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The Columbia River: Its History, Its Myths, Its Scenery, Its Commerce/Part 2/Chapter 4


CHAPTER IV

Where River and Mountain Meet, and the Traces of the Bridge of the Gods

The Most Unique Point yet on the River—River, Mountains, and Tide—The Only Place where the Cascade Range is Cleft—Distant View of Mt. Hood and Gradual Appearance of Lesser Heights—Limits of Region where River and Mountain Meet—Geological Character of this Region—Forces of Upheaval and Erosion and Volcano—We May Journey by Rail, by Steamboat, Horseback, Waggon, or Afoot, but we Prefer a Rowboat—Paha Cliffs—On the Track of Speelyei—Memaloose Island—Hood River and White Salmon Valleys and their Fruit—Beginnings of the Great Heights—The Sunken Forest—The Bridge of the Gods—Loowit, Wiyeast, and Klickitat—Difference in Climate between the East-of-the-Mountains and the West—Sheridan's Old Blockhouse—Passing the Locks—Petrified Trees—Fish-wheels—Castle Rock—Ascent of Castle Rock—Story of Wehatpolitan—St. Peter's Dome—Oneonta Gorge—Multnomah Falls—Cape Horn—Getting out of the Mountains—Cape Eternity and Rooster Rock—This Section of the Journey Ended—Comparison of the River with Other Great Scenes.


IN the long journey down our River we have had a panoramic view of towering mountains and broad plains, foaming cataracts and tranquil lakes, fruitful valleys and volcanic desolations, growing cities and lonely wastes. All illustrate that infinite variety of the River which imparts its unrivalled charm.

But now we are approaching a point which is unique even in the midst of the unique, varied in never-ending variety, sublime even in almost continuous

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Eagle Rock, just above Shoshone Falls in Snake River.
Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

sublimity, singular even upon our most singular River. This place is where the mountains and the River meet. By mountains we mean the great chain of the Cascades, which under various names parallels the Pacific Coast all the way from Alaska to Southern California. But not only do mountains and River meet here, but the ocean sends his greetings, for at the lower end of the rapids which here mark the gateway of the mountains, the first pulse-beat of the Pacific, the first throb of the tide, is discernible, though it is a hundred and sixty miles farther to where the River is lost in that greatest of the oceans. River, Mountains, Ocean,—a very symposium of sublimities.

There is, too, another especially interesting feature of this spot, and that is, it is the only place for twelve hundred miles where the Cascade-Sierra Range is cleft asunder. In fact it is the only place in the entire extent of the range where it is cut squarely across. This fact imparts not only scenic interest, but commercial value. It is the only water-level route from the seacoast to the Inland Empire.

The place where River and mountains meet had been heralded to us long before we reached it. For as we passed the plains of the Umatilla we got an intimation of the mountain majesty which we were approaching. Clear-limned against the south-western horizon, a glistening cone, cold-white in the earliest morning, rosy-red with the rising dawn, and warm with the yellow halo of noon, fixes our eyes and bids us realise that from the far vision of a hundred miles we can see and worship at the shrine of Oregon's noblest and most historic peak, Mt. Hood. As we speed on down the current we begin to see long lines of lesser peaks rising to the westward. The prairies of the Umatilla have been succeeded by picturesque bare hills, and these by ragged palisades of columnar basalt, with higher hills yet, crowned with gnarled oak-trees. Of the wheat-fields and orchards and sheep ranges centring at The Dalles, we have already spoken, and we have paused at Celilo and gazed on the historic "Timm," or the Tumwater Falls, and the "Big Chute," observing especially the Government canal and locks now started, from whose completion such vast commercial possibilities are plainly foreshadowed. Our present quest is therefore yet farther on, to the gateway of the mountains. This is found at the "Cascade Locks," fifty miles below Dalles City. The section of river which we have styled "Where River and Mountain Meet" may be considered as extending from the mouth of the Klickitat River, a few miles west of Dalles City, to Rooster Rock, about thirty miles east of Vancouver. The distance between these points is about fifty miles, and through this space we may see all the evidences of a titanic struggle between the master forces of fire and water and upheaval. As we descend the majestic stream with the majestic banks on either hand and mark the apparent ancient water-marks hundreds of feet above our heads, we recall the Indian myth of Wishpoosh in an earlier chapter. The opinion of geologists in regard to this extraordinary passageway of the River is that it represents ages of gradual elevation of the mountain chain and a cotemporary erosion by the River, so that as the heights became higher, the river bed became deeper. The one-time shore slowly mounted skyward, and as the new upheavals rose from the ocean deeps the lines of

