Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year's Day Hike in the Gorge

Happy New Year! Why not start off 2016 by enjoying the beautiful area that surrounds us with a New Year's Day hike at the Columbia River Gorge? Here are some of the best hikes around the Gorge for you to get out and start taking on this new year:
The most popular and iconic hike in the Columbia River Gorge begins at Oregon's tallest waterfall, passes another waterfall almost as impressive and continues through lush forest on a loop of five miles.
The 620-foot Multnomah Falls used to be the state's most popular tourist attraction until it was surpassed, in a thoroughly depressing moment, by Spirit Mountain Casino in 1998.
Even so, expect plenty of company at the beginning of this hike, which starts at the Multnomah Falls Trailhead and historic lodge (which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner).
The paved trail crosses a few scenic bridges showcasing Multnomah before climbing to an overlook at the top of the falls. The loop continues on Larch Mountain Trail and Wahkeena Falls Trail, showcasing a moss-covered 242-foot falls.
The loop ends by dropping down to the Columbia River Historic Highway and following a footpath back to Multnomah Falls Trailhead. The loop is five miles total and climbs 1,600 feet.
Three stunning waterfalls and views across the Columbia River Gorge highlight a trek that can be hiked as a loop or out-and-back adventure.
Start at Horsetail Falls Trailhead, home to 176-foot fanning waterfall and popular picnic spot. The trail climbs into the forest and after a half-mile reaches Ponytail Falls, where you can hike behind the curtain of water.
Beyond, the trail climbs to sweeping views across the Gorge, and after a total of 1.3 miles, you'll reach a bridge across the narrow slot of Oneonta Falls.
Follow pointers to reach Triple Falls, an interesting braided falls with a nice picnic spot to rest, a total of 2.2 miles from the trailhead.
Two options return to your car. From Triple Falls, you can return the way you came for a 4.4 mile out-and-back hike.
Elowah Falls, the second-tallest waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge, cascades 289 feet through a gorgeous amphitheater of lichen-covered basalt. Though it gets less attention than its more-photographed sister, Multnomah, Elowah's hidden charms are worth the gentle forested hike off the well-trod path.
The easiest hike on this list of moderate hikes, this trail has just about everything a person exploring the Gorge could ask for — waterfalls, forest, canyons and views.
From the trailhead at John B. Yeon State Park, a short and very easy path runs 0.8 miles to an enormous amphitheater of stone where Elowah resides.
For a bit more excitement and views, return down the trail and turn left at a junction that switchbacks uphill. You'll pass a beautiful view and eventually reach Upper McCord Creek Falls. The hike's total distance is 3 miles.
Blasted through steep basalt walls, this spectacular trail leads to one of the Gorge's most iconic waterfalls — Punchbowl Falls — and through a dense, temperate rainforest literally dripping with water throughout the season.
Even with the natural splendor, the highlight of trail might well be man-made. The recommended hike traverses the first 3.3 miles of Eagle Creek Trail to High Bridge, which spans a narrow rock chasm 120-feet deep and provides hikers a serous case of vertigo while staring into the churning water below.
The trail is the second-most popular in the Gorge, so expect some company while hiking. Also, be weary of children and dogs because the trail follows some very steep and narrow cliffs.
From the trailhead, the hike travels 2.1 miles to the first waterfall, Metlako Falls. Just beyond, a short side trail leads to a view of Punchbowl Falls.
Enjoy lunch at a nice overlook just across High Bridge and turn back around to complete a 6.6-mile out-and-back hike. (Eagle Creek Trail continues another three miles past High Bridge to dramatic Tunnel Falls).
Dogsmust be leashed. Steep cliffs make this a dangerous hike for dogs.
SRC: Find more hikes like these here: www.statesmanjournal.com/story/travel/outdoors/hikes/2013/12/31/top-five-gorgeous-columbia-river-gorge-hikes/4264985/

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Troutdale: Recycle Your Christmas Tree

If you've still been enjoying the sight and smell of your Christmas Tree this week, but are planning on taking it down this weekend, Boy Scout Troop #174 can help. This weekend, January 2nd and 3rd, 2016, the Troop will be hosting a tree recycle event in Troutdale OR. You can drop your tree off or even arrange for it to be picked up. 
JANUARY 2, 3 8 and 9 – 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Sponsored by Boy Scout Troop #1742373 SW Cherry Park Road (Fujii Farm berry stand across from Safeway)To have your tree picked up, come to the recycle location and make an appointment. 
Donations appreciated!
SRC: Find more events in Troutdale, OR here: www.ci.troutdale.or.us/cityevents-meetings.html
SRC Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/5352812551

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Ring in 2016 at Skamania Lodge

Celebrate the New Year at scenic Skamania Lodge this Thursday night. What better place to enjoy the last few hours of 2015 than at a beautiful lodge in one of the most picturesque places in the region? 
New Years Eve - Ring in the New Year
When: 12/31/2014
New Year’s Eve at Skamania Lodge 
Ring in the New Year Skamania Style!  Our special New Year’s Eve Dinner package offers an overnight stay, $100 dining credit to enjoy in The Cascade Dining Room or River Rock Lounge. 
Extend the fun with our annual New Year's Eve Ballroom Bash.  Join us for live music and dancing with returning favorite Design Band performing, and a bountiful midnight breakfast buffet to keep energy up! 
Please note that the package price does not include entrance to our New Year's Eve Ballroom Bash. 
For guests wishing to attend our New Year's Eve Ballroom Bash, you may purchase tickets separately at $65 per person or $120 for couples.  
The party will begin at 8PM and conclude at 1AM.  Door will open at 7:30PM.  
*New Year's Even Ballroom Bash guests must be 21 years of age and older.
To learn more, or to secure your spot at the New Year’s celebration, call 800-221-7117 or BOOK ONLINE.
SRC: Find event details and the Skamania Lodge Calendar here: www.skamania.com/packages/ring-in-the-new-year

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Visitors Flock to Gorge in Holiday Season

Rainy days with colder temperatures are no deterrent for folks from out of town to visit the Columbia Gorge. In the days between Christmas and New Years, many people from near and afar have been heading out to the Gorge to enjoy time outside in such a uniquely beautiful place. 
A wet, rainy day with mist-clouded skies was no deterrent for visitors to Oregon's ever-popular Columbia Gorge on Monday, Dec. 28, 2015.

Parking lots at attractions along the scenic Columbia River Highway were packed with cars as many took advantage of the days between Christmas and New Years to get outdoors for a hike, even if only a short one.

Multnomah Falls had a steady stream of walkers on the pathway up and down from the picturesque bridge, visible from the bottom viewing area.

Up at the Vista House at Crown Point, there was still slushy evidence of recent snow but both Highway 30 and Interstate 84 had no issues, at least to Multnomah Falls from Portland.

