Columbia River Gorge

By: BriarCraft , 6:18 PM GMT on June 13, 2012

The Columbia River Gorge is something special to behold. It is easy to forget the scale of what you are looking at until you focus on something man-made and notice just how tiny it looks. The Gorge is 80 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep where the river carves through the Cascade Mountains on its way to the sea. How could a river, even one as big as the Columbia, carve through a mountain range?

The Cascade Mountains are volcanic in origin and 20-40 million years ago, they dumped layer upon layer of ash, lava, and mudflows on the region. 12-17 million years ago, cracks opened in the earth's crust several miles long. Out of these cracks poured basalt floods. Approximately 270 lava flows spread across the region and 21 of those poured through the Gorge forming layers of rock up to 2,000 feet deep. Many of these lava flows cooled into columnar basalt; the lava cracks, forming six-sided columns. 700,000 to 2 million years ago, the Cascades began to uplift. As the mountains rose, the Columbia carved its way through, creating the only near-sea level passage through the Cascades.

14-16,000 years ago, during the last ice age, glaciers covered Canada and descended into the present-day panhandle of Idaho, blocking the Clark Fork River with a 2,000 foot high ice dam. At times, Glacial Lake Missoula extended some 200 miles eastward and grew to about half the size of modern-day Lake Michigan, containing about 500 cubic miles of water. Periodically, the ice dam failed. Floodwaters traveling at 65 miles an hour drained Glacial Lake Missoula in just 2-3 days, stripping away thick soils and cutting deep canyons in the underlying bedrock on its way to the Pacific Ocean. At the site of Bonneville Dam in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, the raging torrent crested at 650 feet. During a period of 2,500 years as many as 100 of these floods scoured the Gorge.

The Cascade Mountains divide Oregon and Washington into very distinct western and eastern climate zones. Troutdale, Oregon, at the west entrance to the Gorge, has average annual precipitation of 44.9 inches. The Dalles, Oregon, at the east entrance to the Gorge, has just 14.5 inches. Troutdale is 5 degrees F warmer in winter and 5 degrees F cooler in summer than The Dalles. The distance between Troutdale and The Dalles is about 80 miles. At the west end of the Columbia River Gorge, one sees Douglas Fir trees, ferns, and lots of moss. At the east end of the Gorge, there are pine and oak trees, and grasses.

The photos below are posted in the order they were seen, traveling from west to east through the Columbia River Gorge. And now you can apply a basic understanding of the terrain and climate to the remarkable scenery and understand why it changes so much from start to finish.

Put your sandwich and beverage in the cooler and we'll have a picnic along the way...

Mt. Hood (BriarCraft)
as seen from I-84 eastbound near Troutdale
Mt. Hood
Columbia River (BriarCraft)
looking west from Crown Point
Columbia River
Columbia River Gorge (BriarCraft)
looking east from Crown Point
Columbia River Gorge
Harley Davidson club (BriarCraft)
from Tacoma visiting Crown Point
Harley Davidson club
tunnel of trees (BriarCraft)
near Crown Point
tunnel of trees
across the Columbia (BriarCraft)
near Bridal Veil falls, looking at a Washington waterfall into the Columbia River
across the Columbia
Wahkeena Falls (BriarCraft)
Wahkeena Falls
Multnomah Falls (BriarCraft)
Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls info (BriarCraft)
Multnomah Falls info
Multnomah Falls (BriarCraft)
Multnomah Falls
Horsetail Falls (BriarCraft)
Horsetail Falls
Horsetail Falls (BriarCraft)
some brave souls wading in really, really cold water
Horsetail Falls
Columbia Gorge (BriarCraft)
as seen from I-84 east of Horsetail Falls
Columbia Gorge
Columbia Gorge (BriarCraft)
from Memaloose viewpoint
Columbia Gorge
Columbia Gorge (BriarCraft)
from Memaloose viewpoint
Columbia Gorge
Memaloose rock formations (BriarCraft)
some of the basalt formations to be found in the Columbia River Gorge
Memaloose rock formations
Rowena Crest (BriarCraft)
view eastward toward Hood River
Rowena Crest
tenacious tree (BriarCraft)
It's always windy in the Columbia River Gorge. Someplaces more so than others. Here at Rowena Crest, this tree has given up on trying to have branches on one side.
tenacious tree
Rowena crest loops (BriarCraft)
The engineers of historic highway US30 limited the road to no more than a 5 degree grade with minimum 100 foot radius turns. The result in some places is a loopy road.
Rowena crest loops

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80. sandiquiz
3:09 PM GMT on July 13, 2012
Lifting you up from the bottom - hope the trip was successful :)

Looking forward to your new blog.
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 349 Comments: 31770
79. BriarCraft
1:34 AM GMT on July 12, 2012
It's supposed to be clear tomorrow, with a high of 85F. No morning marine layer. No overcast. Clear. There's been no rain in over a week! Can you believe that???

