Thursday, June 5, 2008

Columbia River

Sky Watch Friday

Rain over the Columbia River

Columbia River
Vista House on the view point to the right

Click on the photograph for better viewing and
click on the links to learn more about this region and some of its history

This is one of my favorite spots in the Pacific Northwest. I can just imagine Lewis and Clark viewing the mighty Columbia River.

The expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark is one of my favorite historical subjects.

The Columbia River (known as Wimahl or Big River to the Chinook-speaking natives who live on its lowermost reaches) is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. It is named after the Columbia Rediviva, the first ship from the western world known to have traveled up the river. It stretches from the Canadian province of British Columbia through the U.S. state of Washington, forming much of the border between Washington and Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. The river is 1,243 miles (2,000 km) long, and its drainage basin is 258,000 square miles (670,000 km²).

Measured by the volume of its flow, the Columbia is the largest river flowing into the Pacific from North America and is the fourth-largest river in the United States. The river's heavy flow, and its large elevation drop over a relatively short distance, gives it tremendous potential for the generation of electricity. It is the largest hydroelectric power producing river in North America with fourteen hydroelectric dams in the United States and Canada.

The Columbia and its tributaries are home to numerous anadromous fish, which migrate between small fresh water tributaries of the river and the Pacific Ocean. These fish—especially the various species of salmon—have been a vital part of the river's ecology and the local economy for thousands of years.

Volcanic activity in the region has been traced to 40 million years ago, in the Eocene era, forming much of the landscape traversed by the Columbia. In the Pleistocene era (the last ice age, two million to 700,000 years ago), the river broke through the Cascade Range, forming the Columbia River Gorge.

The river and its drainage basin experienced some of the world’s greatest known floods toward the end of the last ice age. The periodic rupturing of ice dams at Glacial Lake Missoula resulted in discharge rates ten times the combined flow of all the rivers of the world. This happened as many as forty times over a thousand-year period.

Water levels during the Missoula Floods have been estimated at 1,250 feet (380 m) at the Wallula Gap, 830 feet (250 m) at Bonneville Dam, and 400 feet (120 m) over modern Portland, Oregon. The floods' periodic inundation of the lower Columbia River Plateau deposited rich lake sediments, establishing the fertility that supports extensive agriculture in the modern era. They also formed many unusual geological features, such as the channeled scablands of eastern Washington.

A mountain on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge, likely a result of the Cascadia earthquake in 1700, in an event known as the Bonneville Slide. The resulting land bridge blocked the river until rising waters tunneled through and finally washed away the sediment. In 1980, the eruption of Mount St. Helens deposited large amounts of sediment in the lower Columbia, temporarily reducing the depth of the shipping channel by 25 feet (7.6 m)

I hope you have enjoyed this piece of history and geology of the area.

To participate in Sky Watch Friday visit Wiggers World.

Troy and Martha

84 comments:

Tommy V said...

What a great picture.

Mrs. Darcy said...

What a lovely sky and landscape!

quinttarantino said...

Another fine and interesting post ... and a stunner for photo!

SandyCarlson said...

That's a gorgeous view. The river responds to the moods of the sky!

Abraham Lincoln said...

Very impressive photography. I think it is beautiful.

Dewdrop said...

I can see them using this shot in a travel brochure. You should submit it. Seriously.

My SWF shot is up on my blog.

Ackworth Born said...

the view on the opposite bank is awesome.

Musings said...

This is so gorgeous! It could be a painting!

The Texican said...

You do nice work even when you leave the homeland.

Anemone said...

So very nice picture, and such a BIG river. As usual I read everything you write om fridays, and this day I also learnd someting new. Thany you.

Nice weekend to you, from Anne in Norway.

fishing guy said...

Troy: One of my favorite tales and what a great picture.

Old Wom Tigley said...

What a great post as well as picture... I need to come back here and follow the links and take it all in.

For The People said...

Very Nice!

mirage2g said...

What a breathtaking view! I can see God's hands working its wonder...hope the rain didnt get you wet! Happy skywatching!

Marie said...

Gorgeous!

Champ Townboy said...