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Stehekin Cañon, 5000 Feet Deep.
Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

were in turn wrought on them, and river shore succeeded river shore through long ages. With these fundamental forces of upheaval and erosion there were eras of local seismic and volcanic activity, more cataclysmic in nature, from which there came the magnificent pillars of columnar basalt and the first trenching of the profound chasms which subsequent lateral streams carved through the rising base of the great range.

To view this great picture gallery of history and physiography, we may have the choice of nearly every method of travel, horseback, afoot, by team (though the waggon roads are not continuous), or by train, on either bank. The river himself offers his broad back for any kind of craft. Several swift and elegant steamers make daily trips between Portland and The Dalles, passing through the Government canal and lock at the Cascades. Launches, scows, sailing craft of almost every kind, are in constant movement, loaded with every sort of commodity. Of all the means of transit, however, we will, if you please, float down the stately stream in our well-tried skiff. Independent as the Coyote god Speelyei when he used to pass up and down the river, transforming presumptuous beasts or mortals into rock at will, we will drift with the current, partaking of the very life of the rich and multifarious nature about us. We can pause as we wish on jutting crag or fir-crowned promontory or at the foot of spouting cataract. We can camp for the night beneath some wide-spreading pine, and breathe the balsamic fragrance of the "continuous woods." We can trace the historic stages of bateaux or canoes or immigrant flatboats, and open and shut the camera at will amid the open volumes of our heroic age of discovery and settlement, or the yet vaster and grander epoch of Nature's creative day. No palace car or even floating palace of steamer for us when we can have two or three days of such unalloyed bliss in an open skiff moving at our own sweet will.

We shall find here a marked change in the movement of the river as compared with its prevailing character in the five hundred miles from the British line to The Dalles. The impetuous might above has become transformed into a slow and stately majesty. With the exception of the five miles at the Cascades round which the canal passes, the river below The Dalles is deep and calm, seldom less than a mile in width.

Of the almost numberless objects at which we level eye and camera, we can here describe but few.

A fitting introduction to this stage of our journey is found in Paha Cliffs at the mouth of the Klickitat, a perpendicular bastion of lava rock, not remarkable for height, but of such regularity and symmetry as to seem the work of men's hands. A short distance below the Paha Cliffs, also on the Washington side of the river, is a most singular semicircular wall of gigantic area, surrounding on the west what seems to be an immense sunken enclosure. The Indians have a story to the effect that once Speelyei, being on his way up the river before this wall existed, paused here to perform some unworthy deed (for Speelyei was a curious mixture of the noble and the base). Having done the deed, he began to fear that it would become known. So he hurriedly built a wall to keep in the report. But while he was engaged in building on the west, the

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Steamer Dalles City Descending the Cascades of the Columbia.

report got out on the east. The wall that we now see is the remains of his building. Of a similar order of Indian fancy is the "Baby-on-the-Board" and the "Coyote Head" farther down the river, also on the north side. The Coyote Head is near White Salmon. It commemorates the transformation of a presumptuous Klickitat chief who wished to proclaim himself equal to Speelyei, so he crowned himself with a coyote skin and took his station on the great rock wall above the mouth of the White Salmon. And there he remains still, for Speelyei with a wave of the hand transformed the offending chieftain into rock.