Must be summertime!!

Time for a trip to the east side of Mt. St. Helens. Be back soon with a new photo blog.

Happy day!!!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
78. BriarCraft
11:02 PM GMT on July 10, 2012
Sandi: I sure do sympathize with your un-summer weather. After two un-summers in a row, the weather pattern finally seems to be changing for the better here. It would really be a disappointment for a lot of people if you have soggy Olympics. Regardless of any special events, I'm sure you would just like to enjoy some nice summery weather.

Rob: I don't come by your place very often, but when I do, it's always good for an hour of chuckles and sometimes some belly laughs, and I generally try to come up with something halfway related to your topic du jour as my way of showing appreciation for the entertainment. Captain Hood and crew are just plain nuts (in a good way).
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
77. RobDaHood
1:25 AM GMT on July 10, 2012
Hey Briar,
A little late, but wanted to than you for your post on my latest blog. I case you missed it, you got a "Captain's Award" for best illustrator! Yeah, we normally have a bunch more pics when we do a story, but I at least was short on time.
(Angie was home for 15 days...kept me busy)

So, hope you enjoyed the story. Tried to make it a little more romantic this time for the ladies, with less shoot-em-up stuff and more mushy stuff!

Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 121 Comments: 43005
76. sandiquiz
10:44 AM GMT on July 09, 2012
LOL, I did laugh when I read about the cats and you on the recliner. Next time it happens you must ask DH to take a photos of it for us all to see!

Monday morning and a week of even more depressing weather. The Jet Stream really needs to move north before the Olympics begin ... it will be so upsetting if all the work gone into the last four years in preparing for it, gets spoilt by the depressing weather. And which athlete feels like doing their best if it is pouring down on them. A little sunshine and warmth would be very welcome - right now!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 349 Comments: 31770
75. BriarCraft
3:44 AM GMT on July 09, 2012
Way to go, Ylee!!! The hail didn't destroy your garden. Enjoy the bounty.

I keep a garden journal which includes planting and first harvest dates, varieties grown, as well as major weather events/trends that impact growth. I can always find ways to improve.

A professional organic farmer down the road planted his corn just a few weeks ago. It's about 4 inches high right now. The fresh corn we've been eating so far is imported from California. I've got garden envy!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
74. Ylee
3:07 AM GMT on July 09, 2012
Today I was able to harvest corn, green bean, potatoes, summer squash, and tomatoes from the garden! It's been by and far the most successful garden ever, but already I've taken notes on how to do better next year!

Take care!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 130 Comments: 23184
73. BriarCraft
8:23 PM GMT on July 07, 2012
Ylee: Just about the time I get fed up with new-fangled technology, I find a use for some of it. Sometimes I amaze myself.

Todd: Glad you stopped by. I hope you had a good time at Rooster Rock. Presumably you drove here with your truck? And I hope you managed to pick up some cherries at The Dalles on your way home.

SP: I might manage a Thimble Full of Jam this year. I've got a black currant bush that should produce about 2 cups of currants and they're almost ready to pick. I don't like currants, except as jelly, but that is really, really good.

WTS: Mostly, DH just rototils the garden space about once a month to keep the weeds from going to seed. My garden this year consists of 3 tomatoes, 4 sweet peppers, 2 basil, 1 zucchini, 1 mini-cucumber. Seems really strange just to have that little bit. With the way weeds have taken over the herb patch and flower beds, I'm glad I didn't try a garden this year, even if I do miss it.

