Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Klickitat River Gorge

We made a trip to visit my old training river, the Klickitat in Washington.  This is a wonderful whitewater river, with miles and miles of good class II-III whitewater to train on.  This is a natural flowing river without dams, draining the Mount Adams areaIt is warmer than most rivers in the area.  Karin and I lived in Lyle Washington, and these pictures are taken about a mile from our old house.  Since we left, the state created a really nice rail to trail trail on an old rail bed up the river.  

Here's the river running through the Klickitat Gorge, a crack in the basalt formation. If you are interested in learning more about the geology of the Columbia River basin, here is a easy to read explanation of the geology, including maps of lava flows and the location of volcanoes.

I'd estimate the river is running about 2,000 cfs  or 57 m^3/s.

A feeder stream...

Here, you can see more of the Native American fishing platforms for dip netting, like you saw in the Bridge of the Gods post. This website by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife explains all about fishing rights of the Native American tribes Columbia river basin.

You wouldn't guess that there's a river in this crack, huh?

My training area was upstream of the Gorge, where the Klickitat behaves like a regular old whitewater river.  Every once in a while, I'd look down here, and think about making a run...but then you see all the cables from all the current, old, historic, and very old dip net platforms....and you imagine being tangled up in them....

 About 15 miles upstream is the put in, where there is a hot spring.  I used to warm my hands here before making a run down the whitewater.  Notice that the bottom is very red.  That's where iron is dissolved into the ground water under anoxic conditions, and when the water bubbles to the surface, the iron gets oxidized and is deposited as rust.  The water smells mildly sulphery, and felt a little bit soapy to the touch.  Oh, and it was warm, evidence of the volcanic activity just below the surface :-)  Mt. Adams, one of the many volcanoes in the area, is about 20 miles from this site.

This picture is right at the mouth of the Klickitat, before it flows into the Columbia River.  This is where I would do my flatwater training.  Really nice place to workout.  This was just a few hundred feet from our house.

In the year and a half  we lived there, we had a lot of trouble with people stealing things - sadly, it was mostly Native Americans.  We had one of those trash bins with rollers get stolen, only to find it a few hundred yards down the street in one of our neighbor's yards.  Our cars were broken into on two separate occasions, stealing our camera, a laptop, and our checkbook.  

The guy that stole our checkbook wrote checks to himself and cashed them in Oregon.  Because the checks were stolen in Washington  but illegally cashed in Oregon, neither state's police would do anything about it.  So, that was a big mess to deal with.  We knew the guy's name - he just lived on the street above our house.  What was most frustrating was that he had an easier time cashing our checks than we did.

We even had someone try to get into our house while Karin and the kids where home. Luckily, we locked the doors and windows all the time by then.  We had people come into our yard and steal our yard sale stuff.  We were happy to move from this bad Karma place.  You might wonder if it's changed in the 20 years since we lived there?  If this note someone posted at the river put in is any indication, I'd guess that it hasn't changed much.

1 comment:

  1. This river is unlike any other I've seen in Massachusetts. Instead of having a riverbed made of loose stone it has carved it's way into solid stone. I've always wanted to go white water rafting and this looks like a great place to go. It really sucks that thieves are ruining the area. It looks like a beautiful place to relax and listen to the river.