The Columbia River Gorge, bonds Washington and Oregon, and has draped them both with overwhelming power and beauty. And the Gorge and its waters have touched my soul.
I long to spend more time here. There is a depth to be penetrated over time, in the inner and the outer realms. Rich tapestries of greens, radiance of waterfalls, myriad wildflowers, mysterious forests, sumptuous grand canyons, all endlessly beautiful. They touch the deepest part of me.
Every turn holds a wonder – a sometimes quiet and often times shuddering exuberance of majesty. Hidden wonders everywhere waiting to be explored.
Yes, I need more time here.
“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: What is soft is strong.”
“Water is the one substance from which the earth can conceal nothing; it sucks out its innermost secrets and brings them to our very lips.”
A few facts about the Columbia River Gorge (from the website for Foundation for Water & Energy Education; http://fwee.org/environment/what-makes-the-columbia-river-basin-unique-and-how-we-benefit/):
- Within the Basin, there are 2,500 square miles of waterways and lakes.
- The Columbia River and its tributaries account for about 219,000 square miles of drainage in seven western states.
- The Basin consists of the Rocky Mountains to the east and north, the Cascade Range on the west, and the Great Basin to the south.
- The Columbia River is the fourth largest river in North America.
- The Columbia River originates in British Columbia and flows 1,214 miles to the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Oregon.
- The Columbia is fed by a number of major tributaries including the three largest, the Kootenai, the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille and the Snake rivers along with the Payette, the Sultan, the Cowlitz, the Santiam and the Willamette.
- The Columbia River is second only to the Missouri-Mississippi River System in terms of annual run-off as the water flows to the Pacific Ocean.