Sandi and Ggrrl: Here's how you do 5 cats in a recliner. One wedged along each side partly on my thigh, partly on the chair arm. Third cat stretched out lengthwise in the middle from upper thigh to ankle. Fourth cat partly on the back of the recliner, partly wrapped around my head. Fifth cat draped across my chest, with his head resting on my shoulder. Sometimes, it's tough being popular.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
72. GardenGrrl
10:02 AM GMT on July 07, 2012
5 cats in a recliner? Sounds like a Dr. Suess story or a very relaxing time if they just lay still and purr.
Ah, I can almost fall asleep right here visualizing.
No, wait. It's 5am and have to be at work soon. Have a ggreat day.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 305 Comments: 12794
71. sandiquiz
7:57 AM GMT on July 07, 2012
Five cats in a recliner - was there room for you! lol

My dear Blue insists on sitting on the arm of my recliner with his front end and his back end on my right elbow. Makes knitting very difficult! lol

Hope you both have a wonderful weekend - you will have lots to catch up on :)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 349 Comments: 31770
70. WatchinTheSky
11:00 PM GMT on July 06, 2012
Always think of you when I chat with my neighbor, he's a couple weeks away from his second hip surgery, this one is not so far gone. Glad you are increasingly mobile! Haven't heard much about your garden lately, manage to rekindle the crops?
Hot weather may be catching up to us, WU and NWS say 100 by Monday-Tue.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3950
69. sp34n119w
10:57 PM GMT on July 06, 2012
Oh, too long since I've commented here and DH will be home by the time I add my "Yikes!" about the bear! Glad all is well, of course.

I came across a blog about canning the other day and thought of you, Briar, and the several of your readers who have commented about food preservation. It is called Food in Jars, which I find refreshingly straightforward, LOL
Thought it might be useful even though you may not have much canning to do this year. Next year :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 85 Comments: 4488
68. toddluck
9:52 PM GMT on July 06, 2012
greaqt pics we just had a truck show at rooster rock state park 2 weekends ago
Member Since: April 28, 2006 Posts: 210 Comments: 14997
67. Ylee
9:49 PM GMT on July 06, 2012
That's cool how the internet and online banking works, isn't it? During one of my routine checks of my bank account, I found that someone had gotten my debit card number and bought some flowers to be sent to London, England from Los Angeles! I knew about it before the bank did!

Five kitties would smother me, especially in this heat! :)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 130 Comments: 23184
66. BriarCraft
10:08 PM GMT on July 05, 2012
Pros: Nice sparkler!

Ylee: He's on his way. Should be arriving soon. I love the internet and online banking. I'm able to track his progress by seeing where he bought gas and food along the way. It's not quite up to the minute, but I know where he spent the night last night and where he bought gas midday. I'm guessing he'll be here within the next couple of hours.

Sandi: Funny to get a US holiday greeting from you. Thanks! And the cats... They're missing DH, too. In the recliner last night, all five were piled on me for awhile, until I got over-heated. Their little bodies are warm!

Ggrrl: Teddy was not the sort of man I'd choose for a friend, but I believe he was one of our greatest presidents in terms of his vision and the lasting good he did for this country.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
65. GardenGrrl
10:16 AM GMT on July 04, 2012
Happy and Safe Fourth!
Those are great quotes but I also like that you included Teddy Roosevelt as someone who made America great. (Ylee's)
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 305 Comments: 12794
64. sandiquiz
9:53 AM GMT on July 04, 2012

Hope you have a good day - although you are still on your own... the cats will keep you company:)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 349 Comments: 31770
63. Ylee
6:37 AM GMT on July 04, 2012
Nice quotes, Briar, and still they hold true!

When will DH return? I hope his trip home is less eventful! :)

Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 130 Comments: 23184
62. Proserpina
12:24 AM GMT on July 04, 2012
4th of July Images, Quotes, Comments, Graphics
4th of July Pictures - Quotes - Photobucket
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 200 Comments: 19757
61. BriarCraft
8:22 PM GMT on July 03, 2012
For my tribute to Independence Day, here are some quotes from signers of the Declaration of Independence. Their wisdom is timeless...

Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments. If we can get rid of the former, we may easily bear the latter. -- Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)

Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right…and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers. -- John Adams (1735–1826)

Equal and exact justice to all men…freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected,these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us. -- Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself. -- Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality. -- George Washington (1732-1799)

Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
60. BriarCraft
7:52 PM GMT on July 03, 2012
GG: I did get caught up with you and a couple of others, but I ended up mowing (on the rider) for about 5 hours yesterday, so I ran out of time. I was glad to see the reminder of Sandi's birthday on your blog title, so I did make it over to her place, although it was pretty late in the day.