A few miles below the mouth of the Klickitat, there stands in mid-channel one of the most curious and interesting objects on the river, "Memaloose Island." This desolate islet of basalt was one of the most noted of the frequent "death" or burial places of the Indians. They were accustomed to build platforms and place the dead upon them. Apparently this island was used for its gruesome purpose for centuries. A large white marble monument facing the south attracts the attention of all travellers, and as we pass we see that it is sacred to the memory of Vic Trevett. He was a prominent pioneer of The Dalles, and in the course of his various experiences became a special friend of the Indians, who looked upon him with such love and reverence that when his end approached he gave directions that his permanent burial-place and monument should be on the place sacred to his aboriginal friends.

We have spoken of the region between the mouth of the Klickitat and Rooster Rock as the mountain section of the river. But as we move on down the the stream we discover that there are numerous nooks and glens adjoining it which are the choicest locations for fruit and garden ranches. At a point just about midway from The Dalles to the Cascades there is a remarkable break in the otherwise unbroken and constantly rising mountain walls. This break constitutes one of the most charming residence regions on the Columbia shores, and at the same time the avenue of approach to the most magnificent of mountains. There are here two great valleys. One of these is that of Hood River, better called by its musical Indian name Waukoma, "The Place of Cottonwoods." It proceeds directly from the foot of Mt. Hood, twenty-five miles distant to the south. The valley on the north bears a similar relation to Mt. Adams, forty miles distant, and is drained by the White Salmon River. From favourable points on the River, or from the heights which border it, we obtain views of the two peaks which create an unappeasable longing to tread their crags and snow-fields. Though truly mountain valleys, these two valleys are of spacious extent. They are moreover so richly provided with sun and water and all the ingredients of soil necessary to produce the choicest fruit that they have become the very paradise of the orchardist. The Hood River apples grace the tables of royalty in the old world and delight the palates of epicures in both hemispheres, while to the eyes and the nostrils of any one of delicate sensibilities their colour and fragrance impart a still more æsthetic charm.

As we pass on down the river from those two vales of beauty and plenty, we begin to see the first of those lofty crags on either hand, the basaltic pinnacles, turretted, spired, castellated, which make the distinguishing

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Memaloose Island, Columbia Rover.
Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

feature of Columbia River scenery for these fifty miles. Mitchell's Point, Shell Mountain, Wind Mountain, Bald Mountain, and Mt. Defiance are the first group. The lowest of the group attains an elevation of nearly two thousand feet, almost perpendicular, while at the summit of the crags rise a thousand feet higher yet long grassy slopes alternating with splendid forests.

As we near the Cascades we note another curious phenomenon. This is the sunken forest on either side. At low water these old tree trunks become very observable, and their general appearance suggests at once that they are the remains of a former forest submerged by a permanent rise in the river. This explanation is confirmed by the fact that from The Dalles to the Cascades the river is very deep and sluggish. When we reach the Cascades a third fact is revealed and that is that at the chief cataract the river bank is continually sliding into the river. Trees are thrown down by this slow sliding process, railroad tracks require frequent adjustment, and on clear, still nights there is sometimes heard a grinding sound, while a tremor from the subterranean regions seems to indicate that the upper stratum is sliding over the lower toward the river. In fact, the mighty force of the stream is all the time eating into the bank and gradually drawing it down.

From those and other indications the conclusion has been drawn that some prodigious avalanche of rock at a not long distant time dammed the river at this point, creating the present Cascades and raising the water above so as to submerge the forest, whose remains now attract the attention of the observer at the low stage of water.

To confirm this theory we have the Indian story of the "tomanowas bridge," the quaintest and most interesting of the long list of native myths.

