The Trails of the Columbia River Gorge - A Reminder to Share the Path

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

 

 I (Debb) was going through some files today and found some photos taken several years ago, while hiking in the Columbia River Gorge. Specifically, we were hiking the old Columbia River Highway State trail.  Here's a photo of Mac and Bernie enjoying the trek through the Mosier Twin tunnels.   The first tunnel is the longest at 288 feet, and the next one is 81 feet long.

 

 

As you can see, the second and shortest tunnel has wood panels framing the walls and ceilings. 

 

We are sorry we don't have photos to share of a hike we once took on the Oneota Gorge trail. It too is an engineering marvel and the tunnel was a sight to behold. 

 

 Photo Courtesy of Hikelandia 

 

Photo Courtesy of KGW 


Building it was quite a tedious task too. Crews had to blast through basalt using the skills of an expert in explosives. The tunnel was completed at a cost of $6,683.88. Can you imagine the costs of such a project in today's dollars?  

 

Sadly, in 2017, the longstanding Oneota tunnel was consumed by flames. Despite a ban on the use of fireworks and high fire dangers in the Gorge, a teenager sparked a wildfire by throwing a smoke bomb into tinder dry vegetation. He has been ordered to pay 36 million dollars in restitution. One wonders how likely the 15-year- old will be able to fulfill that obligation.  

 

 Photo credit - Doug Gross, Oregon Department of Transportation 

 


The Oneonta tunnel was orginally built for cars traveling along the historic Columbia River Highway. It closed in 1948 and stayed closed for over half a century, until it re-opened in 2009 for pedestrians and cyclists only. 

 

Nearly two years after the devastating Eagle Creek fire, the tunnel remains closed. The fire also burned more than 48,000 acres in the scenic Columbia River Gorge. Other hiking trails, also damaged by the flames, could remain closed for years. 

 

The sign pictured in the first photo, urging hikers and bikers to share the path, takes on bittersweet tones. If we all remember the importance of sharing the path with others, whatever the path, what a more harmonious world we could create.

 

 

 

 

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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.

 

360-608-4900 

info@natureasneighbors.com
 

                                                                             

 

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Rainmaker
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Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

What a cool looking tunnel. How sad that the recklessness of one person caused so much devastation. They talked about that on the cruise I just took.

Jul 17, 2019 02:53 PM #1
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Yep, it's heartbreaking on so many levels. The young man is apparently very remorseful and also has quite a few community service hours to fulfill. Personally, I'd have ordered him to work fire-lines for a number of years - or at least work at some type of support for weary firefighters. 

Jul 17, 2019 03:12 PM #2
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Debb and Bernie- when I first read those signs it reminded me of times when Larry and I are walking and a cyclist approaches from behind with any kind of bell or signal. But then those photos of the tunnel were amazing and yet another turn as I read about the fire.  That teenager could never repay the damage that was done but I agree with you...doing some kind of community service for the firefighters in the area might serve to show him the ripple effects that his action caused. 

Jul 17, 2019 07:43 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Not being a hiker, Debb, I enjoy the beauty of the trail through your photos. Heartbreaking to see the "fire picture." 

Jul 18, 2019 05:19 AM #4
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Kathy, I too hope he is able to recover from this and become a wonderful participant in making the earth a better place.


Hi Nina, it is heartbreaking to lose landmarks to fire...

Jul 18, 2019 07:16 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Good morning Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, these pictures are just amazing. I LOVE the picture in the tunnel. Have an awesome Thursday! 

Jul 18, 2019 07:18 AM #6
Rainmaker
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Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Wow, that is very sad to see such a beautiful place destroyed by the mischief of a child that should have known better.  I am glad that he was punished harshly but agree that it is unlikely he will ever be able to pay the total restitution.

Jul 18, 2019 08:39 AM #7
Rainmaker
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Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD such an important message for all...we need to maintain our history, parks & all the surroundings for future use!

Jul 18, 2019 09:51 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - Considering what was then and what is now, it is a lucky thing you both got to see and walk through it to appreciate the engineering and architecture that built those tunnels. 

How sad it is that one stupid mistake can cause such a disaster. The bridge across Lucerne in Switzerland is architecturally amazing and built of wood with paintings. At one time one of the bridges caught fire and it took a long, long time to restore. When and if you walk through the bridge you can tell the original from the reconstruction. There really is no comparison to being original. 

Although it may not be in our lifetime, I hope the Mosier Twin Tunnels will be restored. All we can do is have hope, especially for our youth to be more careful and respectful.  

Jul 20, 2019 04:11 PM #9
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

                              

Jul 20, 2019 09:46 PM #10
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Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
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Thank you two for sharing the photos of the Columbia River Gorge Trail. 

Jul 21, 2019 12:17 AM #11
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Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
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As you are in Clark County, have you heard about the Crystal Geyser water grab happening in nearby Lewis County? You can learn more at Lewis County Water Alliance on Facebook. Thanks.

Jul 21, 2019 12:18 AM #12
Rainmaker
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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
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Great post! I can see why Kathy chose to highlight it this week!  I love hiking/trails/nature!

Jul 21, 2019 06:46 AM #13
Rainmaker
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Debb and Bernie,

I missed this post of yours this week!  I am so happy that Kathy Streib chose it, as it is a bittersweet example of teaching how important it is to take care of our natural habitats and truly share our wealth of nature.  I so agree with you about training this young man to work the fire line...A

Jul 21, 2019 08:22 AM #14
Rainmaker
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Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD 
As you know, I grew up very near there. My brother still lives less than a mile south of Crown Point. Your post brings back a lot of memories. It is a beautiful place.  It was very sad that such carlessness started the fire in 2017. So much to do and see in along the historic Gorge.

Jul 21, 2019 11:38 AM #15
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I would have enjoyed wandering through those tunnels. And what a shame about the kid and the fireworks; that was a prime example of one decision causing long term consequences.

Thanks for sharing!

Jul 22, 2019 03:23 AM #16
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