The forecast going forward is for cloudy skies Tuesday with likely rain and snow. Then the chance of rain tapers off with partly cloudy skies predicted through the holiday.

--Randy L. Rasmussen
SRC: Find the complete article here: www.oregonlive.com/multimedia/index.ssf/2015/12/week_between_holidays_brings_m.html

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Monday, December 28, 2015

Outdoor Adventures: Columbia River Wildflowers

Many visits to the Columbia River Gorge hinge around hikes to famous waterfalls and views from high vistas. On this list of Best Outdoor Adventures of 2015, another Gorge feature is gaining some attention: Wildflowers. While they only can be seen at certain times during the year, the wildflower display on Gorge hillsides is truly memorable:
They are nature's fireworks display, but instead of exploding in the air, they come up through the ground. 
Blooms of wildflowers that arrive with spring provide a great reason to get outdoors, and few places in the Pacific Northwest offer better showcase than the eastern side of the Columbia River Gorge. 
Entire hillsides transform into fields of gold during peak blooms, turning already great hikes into memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
On a trip last spring, I explored five of the best places to enjoy these wildflowers, including the Mosier Plateau, Rowena Crest / Tom McCall Preserve, Memaloose Hills, Catherine Creek and Columbia Hills State Park.
SRC: See the entire list of outdoor adventures here: www.statesmanjournal.com/story/travel/outdoors/2015/12/28/best-outdoor-adventures-2015-no-11-columbia-gorge-wildflowers/77962968/

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Great Skiing Ahead at Mt. Hood

Lots of snow, cool temperatures and a break in the cloud mean one thing: A great day of skiing. Prime conditions are in the forecast this week for skiing at Mt. Hood. If you need an escape from the busy holiday atmosphere, take a day off at head up to the mountain. Timberline Lodge is an icon in the Northwest, and their skiing area offers great rates: 

Snowboard or ski Mt Hood anytime with daily lift tickets! 
Pick your day, pick your time of day. Timberline’s daily lift ticket options suit your mood and your schedule. 
Children age 6 & under FREE with adult ticket purchase
Senior Legacy tickets 71 & Over – FREE
25% active military discount on daily lift tickets 
Night Ski Schedule
December 18, 19, and 25-31 (til midnight on New Year’s Eve!)
Friday and Saturday nights January 1st through March 19th

SRC: See more at: http://www.timberlinelodge.com/lift-tickets-passes/#sthash.vlAS4Mc7.dpuf

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Wood Village Leaf Drop-Off Almost Through

The last days for the Wood Village Leaf Drop-off Event are approaching. Start your New Year off without the yard debris of 2015! 
The cool, windy fall weather causes trees to shed their leaves which can clog storm drains causing localized flooding and deteriorated pavement. Raking or depositing leaves in the street IS NOT an allowed disposal option. Wet leaves on the street can be just as slippery as snow and ice creating dangerous conditions for drivers and pedestrians.
These problems can be avoided by composting leaves and yard debris or putting leaves into your yard debris can for the waste hauler to remove on your regularly scheduled collection day.

In an effort to assist you, the City is providing a leaf drop off area during November and December.  
Where: Donald L. Robertson Park, 24300 NE Halsey in the parking lot against the wall north of the Tot Lot
When: November 1st through December 31st
What: Leaves and Small Branches Only – NO garbage or large limbs/stumps
Who: Wood Village residents ONLY
Please deposit the yard debris loose in the designated area, Do Not Leave bags or containers. 

If you have any questions please call Marie at 503-489-6859.

SRC: Find the full flyer here: www.ci.wood-village.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Leaf-Drop-Off.pdf

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here
Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Holiday Buffet

If you are looking for a Christmas Day full of holiday cheer, delicious food, and lovely scenery, visit Skamania Lodge this Christmas Day for a Christmas Holiday Buffet.
Christmas Holiday Buffet (Dec. 25, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.) Celebrate the most wonderful day of the year in The Cascade Dining Room; reservations are required and can be made by calling 509-427-7700; hotel packages available from $259
SRC: Find out more information about the event here: www.skamania.com/columbia-river-gorge/event-calendar.php

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Cascade Locks Movies in the Park

Visit the Marine Park Pavilion for free popcorn and a classic holiday movie tomorrow, December 22, 2015.
Name: Cascade Locks movies in the park!
Date: December 22, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM PST
Website: www.hoodriverlibrary.org 
Event Description:
It’s time for a winter holiday classic! It’s the 25th anniversary of Home Alone… Can you believe it?! Hood River County Library District and the Port of Cascade Locks are partnering to provide a free showing of this movie on the big screen in the warm Marine Park Pavilion with free popcorn for everyone! Tuesday, December 22nd at 7pm. Bring a friend. PJs are ok.
SRC Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/27190564@N02/13936071057
Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Winter Weather Alert for Columbia River Gorge

Winter weather is in the forecast for the Columbia River Gorge again. If you have plans to travel be advised of the inclement weather and drive safety.

The Portland area has had a small break from the heavy rain but now a strong storm is making its way to the metro area Wednesday night.

With this new storm, the metro area and the coast could see more flooding, and there could be big problems in the Gorge.

Freezing rain, and even some snow out east, is in the forecast for the Columbia Gorge. People who travel on and live off I-84 have to be ready for anything.

After working at the Hood River Inn for 26 years, Denise Stewart has stopped trying to guess what a winter storm will do for business.

"A lot of people want to get through and get to Portland, or get through and get to where ever they're going east. But a lot of people stop when they close down the freeway. They'll stop and stay with us," said Denise Stewart.

Most drivers in the Gorge have studded tires, and traces of gravel from the last storm still line the streets.

Jack Nassiri is about to spend his first winter in Stevenson.

"Yeah, I've got a four wheel drive vehicle and I live right in town, so I can walk to the store if I need to," said Nassiri. "Not too worried, but then again, I guess I don't really know what I'm in for."

Trucker Victor Deoca is getting his first taste of driving in mountain snow. He's picking up some extra tire chains and allowing extra time to get to Houston.

"The best way to get through it is go slow. You're not going to make it if you're going in a hurry," said Deoca.

Even after all her years in the Gorge, Denise Stewart said she still knows her limits.

"A lot of people even who live here aren't prepared. So that's a bit scary. So I just stay off the road as much as possible," said Stewart.

