The Dalles

April Doornbos By April Doornbos , 15th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Oregon

This involves every day life in the northern town known as The Dalles, Oregon and the local Indians that live along the Columbia river.

I-84 East Oregon

While driving towards the Columbia River Gorge on the I-205 north toward I-84 east I noticed several signs that said "The Dalles", never heard of it, what's that I thought? Oh well I guess I'm going to find out so after making several quick stops along the way as the gigantic breathtaking river kept me company as I drove towards my destination The Dalles, once I got there a small town by Los Angeles standards but just big enough for my local needs like a super market, post office, gas stations and of course the pikeminnow sign-up station for this area to turn your fish in if in fact you actually manage to catch one or one hundred like some of the veteran fishermen and of course a marina and a place to park my RV while I try and catch fish. My first photo is taken just a mile or two from The Dalles and you can see how wild and open this stunning area still is, oh and let's not forget about the breathtaking beauty of Mount Hood and Mount Adam.

The Marina

The Dalles marina was located just east of the small town but not past the immense dam and the bridge I would attempt to fish from which I thought I was totally out of my mind as I attempted this acrobatic feat of catching fish 150 feet from this intense dam as it expelled torrents of water as it produces electricity also the smolt and hatchery fingerlings must pass through the turbulent waters of this intense dam, no wonder the Pikeminnows catch so many disorientated smolt ( baby salmon ) and let's not forget about the abundant birds that are on constant patrol but hey they have human deterrents shooting off loud firecrackers and lets not forget about the wires that span the entire river from one side to the other in front of the dams, the whole thing is an obstacle course.

The Yacima

While searching for accessible areas to attempt to fish I came upon many strange looking and thrown together tribal fishing platforms for the Native American's only unknown to me at the time and I actually crawled out on to one like a bug on all fours not trusting the platforms or the intense wind that rarely stops blowing incidentally making the Columbia Gorge area the wind surfing capital of the country. They must be completely insane sailing across the river hanging onto their parachutes that propel them across the wide and very deep river. After several weeks I did encounter several local Indians, they have treaty rights and even sell some of the salmon or steelhead they catch and they even smoke it over Alder wood which grows all over. I also met one elderly Indian that was making an arrowhead from a piece of clear and very sharp blackish stone with rust colored streaks running through it, it is called Obsidian, with the blunt end of a deer antler, just slowly chipping of flakes until its just the right size and shape to fit into the notch at the end of the piece of wood with tree sap that will eventually become an arrow. A lot of work if you ask me but that's not all the Indians collect the legs of deer that have been shot and as the hunter discard their legs the Indians remove the tendons and use them to bind the arrow head and the sap to the wood and finally turkey feathers are used on the other end, awfully complicated. Traditions of these people ancient culture are still preserved this way and I found it thoroughly fascinating as I learned about their culture.

Tribal Rights

The Native America's, Indians have agreements in place when this wild land was settled by the " White Man " but there where conditions agreed upon and these are some of the Indians rights, they are allowed to hunt year round for elk, deer and other wild prey, also they are allowed up to six fishing poles at once unlike the white man who has to pay extra for an extra fishing pole. The Indians from different tribes have different days to fish the Columbia, they are also allowed long line fishing and gill nets and sell some of their catch to us white people which can be cheaper than trying to catch them yourself and the expense that goes with it. It all became a very interesting and informative experience to learn about this beautiful country we call America the beautiful.


Camping, Columbia River Gorge, Native Americans, Traditions

Meet the author

author avatar April Doornbos
In my younger days I exercised famous racehorses until I injured my spine since then I have traveled to Europe many times and all over the Unite States.

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author avatar happy camper
18th Apr 2014 (#)

another good article
thanks april

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