Too bad Lewis and Clark didn't have a camera!! Awesome shot!

Denise said...

Region very beautiful, image movie, big shot

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Now THAT is a river I'd like to see in person.

Voz do meu Coração said...

Simply wonderful, his photo. Congratulations.

Daniel J Santos said...

interesting and a great post.

beautiful view from a beautiful place.

Rose said...

I think this is one my most favorite photos ever...I like Lewis and Clark stuff. I cannot remember all I have read but I used to read everything I could get my hands on about them.

Angie said...

That is just magnificent.I will read your post when I have more time I promise.

Lyn said...

great landscape!

Dina said...

What a mighty river! And the photo! Love it when the clouds creep into the folds of the mountains.

***Fotografia e Luz*** said...

Sky magnificent with beautiful colors

Sharon said...

That is an awsome picture! and of course I enjoyed learning more about it. Thank you for taking the time to write it up.

Luiz Ramos said...

A great view Vista House.
Beautiful taken. You tell us about Columbia River just on Environment Day.
Congratulations.

Me & my puppies said...

Beautiful, thanks for all the info. So many wonderful sky watch photos from around the world today. This is another.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Why yes, I have enjoyed this informative history lesson on this mighty river. As for the photo....it looks like a beautiful painting such as one would find hanging in an art gallery. Simply gorgeous...the colours, the composition....whoever can stand in that spot and take in this vista is truly lucky.

imac said...

Super photo and great history lesson, well done.

My lady and her lamp - are now up and running.

Ida said...

Great shot and information! :)
I have been there and would love to go back.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Fabulous photo and interesting post! There are so many beautiful places on the planet to see; thank goodness we have Sky Watch Friday to help with that quest!

bobbie said...

A fantastic picture. What a sky above it! And yes, I did enjoy the history.

I love CA. My daughter lives in Monterey County. I've been there many times. Wish I could return.

Sherry said...

That's a great shot of a beautiful place. The clouds are touching the mountains -- very pretty.

TSannie said...

Thank you for the Columbia River lesson.

Love your photo.

Carletta said...

What a beautiful landscape!

Suzanne said...

Wow you can feel that weather. Wonderul photo.

Willard said...

That is a beautiful photograph. You captured the mood of the rain and the magnificent scene extremely well!

I like your other posts as well! You have a lot of beautiful photographs and I will be back when I have more time to view them at length.

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Awesome picture and thanks for the lesson - I love the Columbia River area!

Louis la Vache said...

Fantastic view of the Colombia! Interesting, informative post!

In response to your question chez moi - the sun won!

As always, "Louis" thanks you for visiting San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

Sherry said...

Troy and Martha, thank you for your comments on my blog tonite, and thank you for adding me to your blogroll -- I have added your wonderful blog to my site also. Your photos are truly awesome.

(By the way, I'm only 57% Geek.. lol)

Island Rambles Blog said...

I like to click on your photos...this is a moody one with so much detail even in that kind of light, it is so sharp ...hmmmm I need lessons...wonderful Sky Watch with a side order of history ...love it!!!

Gusto! said...

Awesome pic! Thanks for sharing a little bit of history.

The only thing I would change is you telling the story as we both enjoyed this view together from the camera's viewpoint

Petunia said...

The shot is so beautiful and the post is very interesting:)

Petunia's SWF

Indrani said...

I loved reading every word of what you have written. I love such informative posts.

Great shot of the Majestic River. :)

Pearl Maple said...

Wow that is impressive in the way you caputered the clouds rollinging across the sky

chanpheng said...

Great picture and commentary. I used to live in the Pacific NW but didn't know that much about the Columbia River!

Chuck Pefley said...

One of my favorite views of the Columbia River at Crown Point! A lot of drama in that sky!

RuneE said...

I did indeed enjoy bot picture and history!

PS I have had many comments on what my picture is. I was taken inside a wooden sculpture on exhibition at the moment. I hope to post more, but the weather is exceptionally nice at the moment...

Scotty Graham said...

Nice entry today, Troy!! I love that part of the country...

Scotty

evlahos said...

just perfect. what a view. very professional work!!!