ODOT workers are keeping a close eye on the forecast to determine when they should start de-icing the freeway. If they start too soon when it's too warm, the rain can wash it away.
SRC: Find the complete post here: www.kptv.com/story/30771995/snow-freezing-rain-expected-to-slam-the-columbia-river-gorge

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

16th annual Christmas Concerts for The Gorge Winds

Visit Hood River, OR this weekend for the Christmas Concerts for The Gorge Winds event. With the goal of drawing a larger audience, the event will be held in Hood River on December 18, 2015, and in the Dalles, OR on December 20, 2015.  Enjoy holiday cheer and join in the tribute of Sam Grotte, the found of the event, as he retires after 16 years of service to the community.
The 16th annual Christmas Concerts for The Gorge Winds have been set for Dec. 18 at the Hood River Valley High School, 1220 Indian Creek Road in Hood River at 7 p.m.
A second presentation of the concert will be on Dec. 20 at Calvary Baptist Church located at 3350 Columbia View Drive in The Dalles.

“This is the first year that we are presenting two concerts in our communities in hope of attracting many more people by having these two convenient locations which provide easy parking and access, as well as comfortable seating,” said spokesman Larry Loop.

This year’s concerts will feature many traditional Christmas favorites, as well as the chance for the audiences to join with the band to sing many of the seasonal songs. The program will feature arrangements such as “Joyful and Triumphant” by local composer Steve Hodges; “Stille Nacht” as recorded by Mannheim Steamroller; and the beautiful “Yuletide Tapestry” arranged by Gary E. Parks.

The second half of the concert will include “Away In A Manger,” Symphonic Prelude on “Adeste Fidelis” arranged by Chip Davis; and the ever-popular “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.

“These and several others are sure to set you in the mood for a very Merry Christmas,” said Loop said.

“We will be honoring our founder, director and conductor Sam Grotte as he retires from 16 years of service to our band and communities,” Loop said. “Sam will be conducting his final concert as co conductor with the Gorge Winds Concert Band and we invite you to help us celebrate his contributions to music here in the Columbia River Gorge. We would like to see any and all former members there to celebrate his incredible achievements.”

Refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the concerts.

The concert is free, but donations are welcome. Gorge Winds is a nonprofit 501c (3) corporation and relies on community donations.
SRC: Read the full article for the event here: www.hoodrivernews.com/news/2015/dec/16/annual-christmas-concerts-gorge-winds-performs-dec/

SRC Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/dph1110/7633933722

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bridge of Gods: Icon of the Columbia Gorge

The Bridge of the Gods is an icon in the Columbia River Gorge. Connecting the Washington and Oregon sides of the Gorge at Cascade Locks, OR and near Stevenson, WA, it doesn't quite have the natural allure of Multnomah Falls, but it is one of the most famous man made structures in the Gorge. From it's namesake rooted in stories from local tribes to it's recent feature in a major film, the Bridge of the Gods has a long history.
Stories passed through generations by local tribes tell how a great landslide, perhaps a thousand years ago, blocked the Columbia River.

The river pooled deeply behind the debris, eventually carving its way through the landside but leaving a sweeping arch that bridged the Columbia.

The tribes called it Bridge of the Gods.

The natural arch allowed easy passage across the great river. But then, according to tribal legend, Mount Hood to the south and Mount Adams to the north fought over a fair maiden and destroyed the bridge with their earthquakes, eruptions and lava flows.

With a perfect name already established, a new steel and concrete Bridge of the Gods was started in 1920 at Cascade Locks, 45 miles east of Portland. It was eventually finished in 1926.

When the Bonneville Dam construction downstream in the mid-1930s caused the river to rise, the bridge needed to be raised 44 feet for shipping. The bridge took its present towering form in 1940 after one of the largest hydraulic jacking projects of its time.

These days the bridge is a gateway to those who come hike, sail and bike in the natural beauty of the surrounding Columbia River Gorge. And everyone who crosses the bridge needs to stop at the "troll booth."

One of only two toll bridges in Oregon, the pay station on the steel landmark over the Columbia River got its nickname in 1998 when frequent bridge users began dropping off plastic troll dolls at the bridge's south entrance.

Jean Pearson, matron of the toll booth, took the joke with a smile and began decorating booth windows with troll dolls. "We soon had so many trolls that people began complaining they didn't see their doll when they drove by,'' Pearson says. "We change the ones on display constantly.''

An 18-year employee of the Port of Cascade Locks, which owns the bridge, Pearson supervises seven bridge toll takers. As the senior employee, she usually gets a day shift but isn't above working graveyard when auto and truck traffic slows to a trickle over the third oldest road bridge on the lower Columbia.

Everyone, including pedestrians, who crosses the bridge on the Oregon side must pay a toll – the amount varying depending on the size of the vehicle.

"We look at our job as customer service,'' Pearson says. "P.R. is even more important than the money we take in. We want tourists to come back and visit towns on both sides of the river."

Many more tourists are coming because of the bridge's recent starring role in the book and movie "Wild." Author Cheryl Strayed of Portland and actress Reese Witherspoon, who plays Strayed in the movie, end their journeys hiking the Pacific Crest Trail at Bridge of the Gods.

"The wanting was a wilderness and I had to find my own way out of the woods," Strayed writes in "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail."  "It took me four years, seven months, and three days to do it. I didn't know where I was going until I got there.

"It was a place called the Bridge of the Gods."
Bridge of the Gods
Completed: 1926
Construction time: 1920-1926. It was raised from 1938 to 1940, after construction of Bonneville Dam to accommodate the higher water level.
Significance: Third oldest road bridge across the lower Columbia River and located in one of the river's narrowest spots.
Length: 1,858 feet
Type: Cantilever through truss, with a grated steel deck
Cost: $602,077 in 1926, $762,276 in 1940
Daily vehicles: 4,400
Materials: Concrete and steel
Architect: Interstate Construction Corp.
Builder: Wauna Toll Bridge Co. completed the project after five years of work by original firm stalled with one pier completed
Other notable fact: The bridge is the route of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail across the Columbia River. At 140 feet above the river, it is the low point of the 2,650-mile trail between Southern California and the northernmost tip of Washington state.
SRC: Find the complete article here: www.oregonlive.com/portland-bridges/2015/12/bridge_of_the_gods_has_roots_i.html

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Thursday, December 10, 2015

McMenawmins Edgefield: Dickens Carolers

This weekend at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, OR come listen to the Dickens Carolers as they stroll about the McMenamins Edgefield property. Enjoy your favorite carols sang live in a lovely four-part harmony. 
Catch these singers in Victorian costume strolling about our property, singing all your holiday favorites. Afterward, enjoy a pint or two of handcrafted Kris Kringle Seasonal

Friday, December 18, 2015
7p.m.'til 8:30p.m
Saturday, December 19, 2015
7p.m. 'til 8:30p.m.  
All Ages Welcome  
SRC: Find more information here:  www.mcmenamins.com/events/146047-Dickens-Carolers