The region around the old site of the "Bridge of the Gods" may be considered as the dividing line between the Inland Empire and the Coast Region. Above, it is dry, sunny, breezy, and electrical, the land of wheat-field and sheep ranges, cow-boys and horses and mining camps. Below, it is cool, cloudy, still, and soft, the region of the clover and the dairy, the salmon cannery, the logging camp, and boats of every sort. Above, the rocks look dry and hard, and glitter in the sun. Below, the rocks are draped in moss, and from every cañon and ledge there seems to issue a foaming torrent. It is, in truth, the meeting place of mountain and River.

On all sides around the Cascades there are objects of natural and historic interest. Stupendous crags, often streaked with snow, lose themselves in the scud of the ocean which is almost constantly flying eastward to be absorbed in the more fervid sunshine of up-river. Perhaps the most impressive of these vast heights is Table Mountain, on the north side of the River, near the locks, said to have been one of the supports of the "Bridge of the Gods." Its colours of saffron and crimson add to the splendour and grandeur of its appearance. Just below the locks on the north side stood the old blockhouse built by a young lieutenant in 1856 as a defence against the Klickitat Indians. The blockhouse is now in ruins, but the name of its builder has been fairly well preserved, for it is—Phil Sheridan.

The total extent of the cataract at the Cascades is

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Horseshoe Basin, near Lake Chelan, Wash.
Photo. by T. W. Tolman, Spokane.

five miles and the descent is about forty-five feet, of which half is at the upper end at the point passed by the locks. We enter the locks in the wake of one of the steamers, and in a few minutes find our craft emerging from the lower end of the massive structure into the white water which bears us swiftly down the remaining part of the Cascades. It looks dangerous to commit an open boat to that sweeping current, but as a matter of fact the course of the river is straight and deep, though swift, and it is entirely feasible for any one of reasonable skill to manage a small boat in the passageway to the tranquil expanses below.

As we speed swiftly down the river, we note the little station of Bonneville, named for the historic fur-trader whom the fascinating pages of Irving have brought down to this era. A short distance below Bonneville our eyes catch sight of a white sign-board bearing the words, "Petrified Tree." Sure enough, there is the tree, and a marvellously fine specimen of silicification it is, too. When the railroad was built along the river bank at this point, the graders ran into a perfect forest of petrified wood. The logs and limbs were piled up by the cord near Bonneville, but the larger part has been taken in various directions for cabinets and ornaments.

But a short time is needed to fly down the Cascades, and at their lower end we reach what may be called the Lower River. For here a slight rise and fall of tide betokens the presence of the ocean. No more rapids on the River, but a tranquil, majestic flood, broadening like a sea toward its final destination, a hundred and sixty miles away.

If we were to describe in detail all the marvels of beauty and grandeur and physical interest which engage our attention at every stage of the journey, our volume would end with this chapter, for there would be no room for anything more. One class of objects of curious interest to almost all travellers, though of no special charm to scientist or nature lover, is the fish-wheels at the Cascades. These are very ingenious contrivances set in the midst of a swift place in the stream and made to revolve by the current. As they revolve, the huge vans dipping the water scoop up almost incredible numbers of the salmon which have made the Columbia famous the world over. A weir is built to turn the fish from the outside course into the channel of the wheel, with the result that numbers are taken almost beyond belief, sometimes as high as eight tons a day by a single wheel. Another picturesque sight, both at the Celilo Falls and the Cascades, is the Indian fishermen perched upon the rocks and with spear and dip-net seeking to fill their larder with the noble salmon.

But now to contemplate the works of God and Nature rather than those of man. We must, as already seen, by the necessities of space, ask our readers to share with us only the masterpieces of this gallery of wonders. Probably all visitors to the River would agree that the following scenes most nearly express the spirit and character of the sublime whole: Castle Rock, St. Peter's Dome, Oneonta Gorge, Multnomah Falls, Cape Horn, and Rooster Rock. To these individual scenes we should add, as the very crown of all, the view at the lower Cascades both up and down the great gorge. With the majestic heights, scarred with the tempests and the earthquakes of the ages, swathed

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Castle Rock, Columbia River.
(Copyright by Kiser Photograph Co., 1902.)

in drifting clouds and oftentimes tipped with snow, and the shimmering of the River, and the answering grandeur of sky and forest,—this grouping of the whole is more inspiring than any one scene.