The Urban Buddha said...

Great photo! Happy sky watching! ;)

Jules said...

Such a magnificent place - fantastic!!!

me ann my camera said...

Wonderful information and a wonderful view. Somehow the raind oes not dampen the beauty of this scene. Like you, I love reading and learning of the early explorers; what adventures they had and what hardships they encountered in this huge vast continent! Some of my most favourites adventurers were those who explored and left their names on the great rivers leading to the Pacific. David Thompson comes to mind immediatley. Great post.

Thank you for having visited mine.

sandy's notes said...

Wow, you did your homework; great article! The picture is fabulous. This is a must see, if I'm ever out there I will have to see this piece of beauty!

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

That is a gorgeous shot.

Mike said...

Tremendous! Your landscape photos are always so powerful.

Rambling Round said...

Stunning!

Catherine said...

Columbia river, or the Mekong?
Thanks to share this interesting post for those, like me, who ignored the details.

B. Roan said...

Absolutely breathtaking view!

Sandpiper said...

Brooding sky over a beautiful landscape. Lovely! Another interesting post!

Kathiesbirds said...

Troy, this is an awesome shot. so dramatic! Now I want to go there! I want to see this place for myself! It is inspiring. I can't imagine how awesome andpowerful it must have been for Lewis and Clark to stand on the rim and look at this! I would love to be able to time travel and see the world before the Industrial Revolution took over! I would love to see it in its wild and untamed state!

Quiet Paths said...

A gorgeous capture of one amazing place. This place also captures my imagination, as does your photo.

Doug Taron said...

What a great post. It has everything- a gorgeous photo, history, geology. My partner, a geology buff, is currently reading up on Lake Missoula and the huge floods that produced the scablands of Washington, so I'm hearing a lot about this at the moment. Fascinating stuff.

Helena said...

WOW what a beautiful view!

pts said...

lovely!

Mental P Mama said...

That picture captures the Northwest mystique perfectly! Great job...you all always have the most fascinating shots...and lessons. Thanks so much!

Kim said...

Those clouds look ominous. Great picture, beautiful :)

eyestothesky said...

ooooh ahhhhh!!!
What a gorgeous view!
Thank you for the information behind it!!
Have a great weekend!

Daryl said...

I get chills thinking about actually standing there and looking around .. how magnificent ... Troy, you and Martha take the most wonderful journeys/photos .. thank you for sharing them

:-Daryl

ellen b said...

Well you better believe I love this post! The beautiful Northwest and the grand Columbia. This is a great photo. My DIL's family have a vacation spot just off the Columbia in the more barren part of Eastern Washington...

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Fantastic photo of a very beautiful spot. Nice Sky Watch!

babooshka said...

Fabulous image.

Pernille's ting og tang said...

This shot is just wonderful!:)

raf said...

The Columbia is indeed a mighty river and your SWF photo of it has captured it beautifully! Thanks for your wonderful post, Troy. I share your special interest in the whole story of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The Ambrose book is one of my favorites along with the journals.

Anonymous said...

Breathtaking and extremely well photographed :)

JeFf & NoVa said...

hello tony and martha.. thanks for the visit and the comment.. i really appreciate it...

sometimes we have wet skies here and sometimes just too hot...

i like your photo, it looks like from the movie narnia prince caspian...

Lana G! said...

Oh - this is so close to home! I fly right over the Columbia every week on my way home! Love it!

AphotoAday said...

Interesting how the 1980 eruption put so much ash into the river, but I guess it had to go someplace...

It's a great area -- have been there several times...

cocabixinhos said...

Hello beautiful wet sky! :)

Alan said...

Beautiful scene and a great choice for Skywatch. I really must make it up to the Northwest someday.

Lynette said...

Yes, I enjoyed it very much. I have been to Vista House twice and will go again if I can get someone else to drive. My irrational fear of heights has not allowed me to get behind the wheel on that winding, climbing road. The view is so lovely, but even the prospect of seeing it again won't make me drive myself there.

mousey said...

wow! that is a nice place with a stunning view of the river!

John said...

Great landscape shot and interesting post.