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

2016 Fall Chinook Outlook Positive

This year on the Columbia River, the return of fall chinook was record-setting. Looking forward, state fisheries officials have forecast another above-average year for fall chinook. 
State fisheries officials released today their preliminary outlooks for coho and fall chinook salmon in 2016 in the Columbia River. 
Bright stocks of fall chinook are anticipated to be above average, which is about 800,000 fish for the past five years. 
The less-popular tule stocks appear similar to recent returns, which are 194,000 adult chinook. 
Tule stocks return mostly to lower Columbia River tributaries plus the large Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery in the Columbia River Gorge in eastern Skamania County. 
While tule stocks return to freshwater in a less-desirable condition than bright chinook, their harvest often determines how long angling can stay open for bright stocks. 
Most bright fall chinook are headed for hatcheries upstream of Bonneville Dam or spawn naturally in the Hanford Reach, the last free-flowing stretch of the Columbia in Eastern Washington. 
In 2015, it appears about 1.4 million fall chinook returned, which, if correct, would be a new record, at least since 1962. 
The return of bright jacks is down in 2015, but tule jacks were above average.
Jacks are salmon which return a year earlier than their siblings to spawn and are used to help forecast the upcoming year’s run. 
Coho returns to the Columbia River in 2015 were far below forecast and jack returns are down too. 
Officials did mention that poor ocean conditions along Washington and Oregon in 2015 could result in runs not meeting expectations.
SRC: Find the complete article here: www.columbian.com/news/2015/dec/08/outlook-encouraging-for-columbia-fall-chinook-in-2016/
Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Troutdale Open Air Market

If you are interested in picking up some local produce or merchandise this Saturday, come by the Troutdale Open Air Market this Saturday at the Troutdale Railroad Depot Museum. The perfect place to find some local food for holiday recipes or discover great gifts to give family and friends. 
Date: December 12, 2015
Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm
Venue: Troutdale Railroad Depot Museum
473 East Historic Columbia River Highway
Troutdale, OR 97060
Market Hours:
Year Round
Every Saturday,10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
SRC Photo: www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2012/06/quick_day_trips_troutdale.html

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Sandbags available in Troutdale, OR

If you live in Troutdale, OR, and have concerns about flooding with the recent heavy rainfall, the Public Works Shop in Troutdale is providing free sand and bags for filling. 
The Public Works Shop located at 342 SW 4th Street has free sand and bags for filling. You are required to fill, tie, load and transport the sandbags yourself in a manner that does not disrupt City operations. So bring your own shovel and go for it! For more information call 503-674-3300. 
You can also help reduce your risk of flooding by locating any storm sewer outlets near your home and keeping them free of debris and leaves, as well as trimming back any plant material that may restrict water from passing through.
SRC: Find the full posting here: www.troutdaleoregon.gov/news/documents/SandbagArticle.pdf
SRC Photo: studeri.org/2014/05/rain-looms-get-sandbags-last/

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Monday, December 7, 2015

Wood Village: Leaf Drop-Off Event

If you are a resident of Wood Village, OR and find yourself needing a place for the leaves that have been piling up in your yard, the city of Wood Village is providing you with a place to put your leaves--for free!
The cool, windy fall weather causes trees to shed their leaves which can clog storm drains causing localized flooding and deteriorated pavement. Raking or depositing leaves in the street IS NOT an allowed disposal option. Wet leaves on the street can be just as slippery as snow and ice creating dangerous conditions for drivers and pedestrians.
These problems can be avoided by composting leaves and yard debris or putting leaves into your yard debris can for the waste hauler to remove on your regularly scheduled collection day.

In an effort to assist you, the City is providing a leaf drop off area during November and December. 
Where: Donald L. Robertson Park, 24300 NE Halsey in the parking lot against the wall north of the Tot Lot
When: November 1st through December 31st
What: Leaves and Small Branches Only – NO garbage or large limbs/stumps
Who: Wood Village residents ONLY 
Please deposit the yard debris loose in the designated area, Do Not Leave bags or containers.  
If you have any questions please call Marie at 503-489-6859.
SRC: Find the full flyer here: www.ci.wood-village.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Leaf-Drop-Off.pdf

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Gift Wrapping Benefit: Big Brothers & Big Sisters

If you find yourself near Hood River, OR, and need some holiday gifts wrapped, stop by G. Willikers Toy Shoppe to support a good cause and have your gifts wrapped at the same time. The Hood River toy shoppe will be hosting a gift wrapping event this December to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge.
G. Willikers Toy Shoppe in Hood River is offering holiday gift wrapping this December for cash donations, which will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of the Columbia Gorge. 
Each year, the campaign brings in several hundred dollars to create and support safe and positive mentoring relationships for youth in Hood River, Wasco, and Klickitat Counties.
G. Willikers Toy Shoppe is located in downtown Hood River on the corner of Second and Oak. 
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge, a program of The Next Door, currently supports mentoring relationships for 84 boys and girls throughout the Columbia River Gorge. 
If you would like to learn more about the program or are interested in applying to be a volunteer mentor, contact Justine Ziegler in Hood River and Klickitat Counties at 541-490-9979 or Kateel Muhs in Wasco County at 541-399-0259.
SRC: Find the complete article here: www.hoodrivernews.com/news/2015/dec/05/gift-wrapping-benefits-big-brothers-big-sisters/

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

McMenamins Edgefield: Limited-Edition Beer & Barely Wine

Come by the McMenamins Edgefield venue this Thursday, December 10th for limited-edition beer tasting and Edgefield Extra 2014 Barely Wine. The event is for those 21 and older, and will take place at 5pm in the Edgefield Distillery Bar. The limited-edition beer this month is "Edgefield Extra One Year," and will be offered at happy hour pricing. 

About Edgefield Extra 2014 Barley Wine 
The Extra's roots go back nearly to the very beginning of the brewery's founding in 1991. In its original form, the Extra was a 7-8% ABV strong ale that was famous for wreaking havoc at the 1992 company picnic and in tap houses around McMenamins. It's been more than twenty years since that fateful day, but now it has returned as Edgefield's Barley Wine and strongest offering at nearly 11%. This Extra is a traditional English Barley Wine that is huge on Maris Otter malt character and brimming with graham cracker and toffee flavors. This special link between the past and present has been one of our brewers' favorite technical challenges to make and is a beer that promises to age extremely well. The Extra will surface occasionally as the base for some of our barrel-aged offerings, and will be re-released from time to time as it matures. We at Edgefield hope you enjoy it for years to come. Cheers! 
Malts: Maris Otter, 2-Row Pale, Munich, C40, Rolled Oats
Hops: Nugget, Ultra, Perle, Golding
OG: 1.100 TG: 1.017 ABV: 10.71 IBU: 52 SRM: 15 
About Limited-Edition Beer Tasting 
Join us once a month at Edgefield's Distillery Bar to sample a new, small-batch beer, handcrafted by one of our brewers. This month will feature "Edgefield Extra One Year." 
Talk to the brewers, ask beery questions, enjoy happy hour pricing all night long on these limited-edition pints and more. 
And when the beer is gone, it's gone.
SRC: Find more events like this one at McMenamins here: www.mcmenamins.com/events/133029-Edgefield-Extra-2014-Barley-Wine

Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas in the Gorge: Stevenson, WA

Today is the "Christmas in the Gorge" event hosted in Stevenson, WA. This celebration lasts the until 7:30 PM. There are all sorts of events happening throughout the day including fundraisers, drawings, music, a parade, and treats to enjoy. Here is the schedule for today:

8am - 5pm Robbie's Coffee Shop: Any coffee purchase enters you to win two dozen cookies
8am - 5pm The Roof Rusted: 10% off sale. Any purchase of $10 or more enter you to win $100 gift card
8am - 5pm Moon River: 10% off sale. Any purchase of $10 or more enter you to win $100 gift card
10am - 5pm Windermere Real Estate: Coat and blanket drive
10am - 4pm Stevenson Library: Holiday book sale. Baked goods, white elephant gifts, friendship soup and rice
10am - 4pm John L Scott: Giving Tree. Pick a name and purchase a gift for a child in need
10am - 8pm Bloomsberry: Sample sweets, appetizers and drinks, holiday crafts, and enter to win a gift basket
10am - 8pm out on a limb: Enter a drawing for a gift basket, sample sweets, drinks and appetizers
12pm - 9pm Walking Man Brewing: Free cookies and a warn place to enjoy a cold beer
12pm - 8pm Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Community nativity display, music, children's room
12pm - 6pm Kan Vas Paint Social: Free reindeer stencil painting project for 18 and under. Sale on paint sessions. Free gingerbread and cider while supplies last.
12pm - 5pm Judith Lanz Farmers Insurance: Complimentary hot coffee, tea, and cookies
1pm - 5pm Skunk Brothers Spirits: Spiked hot beverages $1 each, complimentary cookies and baked goods.
5:30pm - 7:30pm Clark and Lewies: Live music, meat and cheese samples
6pm  Subway: Subman will be giving away free cookies
6:30pm - 7pm Caroling led by First Baptist Church at Courthouse Plaza with free cookies from Skamania Lodge, cider from Big River Grill, gourmet hot chocolate bar from IQ Credit Union
6:55pm Courthouse Tree Lighting -- Downtown Stevenson
7:00pm Starlight Parade -- Downtown Stevenson
7:30pm Main Street Convenience Store: Immediately after parade, hot chocolate, candy canes and photos with Santa. 
SRC: For more information visit: cityofstevenson.com/christmas/
SRC Photo:twitter.com/stevensonwa

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas At The Harlow House

The holiday fun continues this weekend in Troutdale, OR. On Sunday afternoon come spread holiday cheer at the Harlow House! There will be cookies, festive decor, and most importantly Santa.

DECEMBER 5th, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Hosted by Troutdale Historical Society
Christmas cheer, cookies, festive decorations
…and Santa of course!
726 E. Historic Columbia River Hwy
For information, call 503-661-2164

SRC: www.ci.troutdale.or.us/cityevents-meetings.html
SRC Photo: www.kingofroads.org/plan-your-trip/local-communities/
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Enjoy a Day at Multnomah Falls

A perfect day get-away, Multnomah Falls lodge offers a perfect place to enjoy one of Oregon's most famous natural features. If you've never been to the falls, it is worth taking the time to explore the 620 foot falls, which is the second tallest waterfall in the nation. After your hike, pay a visit the the Forest Service Interpretive Center, grab a coffee, or enjoy an up-scale meal-- featuring fresh Northwest cuisine--at the Lodge.
At the base of Multnomah Falls, the Historic Multnomah Falls Lodge awaits to offer a place of relaxation, a fine meal, the perfect gift, hiking or visitor information, or possibly an espresso or tasty treat to accompany your hike or day trip.
Multnomah Falls offers a very popular 1/4 mile short hike to the Benson Bridge. Many Hikers with a little more time and hiking ability opt to continue to conquer the 1.1-mile trek to the top. The Multnomah Falls trail is paved from the base to the viewing platform at the top. The Multnomah Falls trail also connects with several other gorge trails, offering many different hiking opportunities accommodating a wide variety of time schedules and hiking skill levels. Information about the different hiking trails accessed from the Multnomah Falls Trail, can be obtained at the Forest Service Interpretive center. The information center is located at the east end of the Lodge. Detailed trail maps of the Columbia River Gorge are available for purchase online or onsite through the Multnomah Falls Lodge gift shop.
SRC: Find additional details here: multnomahfallslodge.com/falls.html

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Troutdale: Tree Lighting and Christmas Party This Weekend

Stop by the city of Troutdale, OR this weekend for two fun holiday events. This Friday evening, December 4th, the tree lighting ceremony will be taking place in historic downtown Troutdale. If you can't make the event on Friday, the Community Christmas Party will be hosted at Glen Otto Park on Saturday, December 5th.
DECEMBER 4th, 5:45 – 6:15 p.m.
Downtown, E. Historic Columbia River Highway
Call 503-669-7473 for information

DECEMBER 5th, 2 – 5 p.m.
Sponsored by Troutdale Lions Club
Sam Cox Building at Glenn Otto Park
Santa arrives at 3:30 p.m., plus art projects, treats, decorating stations for the kids – and much more!
For information, call 971-645-8127
SRC: Find more community events in Troutdale here: www.ci.troutdale.or.us/cityevents-meetings.html
SRC Photo: caswellgallery.wordpress.com/2013/05/

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Hood River Holidays

Join the city of Hood River, OR as downtown Hood River transforms into a place full of holiday cheer!
The Hood River Holiday Kick-off Party takes place in downtown Hood River on Friday, December 4, 2015. Ignite your holiday spirit with an old-fashioned downtown parade, a gorgeous tree lighting, caroling, and a visit with Santa. The Holiday Happy Hour starts at 4 p.m. and the streets will close at 5 p.m. for easy, safe holiday shopping, followed by the 6 p.m. Holiday Parade. The Tree Lighting, which cannot be missed, will follow the parade’s conclusion at 2nd and State Street, and Santa will be waiting at G. Williker’s Toy Shoppe on 2nd and Oak Street downtown. Even before the Kick-off, Hood River is in full holiday splendor.
SRC: Find the full event details here: hoodriver.org/events-festivals/chamber-events/hood-river-holidays

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

City of Fairview: 9th Annual Tree Lighting

Join the city of Fairview for their holiday tree lighting event on December 5th, 2015. Enjoy music, take photos with Santa, make holiday crafts, and bring your ugliest holiday sweater to compete for a prize. The event will be fun for all ages, is free, and all are welcome.
Join us Saturday, December 5 from 4 PM to 6 PM for Fairview's 9th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Event. The lighting will be at 5 PM but there will be lots to do before and after. Listen to local choirs share their holiday music, visit with Santa, make a holiday craft, join in on holiday story time, or enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. New this year...the Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest! Judging will be at 5:40 PM and the winner will receive a prize. Please plan to join us for this wonderful Fairview holiday tradition. This event is free and all are welcome.
The event will be held at Fairview City Hall and Community Park, 1300 NE Village Street.

SRC: Find out more information regarding the event here: fairvieworegon.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=257

SRC Photo: infomania.webcam/decors/photo-of-fairy-light-bokeh-free-christmas-images

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Columbia River Gorge Model Railroad Display

Every weekend November, the Columbia River Gorge Model Railroad Club opens their doors to the public to put their creative and detailed work on display. The Club, whose space is in Portland, OR, has recreated the scenic Columbia River Gorge railroad, running on the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia River. For 32 years, the club has continued to add detail to their Columbia Gorge Model, welcoming the public to view their work as a fundraising event every year. This is the last weekend for the event: 
Times: 10am – 5pm
Show dates: only two more public shows, November 28 & 29, 2015
Admission: $7.00 for adults, $3.00 for kids ages 3 to 11.
Address: 2505 N. Vancouver Ave (@ Russell St.), Portland, OR.
Contact: call 503-28-train (503-288-7246) or email info@columbiagorgemodelrailroadclub.com
VIP tours: available by reservation, they begin at 8:45 a.m. each day of a public viewing and cost $15
Watch a video about this event: http://video-embed.oregonlive.com/services/player/bcpid1949055967001?bctid=3915448841001&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAPLpuSqE~,a1DdoZJH5WQo4iWaJj1w_CktvJfhQVVG

SRC: Read more about this event here: www.oregonlive.com/multimedia/index.ssf/2015/11/columbia_river_gorge_in_miniat.html

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A Destination for Fall: The Columbia River Gorge

Out of hiking destinations across the country, the Columbia River Gorge has been featured as the most "unforgettable place" to hike in the fall. With leaves changing on deciduous trees, waterfalls galore, and some crisp, cool Oregon days still in the forecast, the Gorge is a premier place for you to enjoy during the holidays. 
The rain season might detract some people from hitting the Pacific Northwest in fall, but that makes it the perfect time to have the place all to yourself. The Columbia River Gorge is like an amusement park of natural wonders.

The Columbia River is the second largest river in North America, and the gorge region is its prized possession.

It’s an extremely well-kept trail that passes along sheer, moss-covered rock face and literally hundreds of waterfalls. The canyon is 80 miles long, but the highlights are the aptly named Angel’s Rest and Mount Defiance. We’ll let you guess which one is more challenging.
SRC: Read about other top-rated hikes for every season around the U.S.: theinscribermag.com/lifestyle-four-unforgettable-seasonal-hikes-to-take-in-2016/

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Oregon Park Fees Waived on Black Friday

This Friday, while many are packed into local malls and department stores, Oregon State Parks is giving everyone the opportunity to give thanks for our wonderful Oregon State Parks for free. Memaloose and Ainsworth State Parks in the Columbia Gorge (and all State Parks across Oregon) will have no parking fee, and offer lovely scenery for hiking and picnicking. An added bonus, the forecast is calling for clear weather on Friday; even more reason to go out and enjoy Oregon!
Want to get outside instead of hitting the crowded stores on Black Friday? No problem.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is waiving day parking fees on Friday, Nov. 27, at all 26 state parks that charge one. Normally, the day-use parking fee at those parks is $5.

Without naming the retailer, the department cited REI's announcement to close on Black Friday as a key factor in the decision. The company is paying its employees to take the day off while urging shoppers to spend the day outside.

"Rain or shine, windy or not, we're thankful Oregon's outdoors are a constant source of joy," department director Lisa Sumption in a statement. "Take a break, get out, and enjoy some fresh air."
 SRC: Find out more information and a map of Oregon State Parks here:  www.oregonlive.com/window-shop/index.ssf/2015/11/oregon_parks_black_friday.html

SRC Photo: beartracksblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/img_1604-memaloose-state-park-campground.jpg

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Thanksgiving Dinner Hosted at Skamania Lodge

If you are looking for a full Thanksgiving spread without a full Thanksgiving load of dishes at home, Skamania Lodge will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner buffet this Thursday. With a large menu including starters, salads, "chef-stations," entrees, and desserts, come enjoy delicious food and lovely scenery at the scenic Skamania Lodge venue. The event sells out, so place reservations in advance!
 When: 11/27/2014

Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet - 11 AM - 8 PM

Join us in the Cascade Dining Room for all your favorites prepared deliciously and served buffet style.

Reservations are required. Event will sell out.  Call 509-427-7700.

Thanksgiving Holiday Menu at Skamania Lodge
Adults- $44.95
Children Ages 8-12-$22.00
Ages 4-7- $13.00
Ages 3 and Under- Free

Antipasto and Crudité platters
Assorted Tapas plates
Imported and Domestic Cheese with Sliced Fruit
Fresh Seafood with Caviar and Cocktail Sauce
House Smoked Lox, Cream Cheese and Bagels
Snow Crab Legs, Peel and Eat Shrimp.  Mussels on Ice with Condiments
Fresh Artisan Breads and Muffins
Seasonal Squash Soup

Mixed Green Salad with assorted dressings
Baby Spinach, Bacon, Candy Nuts, Egg, Warm Cranberry Vin
Chopped Romaine Caesar
Tomato and Mozzarella “Caprese” with Basil, Balsamic Syrup and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Farfalle Pasta Salad with Shrimp, Tomato, Fennel and Pesto Dressing
Waldorf Salad with Apples, Celery and Walnuts
Red - Red Quinoa, Apples, Cucumbers

Chef Stations
Steamship Pork Roast with Pear Glaze
Carved Burgundy Shallot Sirloin
Pork Roast in Pear Glaze
Carved Turkey, Giblet Gravy, and Cranberry Relish
Pasta Station

Braised Bacon and Brussel Sprouts with Honey White Wine Butter
Myer’s Rum, Brown Sugar glazed Sweet Potatoes and toasted Marshmallow
Whipped Buttermilk Potatoes
Steamed Vegetables with Herb Butter
Honey Crusted Ham
Pan Roasted Salmon
Cider and Herb Brined Turkey
Skamania Family Stuffing
Giblet Gravy