Pros: I shall look forward to Paper, Part III. I wish I could take dictation for you. I learned to type really fast in the late 80s when I had to type IRS tax form instructions into the early versions of TurboTax. In just a couple of months' time, I raised my typing speed from 70 wpm to 130, while racing with a true typing wizard. Never could quite match her, but it was fun trying while doing an otherwise boring task.

Poppy: That's a cool graphic with feathers or fireworks or feathery fireworks.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
59. calpoppy
1:58 PM GMT on July 03, 2012
Happy 4th!!

Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 90 Comments: 5662
58. Proserpina
1:44 PM GMT on July 03, 2012
Good morning. So sorry about the flu, glad you feel better.

This is a very short visit to say hello and Happy Fourth of July.

I am trying to spend my free time writing the part 3 of the paper saga. Weeding out material and choosing what to mention is a big problem for me, so it seems. Typing is a big hurdle, not my favorite activity!

Take care.
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 200 Comments: 19757
57. GardenGrrl
8:22 PM GMT on July 02, 2012
Hey speaking of catching up, dang but DH must have been shook up. Then there is the part that when you hit a wild animal or they hit you, unless your in an animal control vehicle with safety equipment, training etc. there is absolutly nothing you can do to help the critter. I think that is the part that is hardest to deal with for people who care about life.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 305 Comments: 12794
56. BriarCraft
7:16 PM GMT on July 02, 2012
Ylee: Not too stiff and sore this time. Maybe that means muscles are starting to tone up a bit? Hope so!

Poppy: Yes, DH was more concerned about that bear than anything else. He can't stand for any critter or person to suffer.

Sandi: Discovery Channel is one of my favorites. I love programs that educate as well as entertain. DH will probably start home on the 4th. It is a 19 hour drive, plus time for sleeping and eating, best spread over two days.


Sorry I've been away from WUville the last couple of days. Saturday was house cleaning day and game night, but then Sunday was 24-hour flu day. Feeling chipper again today, so I'm out to do some much-needed mowing. BBL to catch up on what's been happening in WUville!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
55. sandiquiz
1:14 PM GMT on July 02, 2012
I have access to the computer again - so all is back to normal~!

Were your ears burning last evening?
I was around at a friend's house, and we were watching a Discovery channel programme all about volcanoes. It showed Mount St Helen's so I told my friend about your blog and all the photos you had taken.

The programme was fascinating. I love watching things like that. Next week it is all about Tsunamis, so I have set it to record - I do not want to miss it!?
Are you still alone, or had DH returned home ... safely
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 349 Comments: 31770
54. calpoppy
5:23 PM GMT on July 01, 2012
Your poor DH, I can empathize with him. I would feel horrible to hit such a neat animal or any animal for that matter!!! Glad he is okay, oh and DH too! LOL!

Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 90 Comments: 5662
53. Ylee
9:41 AM GMT on July 01, 2012
And white rabbitsx3, too! :)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 130 Comments: 23184
52. Ylee
4:29 AM GMT on July 01, 2012
Briar, hope you're enjoying game night, and are not too sore from all the hard work you've done this past week! Experience says that max pain and stiffness from overexertion is on the second day!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 130 Comments: 23184
51. BriarCraft
8:30 PM GMT on June 29, 2012
Ylee: Can you imagine getting a "Why did you to THAT for?" look from a bear? Not something I care to even think about. When big critters hit cars, it generally doesn't end nice like it did this time.

Quiet house? Let's see now...
Tuesday, departure day, didn't do a blessed thing after DH left. All's quiet. Whew!

Wednesday, push-pulled the walk-behind mower around trees and edges for the first time in over 2 years. (Felt good to work up a sweat and do something arthritis had prevented me from doing for too long.) Then scrubbed the algae off DH's pick-up. (He doesn't believe in washing the poor old thing, but I was ashamed to be seen in it, so had just had to do it.)

Thursday, pruned low-hanging new growth off firs and spruces to make future mowing easier. Hauled an orchard ladder out to the young 15-foot-high weeping willow that was leaning to one side, pulled it straight, and tied it off to a couple of stakes. Did a bit of grocery shopping.

