Portland, Oregon   Leave a comment

Day 36, the drive to Portland was very pretty. If you look close on the left, you will see a tractor trailer. I took this picture to put the size of the hills into perspective.

Stopping at a beautiful overlook for lunch. On a clear day, you can see for miles…..

Enroute, we stopped at what is known as a replica of Stonehenge. Stonehenge is a world famous prehistoric monument in the English county of Wiltshire.

It is believed that Stonehenge served as a burial ground from its earliest beginnings, dating as early as 3000 BC, when the first ditches were being constructed around the monument. Burials continued at Stonehenge for at least another 500 years.

Day 37, Most of our group with to the Science and Industry Museum, but Bill and I decided to drive over to the Evergreen Air Museum to see the “Spruce Goose.”

Wow! What a great museum. We saw a film of the first and only flight

We got to climb up inside. The beach balls are used for floatation in the wing floats.

There was a “rover” on display. It was built by NASA as a mobile geology laboratory looking for clues that water once existed on Mars.

Below left is the Blackbird, SR-71, the world’s fastest and highest flying “air-breathing” aircraft. On July 28, 1976, the SR-71 set a world speed record of 2,193 miles per hour, almost 3 times the speed of sound. Below right is the Lockheed D-21 Drone, an unmanned spy aircraft.

There is so much to see, you could spend a whole day in this museum. What is really nice is that there is a lot of hands on things to do.

Day 38, we had a beautiful drive through the Columbia Gorge. The Crown Point Vista House was our first stop where we had a beautiful view of the Columbia River and Beacon Rock off in a distance.

The Vista House was built in memory of the men who built the road that got us there, through the town of Corbin.

At Multnomah Falls we had a wonderful buffet brunch. We were so stuffed, we didn’t eat the rest of the day. The area has a total of 10 falls. In the 1980s a 400 ton rock fell from the Falls into the area just above the bridge.

We understand that 4 people, who were standing on the bridge at the time, were sent to the hospital. I looked closely at the Falls making sure I didn’t see any “loose” rocks before I decided to take a look from the bridge.

Bonneville Lock and Dam, built in 1933, was the first federal locks and dam on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. We did not tour the dam, but we did check out the fish hatchery and fish ladder, shown below.

This fishway allows migratory adult fish to continue their migration from the sea upstream to tributaries of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. At each fishway, a worker counts the various species of adult fish moving up the fish ladder. This information has been recorded at Bonneville since 1938 and helps the biologists track increases and decreases in fish runs. Between 700,000 and 1.5 million upstream migrant adult salmon and steelhead, and an estimated 24 to 43 million downstream migrant salmon and steelhead fingerlings, pass Bonneville Dam in an average year. Shad, sturgeon, lamprey and other species are also seen.

The previous days count was 1,920 Chinook, 345 Chinook Jack, 26,779 Sockeye, 375 Steelhead, 51,540 Shad, and 542 Lamprey. The Sockeye count has almost hit the total for 2011, that’s a good thing.

In the hatchery area, they have some huge sturgeons, which they have named “Herb.”

While rounding up our guests, a little boy and girl (who were strangers to each other, by the way) caught my eye. How cute they were!

Day 39, we met early to board our luxury motor coach with our wonderful driver, Karen. We had a beautiful drive to Mt. St. Helen, stopping off at the visitor’s center, where we saw a film about the 1980 eruption. The eruption knocked trees down for 17 miles and the ash actually floated around the world. The force was so great that it forced the waters from Spirit Lake to form 2 other lakes and raised Spirit Lake 200 feet, pictured below.

Most of the damage from the eruption has been restored somewhat by plantings, as seen below left. However, at a certain elevation at the tops of the hills, plantings were not allowed so that they could see what happens naturally, as seen below right. It’s been 32 years and not much as grown…..

The volcano itself is an amazing site.

The eruption caused a hill slide on the north side. The lightening from the Mt. St. Helen eruption was shooting across at the other mountains. The hill slid down into the lake and Snake River. It was like an avalanche of huge trees and mud. People on the other side of the mountain never heard a thing. The sound seemed to only travel to the north side.

As the rushing water, mud, and trees rushed down Snake River, people who were fishing were caught by surprise. One person interviewed said he climbed onto a huge tree & road downstream for miles. He was fishing with his girlfriend. Sitting on the log, he searched for her, thought he lost her. Then all of a sudden he saw her hair. He grabbed it & pulled her onto the log. She fell off 3 times before they found safety further downstream. A rescue unit on the river bank yelled at them to hurry & get out because another wave of water was 15 min. behind them. We understand the couple never married, I would imagine she didn’t like the date.

Harry Truman, 86 years old, was the owner of the lodge on Spirit Lake, at the bottom of the mountain. Authorities warned Harry that the mountain was going to erupt and he needed to evacuate. Harry said in an interview, which we saw on the film, that there was no way the mountain was going to erupt at the magnitude they were predicting, that he was a part of the mountain and he was staying there. Poor Harry’s body was never found. He is somewhere 200 feet beneath …..Below, left, is a picture of where the lake used to be at the foot of the mountain.

It’s hard to imagine how devastating it must have been to be there during the eruption

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