EasyCLIMB Trail, Cascade Locks, OR
Cascade Locks has always been a point of confluence and collision. The area itself naturally features a squeeze point, the bridge of the gods, originally told in Klikitat legend as a land bridge between now Oregon and now Washington. This legend tells that the creation and subsequent destruction of this bridge, Tanmahawis, was the result of warring brothers feuding for a maiden's love. They fought bravely, and in the midst of the earth rumbling 'neath furious battle the bridge collapsed into what once was the mighty Cascade Rapids. Myth mimics reality, and as such geologists still quarrel today over the geologic cause: was it the Bonneville Landslide or the Cascadia Earthquake?
The same turbulent waters of legend, the same Cascade Rapids stood in the way of increased river and commodities traffic several hundred years later, thus a city arose from the shore. Cascade Locks came to prominence November 5th, 1896 upon the completion of a massive public works project aimed at navigating these waters. Named the Cascade Lock and Canal, this lock system flooded a two mile stretch of river, once falling 40 feet in that duration. A short 42 years later, the completion of subsequent dams (Bonneville and the Grand Coulee) submerged the project permanently to sleep with the Sturgeon.
Our modern conflict, as you all know has to do with water rights from a certain Oxbow Springs. And as you know, many other outlets tell the tale better than myself, so I'll leave most of it to them. But I do have two honest questions regarding contractual happenings between Nestle and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife: how, of all places, is this water SO special that, as an organization, Nestle may begin to purchase water at a rate of $45/min? AND for some maybe $23 MILLION a year...where's the money goin' ODFW, or Cascade Locks, or...?
Upon these hallowed, legendary grounds we raced cross. We had mud. We had sand. We had another varied course with excellent features and certainly a few get rad sections. We raged battles personal and public and shook and carved the earth with our not-so-sharply shaped tires. We also fought for love; of sport, of tradition and of family. When we finally calmed and removed our wanna-be hero suits, we realized that we differ from the rest of our tale.
Few of us are legends. Our cause will probably not be remembered and at the end of the day, the bridges with which we concern ourselves should not be about destruction.
A huge thanks is in order. Ben Chinburg, a most sincere thanks to you! Ben shot the photos from the A races on as I had to transition myself into race mode. Dude's got a background in camera work for a Eugene news station, and damn did he do a fine job. Could not have done this one without ya!