Today, enjoying quiet house. I'm a bit stiff and sore from the last couple of days, so baking some cookies for tomorrow's game night. Yes, the games must go on. It wouldn't seem like Saturday without them.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
50. Ylee
11:50 PM GMT on June 28, 2012
I don't blame DH for being shook up, Briar! Thank goodness DH, the car, and the bear came out OK! As one who had $2K damage caused by a deer(Dang thing bounced off the hood, feet up in the air, landed on the side of the road, got up, and gave me a "Why did you do THAT for?" look, and walked away!), I'm glad DH was able to finish his business trip!

Enjoy the quiet house!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 130 Comments: 23184
49. BriarCraft
2:39 AM GMT on June 28, 2012
LC: Yeah, it sounds like DH would have done better to speed up instead of slowing down, but I think hitting the breaks is an automatic reflex. He called from Escondido a little after 5:00 this afternoon. Took the 210 and 15 to bypass L.A. and that worked out good. Uneventful driving, which is what I like to hear.

WTS: We always keep an eye out for deer along the highway. There's a reason for phrase, "deer in the headlights". Not exactly the sharpest tacks in the box. Bear are supposed to be smarter. But if DH had hit it head-on, I'm pretty sure it could have gone through the windshield just like deer can.

Skye: That's just plain scary. Sometimes the worst part about having a rare illness is finding a doctor to diagnose it correctly. I'm guessing you got lucky on that score. According to that link, you might have to be on the look-out for recurrences. I do hope that doesn't happen and that your DH regains his health and strength.

YCD: I can sympathize. When I lived in southern California, it was amazing all the friends I suddenly had from around the country. After awhile, it got to be really fishy. Maybe you should spend most of your time out on the boat catching fish instead!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
48. ycd0108
1:42 AM GMT on June 28, 2012
I'm too burnt to read the latest but I found this on Bogon's Blog:
""House guests are like fish. No matter how much you love 'em, they're no good after three days." In my experience, three days is just about right for catching up on everyone's doings, but short enough that you don't run out of things to say. Also, just about long enough to make you appreciate home all over again."
Looking at our summer schedule makes me wish I could just hibernate for about three months and I do love the people coming.
Part of the problem is overlap: we have (so far) two outfits coming here in August who we care for and who knows what others might show up.
Gotta go down and tell Tloml about the Fish.
She'll love it!
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 227 Comments: 6092
47. Skyepony (Mod)
11:56 PM GMT on June 27, 2012
Glad DH is alright. Dang them for scarin us:) Almost lost mine a few weeks ago. Looking better.

Enjoyed your pics. Always like a good waterfall hunt.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 417 Comments: 43826
46. WatchinTheSky
9:48 PM GMT on June 27, 2012
I hear many a tale of encounter from relatives of Mrs W who hail from Washington (especially Spokane and north), most had deer or moose in the story and the cars did not fair well! Glad DH did better :)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3950
45. LowerCal
9:01 PM GMT on June 27, 2012
Even a moment's pause after that first sentence could be an eternity. :^[

Glad that DH (and the car) is OK. Sounds like stopping the car threw off Bear's timing. Hopefully Bear fully recovers and becomes a more saavy running back as a result of the encounter.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 10335
44. BriarCraft
4:42 PM GMT on June 27, 2012
Poppy: I only plant short-season tomato and pepper varieties, shopping for seeds with the fewest number of days from transplant to first harvest. A new tomato this year I tried is Early Wonder, which is supposed to be ready to pick in 55 days, but if it's looking for 55 days above 70F, I'm going to be waiting awhile.

Pros: I always enjoy the flowers you share from your garden.

GG: Nice to see you being wordy today. It's probably too hot out to be turning soil anyway. Most years, we get a "heat wave" where we have 3-5 days of 90 temps and everybody complains. On the rare occasions when temps top 100, I have to water the flower beds 2-3 times a day to keep the plants alive. I'll bet folks around Dallas-Fort Worth would love to see temps in the 90s.


