Saturday, February 06, 2010

Getting Out of the House

Spring fever is definitely setting in around here, we needed something to do today. We also got into a bad habit of turning to the TV when we needed to be entertained and that appears to have been contributing to some issues with the boys. Almost all TV viewing time has been taken away from them. Family movie night and maybe a couple of cartoons while first waking up and that's it. Needless to say, the transition has been riddled with, "what can we do? Can we go anywhere? I'm bored!" Much to their chagrin, I've come up with plenty to keep them busy. Of course, helping more with laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. wasn't exactly what they had in mind but that's what they got. Thankfully, spring is nearing and getting outside is a viable option. Joel had class today, then was going to stop and try to clear up some computer issues for our friends so I threw the boys in the van and headed into the gorge. They have been asking to return to the dam lately so that was our first stop. As tradition would have it, the dam talk and giggling ensued. "The dam concrete, holding back the dam water and hey, look at those dam fish. Can I say hello to the dam worker? Do you think the dam fish like the dam fish ladder?" Oh yeah, it may make some parents cringe and the boys know they are pushing it but who cares, we all end up laughing in the end. After a visit to the Washington side of Bonneville Dam we visited the nearby Fort Cascades Trail. Again, one of those places that I've driven by dozens of times but never stopped. Today we stopped and it was a great trail. Nice and flat, about 1.5 miles, perfect for two active boys. Here is what the brochure had to say about the trail.
Though quiet and uninhabited today, this small seemingly unimportant piece of land was a focal point of history. Here along the powerful Columbia River, many of the dramatic events that shaped the settlement of the Pacific Northwest occurred.

Leave today's busy urban pace and slowly walk this level, one-and-one-half mile trail. Feel the presence of those who went before. Here is a glimpse of the struggles, drama and everyday life of Native Americans, explorers, fur traders, soldiers, settlers, railroad workers and fishermen. Take time to touch the past in this special place.
Although I got many of the typical pictures that you get at the dam, I tried to get some odd ones too. Figured I'd share these with you instead.

Noah helping his brother peer over into the fish ladder.
Or at least that is what I assumed, maybe he was trying to toss him in.

The always intriguing fish tunnel.

The color choices of the, what feels like six-inch thick carpet in the fish viewing building has ALWAYS boggled my mind. For some reason I always end up humming, "why are there so many, songs about rainbows...."

This is a plant that they have in the lobby of the Power House. It is beautiful. No idea what it is but the flowers are papery and delicate looking.

Heading out on the trail. Not ten feet in and the boys have already found souvenir sticks to take home with them.

Noah climbed one of the smaller, yes smaller, boulders along the way and asked me to take his picture. I wonder if the jogger knows that I got him in the photo too?

The trail meandered along the Columbia.

Tiger tripped and fell, he decided that he was just going to sit a bit, play with his souvenir sticks and regroup.

Noah walking ahead wondering if his brother was going to ever get up and get going again. Me, as usual, stuck in the middle, trying to keep the peace.

"The remnants of the Warren Packing Company's Portage Tramway which was used to transport the fish caught in Frank Warren's fishwheel operations down to the Lower Landing. The narrow-gauge tracks and the sets of wheels are the original equipment from the portage railroad."

The tree Noah is standing by has grown smack dab in the middle of the tracks.

The McNatt's, Thomas and Ellen, built a hotel, tavern, barn and stables in this area in 1858. After battling a lengthy illness Thomas passed away in 1861. Ellen set aside this tract of land and later deeded as a cemetery.

A little exploration next to the river before heading home.
Noah spotted something and wanted to check it out.
"OH COOL! Check it out mom....

...a dead and rotting fish missing it's head. Maybe it's a Lamprey. Will you take a picture for me?"
Sure son, gross, but sure.


Anonymous said...

As always, another wonderful day with the boys, the dam, and the River. Would love to have been there, although I would have slowed the progress considerably. Thank you for sharing it with us.


Elite Stitches said...

Nothing cooler than a dead and rotting fish without its head... Nice hiking spot!

Queen of Qwerk said...

Talk about short life span. If I calculated correctly, Thomas McNatt died at age 33!
What a totally cool area-a perfect spot for a couple of energenic boys! And I love dam talk!!