heading east into the dry part of the Columbia Gorge east of Portland. Visited
The Dalles Dam. It has an old train to take tourists around. It was a fun
train ride to fish ladders, power houses and so forth.
The tour guide that took us through The Dalles Dam has another part time job. She works, in town, as an aerobics instructor at some gym. As she apologized for her horse voice, she had just taught aerobics that morning, she continued to bark out information about the dam's fish ladder and the Columbia River salmon run. A vision came to me of her coaching the fish through the ladder.
"Step up, one more, you can do it, step again." "Turn left, step again, you can do it, step again." "Hope the water temperature is okay." "You're almost to the spawning grounds." "Keep going, don't give up now."I am not sure if power house tours are still allowed since Sept. 11 2001 due to security. If you are planning a visit, it is good to call ahead to see what's available.
Image taken 1999.
Image taken 2005.
Fish ladder at another dam. This was Bonneville's fish ladder as seen on my 1989 trip around Washington. Bonneville is just west of The Dalles. It is the last dam, toward the ocean, on the Columbia River, or the first dam the fish have to pass going up stream.