When the phone rang at 9:30 last night, I was immediately apprehensive. It was DH. His voice was shaky and his opening words were "Something bad just happened." All sorts of visions popped into my head, but the important thing I focused on was that he was talking, therefore (at least mostly) okay. No highway sounds, so he wasn't in the car or on the freeway. In bits and pieces, the story came out:

In the foothills of the Klamath Mountains, nearing Redding, California, something dark and shaggy and BIG was spotted in the headlights. Running to cross the freeway. It took a second for it to process. BEAR!!!

Brakes applied. Hard. Sound of screeching tires. Swerving to avoid. Loud thump. Car shakes as bear runs into right rear side of car. Rear view mirror reveals bear rolled, regained footing quickly, continued to run fast. Slowed car. Looked around. Didn't stop.

If you hit an animal with a car, the first impulse is to stop and see if the animal is injured, needs help. No way is an unarmed man going to ask a bear if it needs help. What to do???

DH drove to the next exit, stopped at a mini-mart/gas station. Looked at car. No dent. No blood. Called me while pacing off adrenaline. Based on the lack of damage to the car, it's possible the bear was just bruised and might be okay. One can only hope. DH loves animals and was quite upset at the possibility of one suffering.

Highway Patrol office just across the road. When we ended the phone call, DH was going to report the incident to them, so they could be on the look-out for a possibly injured bear. DH promised not to drive anywhere until he was calm.

I looked up California Black Bears on the CA Dept. of Fish and Game website. Females usually weigh 100-200 pounds. Males are commonly 150-350 pounds, although hunters have taken individuals weighing over 600 pounds.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
43. GardenGrrl
12:43 PM GMT on June 27, 2012
Hey Glad to see you are mostly functioning. One of those things that takes (ugh) time and patience. We have a massage school nearby that has hour long massage for $30 from a student. That helps a lot.

Heat helps with the healing too. I've been going outside in the blast furnace of afternoon and doing range-of-motion stuff. Speaking of, the heat we have is something your plants won't appreciate so I'll just keep the 100's here.

All my plants are going heat dormant. The pentas I call my "lazerus" flowers. They shrivel and wilt looking for all purposes done for, then revive with flowers after a good soaking. Have to till up the soil a bit. Watered last night for 20 minutes with the sprinkler and the soil is only wet to a half inch. Then it's dry and hard.

100's are hard on stuff. Hoping Roxie doesn't get a leg stuck in the ground cracks opening up. The indoor bonsai are real happy. Cactus and Fukein tea trees like these grow lights.

Hmmm I'm a bit wordy today...guess it's cause I'm not in the mood to turn soil ;)
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 305 Comments: 12794
42. Proserpina
10:33 PM GMT on June 26, 2012
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 200 Comments: 19757
41. calpoppy
9:56 PM GMT on June 26, 2012
Long road trip for DH! I hope he can enjoy some of the trip! Maybe he can bring some hot weather back for your tomatoes My DIL wanted to grow tomatoes in Kodiak, I told her to visit the nursery there and see what they grow. As you know there are many tomatoes for cool night areas. They actually got up to 70 degrees this last week, a heat wave Alaskan style.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 90 Comments: 5662
40. BriarCraft
8:52 PM GMT on June 26, 2012
WTS: Good to see you out and about! A lot of folks are surprised by the semi-desert east of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon. Kennewick only gets about 8 inches of rain a year, compared to San Diego's 12 inches. I'm fascinated by the geology, too.

Karen: I do hope you can slow down and rest up before you head out. You don't want to start your vacation all tuckered out!


Things have been crazy around here the last 24 hours or so and DH is now on the road to San Diego, approximately 1200 miles from here. I'm exhausted, but at least I don't have to cook tonight. Whew!

No, there's no emergency, but there is business for him to tend to in person. So, in the past 24 hours, we discussed what needs to be done, took care of last-minute chores, and got the car prepped and loaded for a long road trip. Now he's off to take care of business and I'm holding down the fort.

Think I'll treat myself to a nice, strong cup of coffee and maybe harass some cats for awhile.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
39. SBKaren
2:12 AM GMT on June 26, 2012
Hi Briar - well, the painting is done. I didn't exactly 'do it' for the company that's coming, but I just wanted it done and used the fact that company was coming to justify getting it done now!

The bathroom/closet does look better. I was completely exhausted last night - but I slept really well!

I don't know if I'll get to the carpet cleaning, but I'll try. Don't really have 'day' plans but have a few things going on at night this week.

