  I hope you grab the gusto and do all the fun things you can in your life.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. What a fun trip Teresa! I never tire of going on this trip with you each year. The Columbia River Gorge has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. We've stayed the night in Cascade Locks several times. I love the small town feel of it. You are heroes this week... hummingbirds and dogs! Wonderful! Have a lovely weekend my friend. I hope you get some time to knit on your socks.
    Blessings, Betsy

  2. You certainly took us on a wonderful tour, beautiful views and so nice to see you enjoying quality times with your Grandsons. Thank goodness you managed to catch the leash of the dog, who know what would have happened. Have a great weekend.

  3. There are many of your posts that are my "favorite". This post is at the top at the moment. Your photos and narrative are a perfect match. Thanks for taking the time to help me appreciate the Mighty Columbia River, and your unique and interesting history with it! The Osprey shot...WOW!

  4. What a terrific day. I really enjoyed seeing the river and the boats, and also reminiscing with you about your life on the river and in the mountains. Thank you for sharing. Hope you all have a good weekend!

  5. Thank heavens for team work in rescuing the poor lost dog. Sure hope those parents enlighten their children about the proper care of dogs. I'd hate to think of the sweet animal in danger.
    Anyway, what a nice trip on the Columbia Gorge.

  6. I love love love your blog posts of your trips out, always such fascinating reading :) Sorry I've not been around much, feeling a bit bleurgh after my losing my Dad etc, but hoping to get back to blogging :)

  7. This looks like such a good time and the scenery is just stunning!

  8. What a great day - you have so much knowledge. Thank you for the guided tour. Hugs Anne x

  9. What a memorable trip Teresa. Thanks for taking us along. Great re the dog too...well done to all. Enjoy your weekend xx

  10. I loved going along with you on this trip, well all of your trips actually. The river, mountains, cute boys all are so wonderful to see. Love that you rescued a dog, I bet the dogs owners were thrilled.
    Hugs to you Teresa, have a great weekend,

  11. Your knowledge of the area is impressive ... it's such an amazing and gorgeous place. Really so much to experience. Thanks for the tour. And thanks to you and the boys for rescuing that doggy. :)

  12. We have such a beautiful country don't we? I loved each and every photo you shared. I love the dog rescue story. I love how your new camera is working for us! THe fish in the birds talons is so cool. I am reading H is for Hawk . Your grands are handsome boys!

  13. What a beautiful place! So glad you got to go and that you enjoyed it so much. I certainly enjoyed seeing your photos and hearing more about it!

  14. Thanks for the little vacation, Teresa. I thoroughly enjoyed myself! :D

  15. That paddle steamer looks so romantic. Looks like everyone had a great time and you got some beautiful photos. I find bridges quite interesting and that one is really lovely. Your part of the world is very pretty. Seeing that sign with the soft-serve has got my mouth watering!! Always enjoy your adventures Teresa. xox


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