Bridge of the Gods, Mountains of Fire
I can't take the credit for this tip title, as "Bridge of the Gods, Mountains of Fire" is a title of a book relevant for those wanting more information about the Columbia River Gorge.
There are several Native American legends regarding a natural bridge across the Columbia River that was once at this location. Typically, the legends involve two young lovers whose relationship cause the the two mountains on either side of the river (today Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood) to be thrown into a firery rage (literally). In many cases, the two spirits of the mountains were competing or angry with each other.
After throwing fire rocks across the river at eachother for some time, one of the rocks landed on the bridge, and made it collapse. Thus, it separated the people of the north and south, as they were no longer able to cross the bridge.
When it was decided that this location would make a great spot for a new highway bridge, this ancient legend was the inspiration of the name of the bridge now connecting Oregon and Washington at Cascade Locks: The Bridge of the Gods.
The modern bridge is thought to be close to the location of the old natural bridge. One of its concrete supports features the mural seen in the main photograph for this tip. There is a small fee for crossing the bridge, which is owned and maintained by the Port of Cascade Locks.
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Trailhead Park Christmas Lights
Every year, for most of December, you can find Trailhead Park, at the entrance to the Bridge of the Gods, awash in decorations for the season. Many of these are animated in some way or another, and some of them are unique creations for only that particular year.
Sadly, most people only enjoy them by driving past them at a high rate of speed (much faster than the local speed limit allows). Parking your car in town and taking a quick walk up to the park allows you to get a closer appreciation for these sculptures.
1. This is one of the unique animated light displays. The most animated part of it is the jumping fish, which jumps out of the water to the left and passes through the air, landing with a splash (created with lights) on the right side of the pond.
2. These skaters are not animated, but the string lights behind them are, with an effort at producing falling snow.
3. The center sculpture is the most animated of this bunch, as the figures (angels? gingerbread men? children?) jump rope.
4. This is a look towards the toll booth over the Columbia River, with Santa on the left. It isn't extremely visible, but the entire toll booth is decorated in seasonal lights and statues as well.
5. The helicopter at the center of the display is the animated one here, with the lights creating a whirling rotor and tail.
- Arts and Culture