My mom's 85th birthday is July 3rd, but we're celebrating on the 4th (as those that work get the day off). My brother's family will come up for her birthday and then just stay here, as we leave that upcoming Saturday for our vacation. They house site (and feed the cats for us), and they get their beach vacation in and get out of the heat of the desert. It's a win/win!
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 201 Comments: 15221
38. WatchinTheSky
8:29 PM GMT on June 25, 2012
Excellent travelog, darn - forgot the picnic basket though! Brought back some memories of when Mrs W and I drove up to visit her folks a few years after we were married. Up 5, then by the Dalles toward TriCities - her folks were in Kennewick. I was somewhat fresh out of SDSU and the geology of the area was of special interest - the lava flows, brown rolling hills. Much drier east of the Cascades than I was expecting. Hard to imagine the big flood when the ice dam broke and re-aligned the Columbia. Better then than now! The Gorge was impressive, thanks for the trip!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3950
37. BriarCraft
10:16 PM GMT on June 24, 2012
Ylee: I guess I shouldn't complain about the weather. Being from the PNW I have no tolerance for heat of any flavor. Maybe I'm being too demanding to wish for something on the high side of 70F and the low side of 90F. Ya think? And you're probably right about the physical improvement. Just because the zipper-scar looks healed doesn't mean the bone grafts and ligaments inside are fully healed. It does take time. And I am an impatient sort.

Karen: Re-read your post all you want, but re-read mine, too. I was agreeing with you that there is a lot to see in the Gorge and a little blog simply can't do it justice. The same could be said for a blog about Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. Things that big just blow your mind when you're there in person and photos are just snapshots and snippets of what one could see. And when you snap a lot of pics, it's tough to pick a sampling that does justice to the reality.

So, you're not only painting before guests, but cleaning before and after. At least you're only going to paint once... I hope??? I know where you're coming from with that. You want everything to be nice for guests, you want them to enjoy and be comfortable while they are there, and you don't want them to feel like they have to leave everything immaculate when they go. Nothing wrong with that, except maybe you expect too much of yourself sometimes. My husband likes to remind me that family comes to visit to see us, not to see our home.

Sandi: I see you know what I mean when I describe the growing -- or should I say lack-of-growing habits of my tomatoes and peppers. My tomatoes are 2 feet high. They were 2 feet high a month ago. And they're 2 feet high now. The only green tomato and tiny peppers were ones that formed while they were indoors, tenderly fertilized with an artists brush.

Sort of sensible is the best I know how to do. >8-}
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
36. sandiquiz
7:25 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
..... just sitting there, not dying, but not growing either. They need warmth, which we're just not getting. Again.
Whoever's got the summer weather: share it!

I was visiting another WU member yesterday who has a ploy-tunnel of plants that have sprouted, but are not growing, for the same reason. They need light and warmth to put on any growth.
My garden isn't too bad, but it is soppy wet - as Bug said, they will get root-rot!

I am glad to hear you are being "sort of sensible"!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 349 Comments: 31770
35. SBKaren
2:19 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Briar - I reread my post, and I sure hope I didn't imply that I didn't enjoy your photos. They truly are gorgeous, and you surely captured the beauty of the gorge. I guess I just remember so much more. I think we stopped at every single waterfall there was. I don't know the count, but I know there were many!

We've had really glorious weather. Even today was nice. They were predicting an overcast weekend, but that wasn't to be so. It was a little odd this morning, as it started somewhat clear, then the marine layer moved back in, then back out again. We've been in mid 70s and dropping down to low 60s at night. Perfect in my acclimated opinion!

Overall I'd have to say we've had an unusually nice summer. Usually, by now, I'm sick and tired of the marine layer and I'm whining to beat the band. We've had marine layer, don't get me wrong, but it has burned off so that we can enjoy a majority of the day. Really nothing to complain about.

We've been getting some painting done. We've done the closet and the bath area (shower and toilet), and tomorrow we'll start on the sink/counter area. All combined, still not a whole lot of space, it's just the emptying of everything and replacing of everything that takes so much time.

