I'm the leader/chaperone guy for a group of Portland teens, who fan out around the walls and caverns of HorseThief Butte. These crags are the stalwart remnants of a basalt monolith that survived the prehistoric glacial floods. We play hide and seek, evading one another behind rock outcroppings, laughing. Once we get our breath back, we climb to the top to eat our lunch. The Columbia River surrounds the escarpment like a horseshoe. Mt. Hood dominates the skyline with its sharp relief.
Before the creation of the dams, there was a Native American Village on these shores. The Columbia roared cascaded over a steep drop known as Celilo Falls.. For many and more generations, the Wishram and other indigenous peoples gathered their sustenance from the river, netting and spearing behemoth salmon. The dams flooded everything, buried the falls and the village. Today, hand crafted wooden fishing platforms remain along the shores; weathered white, the bones of what once was.