The first special object to fix our attention below the Cascades is Castle Rock. It is an isolated cliff of basalt, nine hundred feet high, covering about seventeen acres, its summit thinly clothed with stunted trees. It stands right on the verge of the River, nearly perpendicular on all sides, marvellous for symmetry from every point of view. At first sight one gets no conception of its magnitude, for it is dwarfed by the stupendous pinnacles, three thousand feet high, which compose the walls of the cañon. It is said that some Eastern lady, seeing it from a steamer's deck, exclaimed, "See that fine rock! I wish I had it in my back yard at home." Being informed that she would have to find a pretty spacious back yard to accommodate an ornament covering seventeen acres, she was too much astonished to believe it. But to any one viewing it deliberately and from every point of view, and especially landing, as we in our happy method of travel can do, and going about its base, it becomes evident that Castle Rock might be called a mountain in almost any other place. It was for a long time regarded as an impossible thing to reach the summit. For some years there was a standing offer of one thousand dollars for any one who would place the Stars and Stripes on the summit. But no one took the dare. At last in 1901, when the rivalry between two steamboat lines was keen, Frank Smith of the Regulator Line, with George Purser and Charles Church, accomplished the seemingly impossible, and, by ropes and staples and fingers and teeth and toenails, scaled the almost perpendicular walls, and unfurled the Regulator banner to the breeze where no flag ever flew before, nor human foot ever trod. It was probably the most risky climb ever taken in the North-west. A little later, by the aid of the experience of this party, several others attained the summit. Among these were George Maxwell, who set the Oregon Railway and Navigation flag as high as that of the Regulator had gone, and two photographers, W. C. Staatz and George M. Weister. With them went a young lady, Lilian White, who, though she did not reach the summit, went higher than any of her sex have gone. Later Mr. Whitney, manager of the great McGowan Cannery, went up and placed the Stars and Stripes upon the top.

We said that no earlier human steps had trodden that beetling height and that Miss White had gone higher than any of her sex. But if we accept the romantic Indian tale of Wehatpolitan, our statement needs correction. For this story is to the following effect. Wehatpolitan was the beautiful child of the principal chieftain in these parts. She loved and was loved by a young chief of a neighbouring tribe. But when she was sought by her lover in marriage, the stern father denied the request and killed the messenger. But the lovers were secretly married and met clandestinely at various times. In course of time the father, thinking the infatuation of the forbidden lovers to be at an end, gave Wehatpolitan to a chief whom he had favoured. The latter kept constant watch of the girl, and one night he saw her stealing steathily away, and tracking her he found the secret

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The Lyman Glacier and Glacier Lake in North Star Park near Lake Chelan
Photo. by W. D. Lyman.

of her midnight wanderings. As soon as the new lover had imparted to the father these tidings, the latter with deep duplicity sent word to the other chieftain that if he would come to the lodge, all would be forgiven and he and Wehatpolitan would be duly wed. Rejoicing at the happy outcome to all their troubles, the faithful lover hastened to his own, but no sooner had he arrived than he was seized upon and slain by the revengeful parent. Not long after this the heartbroken girl gave birth to a child, but her father at once decreed that the child must share its father's fate. Hearing this pitiless word, Wehatpolitan caught up her child and disappeared. All that day they searched in vain, and on the next day, the Indians heard wailings from the top of Castle Rock, from which they soon discovered that the poor girl with her child had gone to that apparently inaccessible height. The old chief, repenting of his harsh course, called aloud to his daughter to come down and he would forgive her. But fearing new treachery she paid no heed, and the wailings continued. Overcome with grief the remorseful chief offered all kinds of rewards for any one who would climb the rock and save Wehatpolitan and her child. But though many tried, none could succeed. On the third day the wailings ceased. Then the half-crazed father himself essayed to climb. He seemed to succeed, for at least he disappeared among the crevices of the rock high up toward the summit. But he never returned. The Indians thought that he reached the top and that finding the lifeless bodies of his daughter and her child he had probably given up all hope of getting down and had lain down and died with them. But even yet heart-breaking wailings come down from time to time, especially when the Chinook blows soft and damp up the river, and these wailings have been thought by Indians to be the voice of the spirit of the unhappy Wehatpolitan, because it could never descend to the happy hunting grounds of the tribe.

