It was a lovely day at Rowena Crest, the sun was shining bright, and it was good to be able to get out of the car and walk around. But ho, da wind! Which really isn’t unusual in the Gorge, but this makani was unusual in that it was blowing from makai (west) instead of mauka like it usually does. It was a warm wind, but still pretty strong.
We could see Mt Adams across the river. Well, okay, its top.
Here’s the sign that tells about the area. It’s fascinating stuff.
This is what the sign says:
Volcanism, uplift, erosion and human endeavor have indelibly etched the Columbia River Gorge. But cataclysmic floods during the twilight of the last Ice Age (12,000-15,000 years ago) affected the landscape before you more than any other terrestrial force, creating these scablands called the Rowena Plateau.
As a massive ice sheet advanced from Canada, it dammed rivers with up to 2,000 feet of glacial ice creating huge lakes across Idaho and Montana. The largest of these 3,000 square mile glacial Lake Missoula, held over 500 cubic miles of water–half the volume of Lake Michigan. When rising waters undermined these ice dams, tremendous floods swept across the land and down the Columbia River. Torrents of water and ice raged downstream as many as 100 times, scouring away soils at elevations up to 1,000 feet.
That would’ve been something to see, yeah? And it all resulted in this:
Looking across to the Washington side of the Gorge.
And down to the winding road below us.
With my new knees, and of course, the rest of my body, and with Nolemana, we decided to take a short hike. The Arrowleaf Balsamroot was in full bloom and was able to stand the force of the blowing wind.
We met several people along the trail; everyone was very friendly, and we all masked up as we passed each other. Even though we were outside, it seemed to be the polite thing to do. We met an Asian woman and her daughter, and we all talked about how windy and beautiful it was up there. They were visiting the US and it was really good to hear their accents; it reminded me of home and living in a multi-cultural environment. (I think I need to make a trip out to Uwajimaya now.)
After our walk, and again, it was so wonderful to be able to walk pain-free, and my knees did great. Thank you again, Dr Borus!
After getting back to the car, we drove to the end of the parking lot to take a look here. This was looking kinda makai.
This sign told about the Preserve.
This was looking kinda makai. And oh yeah, watch out for rattlesnakes, ticks, poison oak, and all kine icky stuffs. At the entrance, there was a boot brush to wipe off anykine undesirable elements.
We didn’t go inside the preserve; we didn’t have hiking boots or anything, and the wind really was crazy. Other people were much braver than us, and definitely dressed for the hike. So we got into our car and headed back down the hill towards home.
We’re on the historic route heading back to Interstate 84.
Another old barn came into view. One time a friend of mine and I made up stories about people who used to live in old, now vacant, houses…one person in our car wasn’t amused, but the other one wondered how in the world we knew so much about those pioneers. Heh heh.
Nolemana took this photo at the right time, just as a vulture was flying overhead.
We were getting closer and closer to the river.
We pulled over to photograph this cairn next to the road.
And after too much longer, we were back in Mosier and about to get back onto the freeway, which is where our adventure will continue next time.