Assorted Mini Pies – Pumpkin, Pecan, Apple
Mini Cannoli’s, chocolate fondue, fruit, Marshmallows 
Petit Fours
Jell-O Desert Casserole
SRC: Find full details about this event here: www.skamania.com/events/2013-11-28/thanksgiving

SRC Photo: www.midcoastshvr.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/iStock_thanksgiving_dinner_buffet_maine.jpg

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wood Village Tree Lighting

On Saturday, December 5th, the 6th annual tree lighting will be taking place at the Wood Village City Hall. It will be a fun event for all, with a visit from Santa and a music performance by the Reynolds High School Expression Choir:
Where: Wood Village City Hall 
When: Tree lighting taking place at 6pm. Followed by refreshments and a visit from Santa.
Free gifts for kids will be provided by KOHL'S 
SRC: Here is the flyer for the tree lighting event: www.ci.wood-village.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/6th-Annual-Tree-Lighting-Ceremony.pdf

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AdventureSmith Exploration: Cruise of the Columbia River

AdventureSmith Explorations will be offering a cruise up the Columbia River in 2016 to celebrate the National Park centennial. The cruise will offer not only the spectacular scenery of the Gorge, but will provide a true taste of the Pacific Northwest through the local cuisine served:
Lewis & Clark National Historical Park at Fort Clatsop in Astoria, Oregon, offers two small ship itineraries on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey over seven days highlights the culture, history, food and wine of the Pacific Northwest, with an emphasis on local cuisine through a new affiliation with the Food Alliance. Guests will be on board either 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Bird or 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Lion. Over eight days on Legacy of Discovery guests aboard the 88-guest S.S. Legacy traverse the Columbia River Gorge.
SRC: Find out more information regarding the cruise here: www.travelagentcentral.com/small-ship-cruises/adventuresmith-explorations-offers-national-park-cruises-2016-centennial-53996

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Falls Creek Falls: Three-Tiered Waterfall

About twenty-five minutes North of the Cascade Locks, an easy out-and-back day hike to a spectacular three tiered waterfall awaits you. Falls Creek Falls, just past Carson, WA, in the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest, is a hike that any waterfall-chaser will love.
The trail to Falls Creek Falls is well maintained with a few short moderately steep areas. The trail hugs the creek for the first mile, and takes you through old growth trees for the second mile. Once the falls are in sight, make sure to stop and look up to see the top tier through the trees. It's not visible otherwise. The trail ends with with an impressive view of the middle and lower tier.
If you're feeling adventurous and don't mind the spray from the falls, scramble to the small ledge below for a different perspective and photo op. Back at the top, you can get to the base of the middle tier, over the giant rocks, under some fallen trees, and up a steep path of loose dirt and exposed roots. It requires a little more skill, but so worth it.
Keep in mind that the road is closed from Dec 1st - April 1st, so if you go during that time, add an extra 4 miles to the hike.
The Falls Creek Falls Trail head #152 is located 15 miles north of Carson, Washington off Wind River Highway.
SRC: You can find complete directions and additional information here: www.theoutbound.com/washington/hiking/hike-to-falls-creek-falls-washington

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Habitat Restoration Helping Salmon in the Groge

Recent restoration efforts in the Columbia River Gorge, focused on improving salmon habitat, are seeing positive returns. Projects, such as this one, have focused on estuary restoration, which aim to improve habitat and increase accessibility for juvenile and adult fish:
Two summers ago the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership and Collins oversaw the rebuilding of a slough that 50 years earlier had been virtually cut off from the Columbia by the construction of Interstate 84.

As state and federal agencies look for ways to rebuild runs of endangered Columbia River salmon and steelhead, they turn to Portland-based nonprofit groups like the Columbia Partnership, which specializes in finding and restoring wetlands. Habitat restoration in the Columbia basin is one of four areas of emphasis to rebuilding salmon runs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies and the states of Oregon and Washington created the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership 20 years ago to tackle habitat projects along the 140 miles of river from Bonneville Dam to Astoria. Although it gets private contributions or state and local help for projects, the bulk of its funding comes from the Bonneville Power Administration as mitigation for environmental harm caused by Columbia River dams.

Which led LCEP and Collins to Horsetail and Oneonta creeks back in 2010.

The two creeks feed the 190-acre wetland tucked between the gorge’s steep basalt cliffs and I-84. But when engineers built the freeway they cut off four outlets to the Columbia and channeled all the water through one massive 230-foot long culvert.

In the spring, juvenile fish heading downstream like to use wetlands to rest, escape predators and grow. In the summer and fall, adult fish returning upstream use sloughs to cool off until temperatures drop in the Columbia.

Because of the culvert’s design the Oneonta/Horsetail wetland was barely accessible to migrating fish. If fish made it past the culvert they found the floodplain inhospitable — long straight channels without good shelter that got too warm in the summer. A three-acre pond fed by Oneonta Creek in the winter would get cut off from flows once the stream receded in the summer.

The U.S. Forest Service owns the land and identified the area as a good one to restore. It contacted LCEP and in 2010 the two began collecting data on water flow and temperature, fish and plants.
In 2013 crews used a two-month summer construction window to carve twists and turns into straight channels, place logs and root balls for shelter, shrink and make the pond better for fish, and plant thousands of trees and native plants to provide shade.

Now two years into four years of post-construction monitoring, Collins and LCEP are pleased with what they are finding.

Changes to the culvert have improved passage, water temperatures have dropped significantly, and logs, root balls and plantings have taken hold.

“We’re very happy with passage and temperature results,” says Collins, LCEP’s principal restoration ecologist. “These sites are dynamic so it’s always interesting to see how they evolve.”

In the culvert, 18-inch high baffles were notched to 6 inches so juvenile fish in the spring and summer and adult fish in the fall can more easily reach the creeks. A wide, flat concrete slab that funneled water into four of the culvert’s five tunnels was replaced with gravel and rocks to aid fish travel into the slough.

An array of electronic monitors at both ends of the culvert now tells researchers when specially tagged fish move in or out of the wetlands.

“We get lots of hits of juveniles tucking into the site,” says Collins. “We’re seeing them in the summer and fall.”

Ultimately, projects such as this hope to have a lasting effect on salmon health not just through the next year, but for decades to come: 
“We spend a lot of time on projects in the gorge,” Collins says. “The gorge is really important and the Oneonta/Horsetail project was one chance to do something quite big in a really valuable area.”

And, he says, the results found during this record-dry, hot spring and summer bode well for the future.

“We’re trying to make the Columbia and this wetland suitable for salmon in the next century,” Collins says. 
SRC: Read the complete article here: portlandtribune.com/pt/11-features/281507-154025-building-habitat-for-the-next-century

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Take a Survey and be Entered to Win a Gorge Getaway!

