Friday, June 11, 2010

3 Days to Snake River

Shatoosh and Hira are marching to the beat of a drum, while Pashmina is taking a snooze on the trunk cabin.
Too Tall is cracking the whip on the canvas maker to make a Delta covering for his cockpit, and was unable to depart yesterday. Since going to bed very early, I am now up and busy at 0130 hrs and decided to take some time to talk about this trip.

If people are interested in the geology please Google the Missoula Floods. The 1,000 mile Snake river headwaters begin in Wyoming and carves its way south into Idaho, then it turns west towards the Oregon border. Then it turns north cutting through millions of years of basalt to form the deepest canyon in the USA: Hells Canyon with Idaho on one side and Oregon on the other. Hells Canyon is 1 mile and a half deep from the river bottom to the top of the mountains above the river. As it continues north it reaches Clarkston Wa- Lewiston Idaho and then forms a confluence with the Clearwater River and turns northwest again where it reaches it most northerly course of 46 degrees- 42 minutes north latitude after passing through Lower Granite Dam. We will join these historic waters in Clarkston and cruise over the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery trail now covered in water from the damming of this River. Too Tall is a Corps fan, as well as I am. He even owns the original copies of the Journals. We have lots of Corps literature on board. Lewis and Clark are always in my awareness when I am cruising on Shatoosh, as we have been cruising the various areas of the expedition since being on the Columbia. There are 16 dams on the Snake river, however we will lock through 4 of the Snake River Dams dropping from 738 ft above mean sea level(msl) to 440 ft msl. Three locks are a hundred ft in height and one is 98 ft. Each dam creates about a 35 mile lake in between.

The Snake River converges with the Columbia at mile marker 325 sm from the Pacific Ocean. The entire length of the Columbia is over a thousand miles from its origin in British Columbia to the Pacific. We slip into it at the Tri-Cities Area of the Washington cities of Pasco, Kennewick and Richland. I will remind everyone again about the fabulous link I have at the bottom of the blog called the Columbia River Images. There is an image index where you can click on each area we will be cruising in and you will be able to read the history and view photos of the area. This includes the Lewis and Clark Journals.We will be reading along with you.

The entire Columbia River has 14 dams on it and we will be locking through the lower 4 dams. The John Day Dam has the deepest lock in the world at 105 feet. These dams drop from 440 ft msl to 72 ft msl at the Bonneville Dam.The Columbia river gorge is deep and narrow with winds suitable for the World Wind Surfing events. One of its narrowest section appears to be just down river of The Dalles. We always refer to the "Mighty Mississippi", but I think we should refer to the "Colossal Columbia", as it is, just that!