Roll On, Columbia

I’ve had an obsession with the Columbia River for years and touring the Grand Coulee Dam re-ignited that.  The Columbia River has fourteen dams between its source in British Columbia and the Pacific Ocean — and while the work of the dams is truly a marvel, I feel sad that the Great River of the Northwest is now “one big machine”.  There are a few small, free flowing stretches of the Columbia, where the river is beyond the reach of dams and a there’s a little of the feeling of what it originally was.  Woody Guthrie sang, “While you’re rambling, river, you can do some work for me,” and work, the river does. I have two books of photographs taken in the 1920’s before the river was contained.  The pictures are of an incredible river, wild and free.  Rushing waterfalls and dangerous rapids from thick forests through farmland and dramatic canyons.  I can understand why there was the desire to harness such an energy.  I so love that river now.  I wish I could have seen it then.





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