Travel Oregon and communities in the Columbia River Gorge need your help to better understand what motivates people to visit the Gorge. Whether you spend every weekend in the Gorge, or if you've never heard of it, we are interested in your thoughts.

Travel Oregon, in partnership with tourism and community partners throughout the Columbia River Gorge, is conducting a survey on the experience of traveling in the Gorge. Information gathered from this survey will help us craft an even better travel experience in the Gorge!

Survey will close Wednesday November 25th

Please take the survey and be entered to win a Gorge Getaway: TravelOregon.com/GorgeSurvey

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Wind Power Research in the Gorge

From Troutdale to Umatilla, researchers will be installing meteorological equipment this week, with their focus on improving wind power modeling in the Gorge area:
The $9 million second phase of the Wind Forecast Improvement Project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Scientists from several organizations, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are working with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to collect measurements of wind speed and direction, temperature and humidity

The agencies chose to collect info from the gorge because it contains such “complex terrain,” said PNNL spokesperson Franny White. Readings will be taken at 18 sites throughout the gorge.

“Predicting wind power generation is tricky, especially in the uneven, rough terrain of places like the gorge,” she wrote in an email. “Improving weather models can help wind developers and power grid operators make better use of wind power and potentially lower energy costs.”

This is the project's second phase. The first took similar measurements in the flat Great Plains region and, according to the PNNL, improved weather model accuracy by 15 percent there.
SRC: Read the complete article here: www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/sbo/2015/11/columbia-river-gorge-projects-aim-to-provide.html

SRC Photo: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Wind_Turbines.JPG

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gorge on Tap: Portland

Gorge on Tap is an event hosted by Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, an organization that aims to preserve the Columbia River Gorge as a treasure for all to enjoy. The Gorge on Tap event travels to communities around the Columbia Gorge, discussing conservation issues and recreation programs with the public. Next Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Gorge on Tap will be taking place at the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall from 5:30pm - 7:30pm.
Enjoy a drink and presentation:
- The Inside Scoop on Coal & Oil Transport through the Gorge
- Happy 35th Birthday, Friends!
  35 Years of Gorge Protection
- 35 & Gorgeous Hike Challenge Recap & Grand Prize Drawing
- Photo Contest Showcase & Winner Announcement

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Socialize, Eat, & Drink
6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Presentation

All attendees are entered into a raffle!
Membership Special: Donate $20 and receive a free National Geographic Trail Map!
This is a free event, no RSVP required.
Lucky Labrador Beer Hall, 1945 NW Quimby St Portland, OR

SRC: Find event details here: gorgefriends.nonprofitsoapbox.com/upcoming-events/event/344

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Cape Horn Loop

Visit the Cape Horn Loop for one of the premier hiking loops in the Gorge. A 7.7 mile loop, the Cape Horn Trail is an easy 40 minute drive from Portland, offering a perfect weekend hike for Oregonians, Washingtonians, and those visiting the area.
Driving Directions
The Cape Horn trailhead is located at the Skamania County Transit Park & Ride lot near milepost 26 along State Highway 14 at Salmon Falls Road.

From the West:

Take State Highway 14 east past Camas (milepost 12) and Washougal (milepost 16).
Two miles east of Washougal you enter the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area. Continue east into the Gorge.
Six miles east of the Gorge entrance pass the Cape Horn Viewpoint, where motorists get a glimpse of one of the views hikers enjoy on the trail.
A little more than a mile beyond the Cape Horn Viewpoint turn left onto Salmon Falls Road (just beyond milepost 26, about 20 miles from I-205) and then immediately turn right.
You’ll see the trailhead parking on your right.

From the East:

Take State Highway 14 west about eight miles past Beacon Rock State Park to the intersection with Salmon Falls Road.
Turn right onto Salmon Falls Road, immediately turn right again and you’ll see trailhead parking on your right.
SRC: Find a trail map and additional information about Cape Horn here: www.capehorntrail.org/trailmap.html

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Peter Marbach: Holiday Open House

Peter Marbach, a local photographer, will be holding his second-annual Holiday Open House November 14 and 15th in Hood River, OR. Come to see his breath-taking photography and learn about his projects that span across the globe.
New items this year include the recently released Columbia River Gorge book and 2016 Gorge calendar, now printed and made 100 percent in the Gorge with Columbia Gorge Press. Marbach provides framed art using sustainably harvested maple from Plywerks.

Come for coffee, dessert, and wine and learn more about Marbach’s current projects, including a planned exhibit on the wild and free section of the Columbia River in Canada, and support for rebuilding efforts in Kumari, Nepal.
The event begins at 5pm, and will be held in his studio at 3121 Elliot Drive in Hood River, OR.
Looking for lodging near the Columbia River Gorge? Check out Lodging Here

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Searching for Giants: Protecting the Largest Trees in the Gorge

While people often flock to the Gorge to see waterfalls that plummet over one-hundred feet, there are some who visit the Gorge seeking a different type of natural giant. Hood River photographer, Darryl Lloyd searches the Columbia River Gorge for old-growth trees. In the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest he frequents an old-growth forest, which Lloyd has named "Giants Trees of Lost Creek," with Douglas-firs and Western Red Cedars that are taller than many of the Gorge's waterfalls. 
The most impressive is a Douglas-fir roughly 243 feet tall and almost 9 feet in diameter. The cedars are almost as impressive, growing in thick and ancient groves along the creek, with the largest almost 10 feet in diameter.

“The Lost Creek stand is a very rare gem,” said Lloyd, who lives in Hood River but explores giant trees around the Pacific Northwest with his twin brother, Darvel. “It’s a magical, amazing and truly wild place.”
While the secret old-growth stand was historically protected from a proposed timber sale in 1990 by an activist, Russ Jolly, Lloyd has recently brought more attention to the Giant Trees of Lost Creek.
Lloyd's reasoning is that even with the original timber sale beaten back, the grove never received any official protection. It's located just outside the national scenic area on land classified as “matrix” under the Northwest Forest Plan. Matrix lands are designated for timber harvest, with no limits on the size of trees that can be cut. He worries it could be logged at any time.

 “The only way we’re going to protect it is for people to know about it,” he said. “Skamania County is not well-known for conservation, so that was one reason I felt it was important enough to let the world know about it.”

Oregon Wild conservation director Erik Fernandez agreed.

“It's scary to think these trees aren't permanently protected,” Fernandez said. “Just last week, a grove of 500-year-old trees was cut in a park in Douglas County. These old trees are just not as protected as most people think.”
SRC: Read the full article about this old growth forest here: www.statesmanjournal.com/story/travel/outdoors/2015/11/10/lost-creek-large-trees-columbia-river-gorge/75474016/

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