Our visit started with a lecture at the visitor center.
This generating station was completed in 1938 and had additions in the early 1940's. A second powerhouse was built and went on line in 1986. Together the two plants can create over 1200 megawatts of power.
The current navigation lock has only one chamber and uses the more traditional swinging doors. We are in the lock and looking upstream.
Here we are heading out of the lock and into the lower river. There are no more dams all the way through Portland, OR and to the Pacific.
A few miles downstream from the Bonneville Dam and Lock, we were able to get a nice view of Beacon Rock. This 848 foot basalt volcanic plug is now a Washington State Park and there is a popular mile long switchback trail that leads to its summit. It is an important marker on the Lewis and Clark journey not because they climbed it (neither did), but because it was while camped near there that they started to find the first measurable tides on the river. It was now clear that they were getting closer to their final destination--the western ocean. Like many natural features this one has gone through some name changes over time. Native Americans called it "Che-Che-op-tin" which basically translates as "the navel of the world." That was a pretty good comparison as the basalt plug actually was the core or belly of an ancient volcano. Lewis and Clark first called it "Beaten Rock" probably because it was so rough and weathered. That name was changed to "Beacon" by an early editor. It was also called Castle Rock for a time before being officially named on maps as "Beacon Rock" in 1915. If you need more on this massive landmark check out the website below.
https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/beacon-rock This site also has a wonderful picture of the river taken from the top of the summit trail.
Hey, let's run on down to Multnomah Falls. Sorry, you'll have to wait for the next boat in Part VIII.