After the bathroom gets done then I'll move on to clean carpets. We've having the family over on the 4th for my mom's 85th birthday, and then my younger brother's family will stay here while we're gone. I always clean the carpets during the summer, and while it would make more sense to do it after everyone leaves, I just want a clean house before they come. I'm probably just making more work for myself....but what else is new???
Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 201 Comments: 15221
34. Ylee
1:46 AM GMT on June 24, 2012
Briar, I think a whole lot of us here in the land of WU would at the very least homogenize our weather, as it hot and dry, or hot and humid, or just plain hot! :)

Perhaps once you get to a certain point in your exercises, you will start to make a more rapid improvement. After all, it's only been three months since your surgery!

Take care!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 130 Comments: 23184
33. BriarCraft
8:08 PM GMT on June 23, 2012
Well, it looks like my comment from yesterday disappeared into the ozone or twilight zone or WUzone, so I'll try again. And make a couple of additions, as well.

Puget: Now I know the secret to you keeping up with yard work while juggling to keep several plates in the air. Boys. Lots of energy if you can once get them moving. Lots of upkeep, too, with hollow legs to fill with food every day. Seems like it might be easier just to do the yard work. At least that's my philosophy. ;-)

Sandi: "glad to see you are being sensible" Me??? I haven't exactly built a reputation on being sensible, but I am trying. Only overdid it one day this week, with a forced day of rest afterward, so I guess I'm doing pretty good. The problem is the dratted rain. Rain showers for 4-5 days then 1-2 dry days, during which time DH and I scramble to catch up to green growth all around. Hard to be sensible under those circumstances.

SP: Like you, one of the special things about being a WUville inhabitant is the virtual tours offered by various denizens from time to time. I enjoy getting a local's perspective on the sights. Glad I was able to share a little of that with you.

Ylee: Yep, those bills don't go away. And after a trip, they just seem to multiply. Hope it doesn't take too much for you to get all caught up on your work so you can enjoy your regular days off.


I haven't done a very good job of keeping you updated on my progress lately, so now might be a good time. On level ground, I frequently walk 1/4 to 1/3 mile. More than that and the hip suddenly starts hurting deep inside. I've been working on rebuilding muscles that were weakened from arthritis and surgery. For me, the biggest struggle is stairs, hills, or even getting up once I get down. I've been doing some exercises with two sizes of inflatable exercise balls to help strengthen abductors and quadriceps. It's starting to make a difference, but I've got a long way to go to "normal". It's now been a week since I needed to use a tool to put on my right sock, so flexibility is improving, too.

The flower beds are pretty despite some tall, healthy weeds. Still a few irises lending some color. Last year's pansies are giving their all. Biennial Sweet Williams planted last year are in full bloom, adding fragrance true to their name as well as bright shades of pink. I won't share any pictures, because the weeds are an embarrassment. My goal for the coming week is to see if I can't at least pull the tallest of those nasty weeds (those that can be reached without bending too sharply).

The way the weather has been, frankly I'm glad I don't have a garden this year. It looks like this will be the third green tomato year in a row. There have only been about 4 warm days so far this year. If I had planted corn, I don't think it would have been warm enough to sprout. The tomatoes and sweet peppers I started in March (pre-surgery) and transplanted outside May 30 are just sitting there, not dying, but not growing either. They need warmth, which we're just not getting. Again.

Whoever's got the summer weather: share it!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
32. Ylee
9:08 AM GMT on June 23, 2012
Hi Briar! Slowly catching up on all the blogs. Looks like you're doing a fine job keeping on!

Do you have anything planned this weekend? Me, I have at least three more nights after tonight. Gotta pay the bills! :)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 130 Comments: 23184
31. sp34n119w
9:06 PM GMT on June 22, 2012
I went through all your photos in the gallery before you'd posted the travelogue so it's great to read along with the pics here. The basalt formations are really cool! And all that water, all that green! Not SoCal, for sure, LOL
Much as I'd like to see it all myself I don't know that I'll ever get there and really appreciate the virtual tour :)

Happy to see that you are taking it easy and still getting out and about! Hope the weather cooperates … doesn't seem to be doing so right now but summer is here!
Um, right? ;)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 85 Comments: 4488
30. sandiquiz
7:06 AM GMT on June 22, 2012
Morning to you - glad to see you are being sensible and not over doing it. A fine line? Yes indeed.

A busy day and then I am away visiting friends tomorrow so might not be around until Sunday.

Take a gentle stroll through the gardening and no marathons.
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 349 Comments: 31770

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