Another native idea is to the effect that Castle Rock (which ought to be called Wehatpolitan's gravestone) is hollow and is filled with the bodies of former generations now turned to stone. As a matter of fact, the party of 1901 found evidence of a great cave, but so far there has been found no practical ingress. So the interior is still an unexplored mystery. Immense quantities of spear-heads and arrow-heads are found along the river at this point, and these are apparently of an earlier age than most of those found in this country.

Loosing from the enchanted shore of Wehatpolitan's monument, we see for several miles on the Oregon side a cordon of perpendicular cliffs, red and purple in hue, streaked with spray, and touched here and there with the deep green of firs which have rooted themselves with claw-like roots into the crevices. Most symmetrical and beautiful, though not the highest of this line of elevations, is St. Peter's Dome. Its summit is over two thousand feet above the river. While in height it is surpassed by certain crags of Chelan or Yosemite, as well as its brothers on the river, it has no rival in beauty there, or elsewhere, so far as the author has seen, among the wonders of the American continent. Every hour of the day, every change of sky or season, reveals some new and unexpected beauty or sublimity in this superb cliff.

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Hunters on Lake Chelan, with their Spoils.
Photo. by W. D. Lyman.


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A Morning's Catch on the Touchet, near Dayton, Wash.
Sunset Magazine.

We are almost sated with sublimities by the time we pass on down below St. Peter's Dome, but one of the most unique scenes of all is close at hand. This is Oneonta Gorge. A swift stream issuing from the cliffs on the south side of the River attracts our attention, and we moor our boat to the roots of a tall cottonwood and make our way inward. The wall is cleft asunder, its sides almost meeting above. At places the smooth sides of the Gorge leave no space except for the passage of the pellucid stream, and we have to wade hip deep to make our way. Showers of spray descend from the towering roof above, and in places we are well-nigh in darkness. Then there is a widening and through the broken wall the lances of sunshine pierce the gloom with rainbow tints. Marvellous Oneonta with the sweet-sounding name! It, too, has its wealth of native myth, of which our narrowing limits forbid us to speak.

And now leaving Oneonta, we can see that we have passed the maximum of the mountains, and are already looking into a broadening valley, with the yet more lordly volume of the river widening toward the sunset. While our eyes are thus drawn toward the river, the diminishing walls of the cañon, and the fair entrance to what may be called the genuine West-of-the-Mountains, we perceive on the Oregon shore a series of waterfalls, higher and grander than has even been the wont, and in the midst of them, far-famed Multnomah. A spacious sweep of circling mountains, a perpendicular wall, indented with a deep recess, and crowned upon its topmost bastions with a row of frightened looking trees, and partially visible through intercepting cottonwoods at the River's margin a moving whiteness,—such is the first vision of this matchless waterfall. A short space farther carries us past the screen of cottonwoods, and the whole majestic scene lies before us. Like St. Peter's Dome or Castle Rock or Niagara or Yosemite or Chelan or Mt. “Takhoma,” this scene of Multnomah Falls with its surroundings wears that aspect of eternity, that look of final perfectness, which marks the great works of nature and of art. The cliff almost overhangs, so that except when deflected by the wind against a projecting ledge the water leaps sheer through the air its eight hundred feet of fall. It is mainly spray when it reaches the deep pool within the recess of the mountain, and from that recess the regathered waters pour in a final plunge, from which the stream takes its way through the cottonwoods to the River.

