SS Minnow? The Love Boat? Exxon Valdez? Boaty McBoatFace? Nope.
It's the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler.
We took the visiting in-laws on a lovely dinner cruise up and down the Columbia River Gorge which separates Washington and Oregon states. It was perfect summer weather. Absolutely puuuurrrrfect.
The ship is one in a long tradition of paddle wheel boats that serviced this river. This particular one was built in 1983. I've been an Oregon resident since 1989 and for some reason this is the first time I've ever done this (not sure what I was waiting for).
The stories this river could tell... I love the history behind this part of the country.
The Sternwheeler makes its home at Cascade Locks on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, which incidentally is the fourth largest river in the United States and the largest in the Pacific Northwest. It's 1,243 miles long flowing from British Columbia through Washington and bordering most of Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Most people come for the gorgeous waterfalls (Multnomah Falls being the most popular), but I've now learned that you're really only seeing half the picture when you don't visit it from the middle of the river.
Oh! Hello there, Washington!
Like a modest mouse, the Sternwheeler really is powered completely by it's paddle wheel. No auxiliary power is used. So, yeah... a little mind bender that old time-y transportation still can rule.
The Bridge of the Gods was built in 1926 and takes its name from the Native American name for a land mass that reached across the river at one time. It's part of an alternate route on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and where Cheryl Strayed ended her journey in "Wild."
^ That's a teeny-tiny car up there on the left for scale. ^
Uh... I'll stay topside. Thanks.
My river queens.
These fishing platforms dotted along the river belong to the Native American tribes (we wiped out Celilo Falls and their other natural fishing areas with 14 hydroelectric power dams). :-( Before it was renamed in 1792, the river was known as "Wimahl" by the Chinook, which translates to "Big River."
brisk walks past farmers' fields + rain finally gives way to summer sun + outdoor church pantries + "take what you need, give what you can..." + friends over for the Fourth + outdoor dog shows + marigolds and lavender at dusk + red tail hawks + fragrant jasmine by the front door + meadow barns + house cleaning for guests + stall cleaning for horse + lovely book projects for work + jury duty + lots and lots of jury duty + teenagers and their driver's training classes + first jobs scooping ice cream + daughters laughing + local library raids + stacks of books + "gift" knitting in the late evening + barbeque on a weekday + yard work + only two pending college visits (thank goodness) + total solar eclipse plans! + a running puppy and the squirrels that outwit her + mourning doves + worry and gratitude + trying to make the best of it all.