Archive for the ‘Autumn/Fall 2008’ Category

September 30 – October 6, 2008 Trip to Soap Lake, Washington to see KC’s sister

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Camping at Horsethief Lake, September 2008

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Bob and I recently camped for four nights at Horsethief Lake which is a Washington State Park found only ten miles from our home.  Horsethief Lake is special to me because the park was developed by the Corp of Engineers.  My Dad was the “dam carpenter” on The Dalles Dam project.  His duties included building the restroom/shower room at Horsethief Lake, planting the trees and grass, and basically developing it into a beautiful park.  Every spring my family spent most weekends at Horsethief Lake as it was one of Dad’s favorite fishing spots.  I learned to waterski on this lake and many of my best childhood memories are of the fun we had there.

Here is the view from the door of our RV.

Dad planted those trees! 

While we were there, we took a tour to see Native American petroglyphs and pictographs.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and we had a wonderful time.  Here is the view from the trail.

The Native American artwork is amazing to see. 

The highlight of the tour was Tsagaglala.  Okay, okay.  Just call her “She Who Watches.”

The tour was about a half mile round trip, but Bob and I had to walk on uneven ground and climb over rocks and small boulders.  We both did great.  Here we are taking a break.


There are many rock walls around the Horsethief area.  Our tour guide said that they were built long ago by the Native American people.  I wonder, however, if they weren’t perhaps built by early pioneers who homesteaded the area.


Bob says his knees are great!  He had no pain hiking along the trail and he’s only three months out of surgery!  We had a good time at Horsethief Lake.  I’m sure we’ll go back.


Exploring the Mt. Adams area

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

In early September of 2008, Bob and I took a drive through part of Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  The Gifford Pinchot National Forest surrounds Mt. Adams and borders on Mt. St. Helens.  We were looking for huckleberries, but we were too late.  They had already been pretty much picked clean.

Mosquito Lake is a popular picnic area and is truly beautiful.

Mt. Adams is a dormant volcano that is 12,277 feet high.  Snow covers it in the winter and the melting snow and glaciers feed many rivers year round, including the Klickitat River which meets the Columbia River right on the edge of our hometown of Lyle, Washington.  As you can see, much of the snow melts during the summer.

Looking through the forest to the west of Mt. Adams is Mt. St. Helens!

There is a Native American myth about Mt. Hood in Oregon, and Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens in Washington.  It goes like this.

The chief of all the gods, Tyhee Saghalie and his two sons, Pahto (also called Klickitat) and Wy’east, traveled down the Columbia River from the Far North in search of a suitable area to settle.

They came upon an area that is now called The Dalles and thought they had never seen a land so beautiful. The sons quarreled over the land and to solve the dispute their father shot two arrows from his mighty bow; one to the north and the other to the south. Pahto followed the arrow to the north and settled there while Wy’east did the same for the arrow to the south. Saghalie then built Tanmahawis, the Bridge of the Gods (near Cascade Locks, Oregon), so that his family could cross the mighty Columbia River to meet periodically.

The two sons of the Saghalie fell in love with a beautiful maiden named Loowit, but she could not choose between them. The two young chiefs fought over her, burying villages and forests in the process. The area was devastated and the earth shook so violently that the huge bridge fell into the river, creating the cascades of the Columbia River Gorge.

For punishment, Saghalie struck down all three of the lovers and transformed them into great mountains where they fell. Wy’east, with his head lifted in pride, became the volcano known today as Mount Hood; and Pahto, with his head bent toward his fallen love, was turned into Mount Adams.  The fair Loowit lay in the foothills of Mt. Adams.  She is Mount St. Helens, known to the Klickitats as Louwala-Clough which means “smoking or fire mountain.”

However, there are many different versions of this tale.  One of them includes Sleeping Beauty who rests at Mt. Adams feet.  Can you see her?

Here is that version of the Native American myth:

Squaw Mountain came into the mountains and fell in love with Wy’East (Mt. Hood), a large mountain to the south of the Columbia River. To get Wy’East’s attention, she flirted with his brother Pah-toe (Mt. Adams) to the north. This made Wy’East very angry. The two mountains fought over beautiful Squaw Mountain. The brothers fought as great mountains do, shedding their beautiful white coats and belching forth lava, steam and ash. They threw great white-hot stones at each other, setting fire to the forests, killing game and driving people into hiding or causing them to flee the country. The large rocks they threw at one another shook the earth so hard that the Bridge of the Gods, a natural stone bridge spanning the Columbia River broke and fell into the river. They continued to fight until Pah-toe, the larger of the two mountains defeated Wy’East.

It was determined that Squaw Mountain should take her place by the side of the victor, but since it was Wy’East she truly loved, her heart was broken. She laid herself down by the feet of Pah-toe, falling into a deep sleep from which she has never awakened. She is now known as the Sleeping Beauty, and she lies where she fell. It is said that Pah-toe once had a tall straight head like Wy’East, but when he realized the fate of his bride, he dropped his head in shame, never to raise it again.

This is a picture of the cascades at the spot in the Columbia River where the epic tales say that the Bridge of the Gods collapsed into the river.

This is the modern Bridge of the Gods crossing the Columbia River at Cascade Locks, Oregon.

Here is a picture of poor old Wy-East (Mt. Hood) taken when Toni and Jim were here for a visit.

Hope you enjoyed this little visit into Native American mythology.

Where we live in Lyle, Washington, we are less than an hour’s drive from Mt. Adams in Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and Mt. Hood in Mt. Hood National Forest.  It is beautiful here.  Come visit!