Bonneville Lock and Dam


Jim was excited about visiting the Bonneville Locks and Dam – and he is so accommodating about going where I want to go for photo taking, how could I say no. And I do find machine-type things interesting.

The Bonneville Dam, on the Columbia River in the Columbia Gorge, was started in 1933 and provided jobs for about 3000 people during the depression through the Public Works Administration (their literature). Jim went into the turbine building where the generators are and found it really interesting and impressive. The generators are enormous.


Salmon use the Columbia River for spawning and building the dam would interfere with this so the Corps of Engineers brought on several experts in fisheries. Building fisheries to get fish past something as big as this dam had never been done before so their plan included fish ladders and fish locks for the fish going upriver and passageways for the juvenile fish going back to the ocean. After the fish navigated past the dam it became evident that the fish preferred the ladders to the locks. After watching them fight the rapids going through the ladders and sometimes being swept backwards, this surprised me.

At any rate, I chose to view and photograph the salmon going up the ladders through the viewing windows instead of going to view the generators with Jim.

There is a fisheries complex by the dam and they do a lot of research and activities to make sure the fish populations are healthy and growing as salmon fishing is an important economic activity in the area – especially for Native Americans. I heard a guide say that they have people counting the fish going up the ladders – now that sounds like a mind-numbing job. They also distinguish between fish bred in the wild and those in the hatchery, by the presence (or absence) of the top fin just in front of the tail. Some have one, and others don’t depending on where they started their lives.


Multnomah Falls


I could see Multnomah Falls from I-84 as we drove to our campground at Cascades Locks in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon (the state of Washington is across the river) on our way back from Portland. I also saw the parking lot between the west and east bound lanes of the highway but we were too tired to stop. It is a tall waterfall, the tallest in Oregon, beautiful from a distance but I’m still learning how to photograph water falls (interpretation: I never feel like I’ve captured the power and beauty of them). I wanted to see it, but I wasn’t sure I could photograph it.

We took a day off from visiting great-grandkids to rest and do a little site-seeing on our own. My husband wanted to visit the Bonneville Dam and I chose Multnomah Falls.


There are two falls and according to Native American lore the falls were created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a private place to bath. The Natives who lived in this region were Chinookan.

To get to the falls, we walked through something like a subway tunnel, under the two east lanes and a railway track.


The railway operated a stop at this site from 1884 until WWII using a timber bow-string truss bridge spanning the falls in the same location as the foot bridge. A lodge was built on this site, completed in 1925. It is a beautiful lodge that originally provided rooms and dining. According to Wikipedia the building was designed in the “Canadian” style, using cut limestone blocks laid irregularly, with a steep pitched gabled roof with cedar singles. It is rustic – like its setting but also very elegant.

I didn’t take many photos, instead sitting on a bench looking up at the falls, lost in a time long past. I thought about the steam locomotives chugging into the station and the type of people who were eager to live on the edge and/or had the means to do so in that era. When I processed my photos, the only option was Lightroom Color Preset “aged photo”. For this brief period of time I enjoyed a journey into romanticism.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sand

I just happen to have a few photos of sand having just returned from touring the Pacific coast of Washington and Oregon. Here are two from a very windy day, showing how the wind can sculpt and move sand.

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To add your sandy photos or to see more sand, you’ll need to visit Cee at:

Crater Lake

Primitive camping seemed to be the price we paid for seeing Crater Lake, although my memories of primitive camping are becoming nostalgic again. It is a good thing I did a post on it so when I think I want to do primitive camping I can sharpen up that memory.

Crater Lake was formed around 7,000 Р8,000 years ago when Mount Mazama erupted with a big bang and then collapsed into itself. The lake that formed in the center is 1,949 feet deep (594 m), the deepest lake in the US and the 9th deepest in the world. The crater rim is 1,000 feet above the lake and the drive around the rim provides many places to stop to view the lake and surrounding mountains. Here is a gallery of my favorite photos from this area. I have provided short descriptions of some of them that you can read by clicking on any photo to enter the slide show.

Roughing it by the Rogue

We stayed at Farewell Bend Campground in the Rogue-River Siskiyou National Forest for a couple of nights – to the east of Crater Lake in Oregon. National Forests are pretty basic – the youth hostels of campgrounds. No electricity hood-ups and we had to carry water in a 5 gallon jug from the faucet across the road. Worst of all, our Verizon internet do-thingy couldn’t pick up a signal and neither could our cell phone. But I’m not complaining.

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We had propane to fire up the stove for hot water and our coffee (we stopped carrying an electric coffee maker after it broke) and the frig can run on propane. We pack so we can do primitive – just in case.

We did “primitive camping” many years ago when our kids were young and we were strapped for money, so I know how to make do without a lot of luxury – like flush toilets and electricity. In fact I liked camping in the state forest campground because it helped me remember that it is possible to wash my hair and take a bath with a gallon of water in a basin instead of… well 10 minutes of continually running hot water.

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Our campsite by the Rogue did have running water – hundreds of gallons a minute just outside our door. Raging, churning water that averages 44 degrees F. Did you know that river water gets louder at night, about bedtime? We also had a fireplace that was built when the campground was developed during the 1930’s. Unfortunately all but one have been vandalized to the point of not being usable. They had steel grates and doors on them with the seal of the National Forest Service. Must be people wanted souvenirs. It makes me angry.

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We arrived late afternoon, got set up, fixed a simple meal, cleaned up, and took a walk through the park, exploring the river at a couple of spots. I practiced water photography while J. explored rocks that float (pumice). It was a very quiet, relaxing time together.

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As we strolled back, a couple who live in a nearby town and have camped on this river for years (they have a BIG motor home with a generator) flagged us down. We had stopped to say hi earlier in the evening and they thought of a list of things we should really experience close by; Rogue Gorge, Hidden Bridge, and Beckie’s (where they have the best breakfast around and ice cream). We still had an hour of light so we drove to the Rogue Gorge. The Rogue River (the one next to our campsite) is flowing through lava rock and both Rogue Gorge & Hidden Bridge are pretty impressive.

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Land line outside Beckie’s for emergency calls.

When we returned we talked a while about what we had saw, where we were, and where we were going. We did a little reminiscing about camping with the kids at House Lake. J got out the small candles and the new lantern he bought just in case we didn’t have electricity – I think he was excited about using it. I asked what time it was, because the digital clock over the sink was dark. Eight-thirty. Is it too early to go to bed? And we talked a little longer, commenting on how nice it was to just sit and talk without distractions. We talked about how people might have lived before electricity. Silence. We both have readers with batteries that hadn’t been recharged. Silence.

We really like each other, and really enjoy each other’s company but we ran out of things to talk about. Maybe it was because we had been together 24/7 for over three weeks. Maybe it was because I’m an introvert so I let him do most of the talking and he was done. We entertained ourselves for a while but a descent hour for bedtime took a long time coming.


We planned for the next night a little better. We bought a bundle of wood and had a campfire, complete with hotdogs. The hotdogs tasted sooooo good and the nights in the mountains get chilly as soon as the sun sets so the fire felt good. J even made us a cup of Irish coffee – should I call it primitive Irish coffee?

But as we were sitting by the campfire, we made a very important decision. We decided that we are too old for primitive camping. We really don’t need to know that we can live with less, we already did that. I like feeling pampered by a little luxury – like electricity and water when I turn the faucet.

Footnote: We had a great breakfast at Beckie’s before we drove to Crater Lake and had ice cream at Beckie’s on the way back. Both were really good.