We’re honored to help bring @USGS Researcher Jim O’Connor to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center for a special Father’s Day event on Sunday, June 18th. Jim will be part of a day focusing on the culture and history of the Columbia River, including a Traditional Native American Salmon Bake and Jim’s presentation, “Before the Dams: the Geology of the Columbia River Gorge“
The Columbia River Gorge is at the amazing intersection of geologic processes and human interactions. Volcanism and uplift of the Cascades volcanoes are pitted against the power of the Columbia River, while the river provides food resources and a natural transportation corridor through the Cascade Range that has created a hub of commerce and cultural exchange.
Lava flows and landslides have repeatedly invaded the Gorge, but the Columbia River, powered by the annual snowmelt from half a continent and occasional ice-age megafloods, persistently incises through these materials, maintaining a near-sea-level path through the Cascade Range.
Before the dams were built, the first fisheries took advantage of geologic choke points such at Cascade Rapids, a remnant of the Bridge of the Gods landslide dam, and at The Dalles of the Columbia, the historic locus of valley-bottom incision. These fisheries relied on the historic runs of salmon that have battled their way upriver and supported human life for more than 10,000 years
Now hydroelectric dams take advantage of those same constrictions and hydrologic head to distribute the rivers power throughout the west. This infrastructure exists in a relatively quiet geologic setting due to a human-scale respite in the geological tumult of lava, floods, and landslides. But eventually the river and arc will battle once again. How will that reshape the landscape of the Columbia Gorge?
Fathers get free admission on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18. A live raptor demonstration will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the River Gallery. Children’s activities will be available in the Kids Explorer Room
Enjoy a mid-day traditional Native American Salmon bake. The salmon will be prepared by Brigette and Sean McConville who will demonstrate traditional methods of preparing and cooking fish. The $15 luncheon will include side salads. In addition, Indian Fry Bread prepared by the Kalama family will be available for purchase. The McConvilles, from Warm Springs, maintain Salmon King Fisheries, a fishing and retail business on the Warm Springs Reservation. Lunch tickets are available first come, first serve and when the salmon is gone, it’s gone.
So bring the whole family and enjoy a day of fun, 9 a.m to 5 p.m., at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles.