Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Ride on The Columbia

It was a great day yesterday. We got to go for a ride on the Corps of Engineers boat with 3 of the rangers to gather up some river water. P8080071 

Here is Jim showing Ranger Tim how to collect the samples.

P8080033They then send it to Oregon State University to test for the larvae of zebra and quagga mussels, which are invasive species that can threaten native fish and clog water-intake systems at power plants. They were found in Nevada’s Lake Mead in 2007, and have spread to other western lakes and waterways. We saw many signs, inspection stations and boat washes at various lakes we’ve camped at this summer.

The fun part of our trip was getting to pass through the Bonneville Lock.  It is a strange feeling when the gates close behind you and you’re sitting in a small boat with the water rising or falling. 


This is where you loosely tie off your rope as the water level changes.


And the point of no return once the gates close.


While we were stopped collecting samples, we got to see a barge and the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler go by.

P8080027 P8080028 P8080040


On our way back through the lock we shared it with a sailboat. Since his mast was so tall, they had to open the swing bridge to let him through. This is the same bridge we have to cross to get to the ranger’s office or to get out off the project on the Oregon side. It can delay you anywhere from 15-30 minutes. We’ve only been caught twice so far in the 2 weeks we’ve been here.

P8080056 P8080057 P8080059  P8080062   P8080066


Then last night we sold our other bike to an engineer from Portland, another one of those geeky recumbent riders. We’ve ordered a couple Rans crank forward bikes, and they should be shipped Monday. There are lots of trails to ride around here, so we are hoping to get some  good use out of them.


  1. Neat! I'm enjoying reading about your time on the Columbia. We love that area of the country.

  2. Louise,
    We've only been here 2 weeks but so far we love it here. Looking forward to our 3 months stay.


  3. We've always thought about going for a boat ride on the Columbia, but never have! Can you believe that we've lived such a secluded life down here in Eugene?