We were fortunate enough to be invited out onto our friends’ boat to cruise the Columbia River yesterday. To be sure, this is not a fancy pleasure craft or sport boat. It’s an over 50 years old fishing boat, and looks it. But it is still a blast to get out on the river and see everything from a different perspective.
The river was quite calm, almost glass-like. It provided some very nice and different photo opportunities; seeing the mountains in the reflection of the water.
Yesterday was a strange day also in that smoke and ash had crept into the Gorge from the Government Flat complex fires near The Dalles, Oregon. The smoke, along with some storm clouds made for some very interesting if not slightly disturbing light. Smoke clung to the mountain peaks and drifted into the canyons and valleys. We saw a few lightning strikes on the Oregon side and were very concerned of additional wildfires. Amazingly, shortly after a light rain started to fall. Normally, rain while boating can make for a less than enjoyable experience, but it felt good being out in the weather. It was still warm and the wet weather was very welcome in that it would hopefully provide some relief to the dangerous fire conditions here.
There are lots of fascinating little islands in the Columbia. Some are used as camping and fishing sites, and many are nesting spots for the variety of birds in the region.
As we were returning to the launch site at the mouth of the Wind River, I snapped this last photo that showed the smoke line in the distance. It was only about 12:30 in the afternoon but the smoke and storm clouds made it feel like near sunset.