Spent a lifetime there one night. Second night of a circumnavigation by bicycle of the state of Washington that started in Portland and ended in Astoria with several Columbia crossings. It was a record year for drought and the heat coming off the blacktop was 120 F. Steve and I were dog-tired, hungry, and thirsty as all get out. We crossed over from the 85 in WA at The Dalles and immediately found we were in hostile territory. The silva industry was in an advanced state of collapse and tourists were despised for being fortunate enough to afford anything. Numerous bumper stickers on passing autos read "Welcome to Oregon - Now Go Home". Steve and I were practically thrown out on our helmets when we tried to eat at a local diner. We settled for camping on the banks of the Columbia and finished off the last of our Rainier beers we saved from the night before in Camas.
From the west where we had just come the steep cliffs on either side of the Columbia drained the tributaries that fed the mighty river with numerous waterfalls cascading from the heights. There was little of that here as the land begain to gently fall toward the the mighty river's level and we knew that tomorow's journey to Umatilla and Walla Walla would be hotter and drier than that day's blistering ride. The Columbia at night is a calming sight as the lights from the dam kick in amid the chorus of native insects and amphibians and the river traffic is marked by faintly winking lights as they ply through the waters. You can watch the traffic stretch out east and west along I-85 on either side of the Columbia supplanting the arterial flow of the great river. But I digress.....
Oregon has changed and the attitudes are now more conducive to tourism. The Dalles is now a portal for people seeking outdoor experience on the Columbia and the Deschutes - which enters the Columbia at The Dalles - and the central interior of Oregon. It's a nice place to visit and has a couple of great parks by the rivers. It is however, not your typical stereotype of the mightily forrested Pacific Northwest. The Dalles marks the beginning of the gently rolling hills to the east and is more of a riparian zone nestled between the rivers. It yields gradually to the plains and deserts of eastern Oregon and Washington and has a unique beauty and attraction of its own.
Nice shots and thanks for bringing back the memories, Oregon.