Sunday, May 22, 2011


We left Wilsonville to continue scenic Historic Highway 30 with Jim complaining about poor signage. We kept seeing highway 84 East. We finally found the way, only to drive a couple miles and discover that Highway 30 is closed for four and one-half  miles to everything but pedestrians and bicyclers.  The roadway is a state park. The ranger informed us that the tunnel entrance and overpasses were made for Model A’s and modern vehicles can’t get through them.

Here is a picture from the visitors center showing a section of the old road we didn’t get to see.

And, an old photo of the building of this almost insurmountable task. It’s quite a show.

What we did see was pretty spectacular.  The switch-backs  take your  breath away.

The scenery does too.

No water falls on this section, but the hills were abloom. We stopped at several overlooks but the wind was so fierce we didn’t hike very far though there are many trails available.

We covered a short nine miles yesterday and dropped into the visitor’s center. We ate lunch in the parking lot and spent two plus hours viewing the history and learning about the geology of the gorge.  A very worthwhile stop for all travelers.

Unique to this center is an educational showing of several raptors they keep. All have been injured in some way and cannot be released to the wild. The kestral, above, is the smallest raptor from the area.

A female red tail hawk has an injured wing.

A male great horned owl is nearly blind and can’t feed itself.
Yesterday, we visited the Bonneville Dam and fish hatchery near the end of the day. It, too is worth a visit. I had never seen a fish ladder and always wondered how they count the fish.

The ladder was built after the dam. No one knew if it would actually work, but the spawning fish took to it right away. Ladders are easier than some of the falls and rapids they have to navigate.  They are provided a resting area that funnels them by windows where counters view them and press a button for every fish they see moving  upstream.

The viewing windows for the public were pretty murky. Various breeds spawn at different times of year. The Chinook spawn is just about over. We didn’t see many fish, but it was fascinating even so. We are parked at the Dalles.

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