We disembark and climb to the pool which receives the great fall. We find it sunless and almost black in hue from the intensity of the shadows. The maidenhair fern which grows at the edge of the pool is nearly white in its cool dark abode. The water falls into the pool with a weird, uncanny “chug,” rather than a splash, so great is the sheer fall and so largely does the water consist of spray alternating with “chunks”—if we may so express it—of water. The pool is large enough to hold a steamboat and of considerable depth. A pretty rustic bridge spans the gorge through which the stream passes on its way from the pool, and below the bridge is the final fall of seventy-five feet. On account of its proximity to Portland and the frequent steamboat excursions, Multnomah has become quite a resort. While the creek is only of moderate size in summer, and the fall is notable rather for

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Oneonta Gorge—Looking In.
Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse.

beauty than energy, yet when swollen by the rains and melting snows of winter and spring it rakes on the dimensions of a river. Then the fall hurling its great volume over the eight hundred feed of open space assumes an appalling sublimity.

And now with the sounds of the fall ringing in our ears and our eyes turned back for a final reluctant gaze, we make our way across the River and a short distance down to the next wonder on the Washington side. This is Cape Horn. It is a long palisade of basalt, not high compared to most of the river walls, being only about two hundred feet high, but it is the most complete example of continuous basaltic formation on the River. The beauty and symmetry of the formation, the deeps of the River reflecting the escarpment of rock, the wide-opening vista of hazy islands and extending plains down-stream;—all these together compose a scene unique in itself and, though so different, placing Cape Horn in the same gallery of royal pictures which we have been gathering.

A few miles below Cape Horn it becomes apparent that we are about to issue from the mountain pass. The heights have fallen away. Deep valleys appear and many habitations attest the cultivable character of the region. But as if to show that she has not exhausted her resources, wonder-working Nature has set one more masterpiece in the long line, and this is Rooster Rock, with a mighty rampart of rock adjoining and closing the southern horizon. Together they mark the western limit of the mountains. That rampart, which was once well named Cape Eternity, though the name does not seem to have been preserved, is a sheer massive precipice of a thousand feet. Though not nearly so high as some of the cliffs above, it is not surpassed by any for the appearance of solid and massive power. Rooster Rock is distinguished by a singular and exquisite beauty, rather than magnitude or grandeur. It is only three hundred and fifty feet high, but in form and colour and alternation of rock and trees it is the most beautiful object on the River.

With a farewell to Cape Eternity and Rooster Rock we are out of the mountains, and this stage of our long journey is at an end. If we were to compare the section of the River which we have described in this chapter with other great scenes in our country, we would say that this section of the Columbia from Paha Cliffs to Rooster Rock possesses a greater variety than any other. Chelan has loftier cliffs, clearer and deeper water, and a certain chaotic and elemental energy beyond comparison. The Yellowstone has a greater richness of colouring and larger waterfalls, together with the unique features of the geysers. Yosemite has loftier waterfalls and has cliffs that in some respects are even more imposing. Puget Sound has finer distant scenes, with lagoons and channels and archipelagoes. Each of these grand exhibitions of nature's works is equal or even superior to the Columbia Gorge in some special feature. But the River has every feature. It has cliffs and mountains and waterfalls and cataracts, valleys and forests, broad marine views near and distant, colour and form, shore and sky, earth and air and water, a commingling of all elements of beauty, grandeur, and physical interest. Add to this, that, up or down, the broad waters of the River are accessible to every form of

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Cape Horn, Columbia River—Looking Up.
Photo. by E. H. Moorehouse, Portland.

floating craft, and that Portland, one of the most beautiful and progressive cities of the West, destined to become one of the great cities of the world, sits at the very gates of admission to this symposium of grandeurs and wonders, and we have such an aggregation of charms that we may well suppose that all the other great scenic regions would bow before our great River and acknowledge him as the king of all.