Fisherman Travis Choquette's work begins long before he ever steps foot on a boat. The expert angler, who owns and runs Fish Hunters Guide Service, prepares for every trip weeks in advance. He researches current river conditions and checks records from past fishing seasons, which helps him uncover the hiding spots of salmon, sturgeon, and other species. Finally, he crafts homemade bait that's designed to attract each targeted species like a magnet attracts whatever magnets eat.
All of this work pays off on Mr. Choquette's 23-foot, custom sled boat. Aboard this vessel, he takes small groups out into the Columbia River, where they can go after coho salmon in the summer or winter steelhead in colder months. Or the anglers may target what Mr. Choquette considers the region's most sought-after fish: the spring chinook, a salmon that averages 20 pounds. Groups often find success regardless of what's at the end of the line. Mr. Choquette's online gallery reveals the beaming faces of many anglers, some holding catches that stretch more than half their body lengths.
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Two great eyes keep lookout over the residents of the Columbia Gorge. Her name means "She Who Watches," and Tsagaglalal has been watching the land transform for centuries. According to Wishram legend, she was once chief of all who lived in the region, and she preferred to govern from high on the cliff side where she could look out over everything. One day Coyote came to her. Soon, he predicted, women would no longer be able to be chiefs, even though she was a good leader who taught the people to live well. She wished to stay where she was, forever, and Coyote granted her wish in his trickster way by turning her to stone.
Like Tsagaglalal, the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum strives to keep watch over the area by acting as a steward to the gorge's natural and cultural history, which stretches back 40 million years. So it was that Wishram spokesman Nelson Moses dedicated Tsagaglalal's spirit to the museum in 1987, and granted permission for the organization to use Tsagaglalal's image as their logo.
Being less than 1 hour away from Portland, visitors to the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum can explore the region's entire 15,000-year history, starting with the First Peoples exhibit which is dominated by a replica of the Tsagaglalal petroglyph. In the exhibit Clahclehlah and the Corridor of Commerce, a less familiar perspective of American history becomes clear as the tale of Lewis and Clark is told through the oral history of a Native American village the explorers visited in 1805 and 1806. Early Changes takes the form of a dry goods store circa 1907, and Transportation covers the history of the SP&S Railroad, the development of Highway 8, and the era of the sternwheeler. Outdoors, visitors can find cedar log carvings, vintage logging equipment, and a diesel locomotive. Visitors especially enjoy the McCord Fishwheel and the giant Corliss Steam Engine.
Dreamboat Cruises harks back to a bygone era, sweeping passengers on scenic cruises aboard the Ananda, a 1929 Blanchard motor yacht. This beautifully restored vessel—outfitted with modern amenities such as an electric-flush toilet—features an iconic, whitewashed hull and raised foredeck that adjoins a squared-off passenger house. From this heated enclosure, passengers observe the Portland waterfront's forested terrain and signature landmarks, such as the country's oldest vertical-lift bridge that's also made out of popsicle sticks.
Specializing in six-passenger tours, Dreamboat Cruises adjusts its excursions to suit each season. Whereas winter trips highlight holiday lights and Christmas ships, other outings feature bridges, shipyards, and depositories of misplaced tub toys. In addition to tours, Dreamboat Cruises hosts intimate weddings and memorial cruises.
Growing up in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, Jess Zerfing has been casting lines since he was just 11 years old. Today, he wields his years of experience to the benefit of his clients at Always Catchin' Fishing Charters, LLC. During chartered outings, he steers his boat toward spots that bustle with fish throughout the year. Anglers can expect to reel in salmon and steelhead through the fall, while sturgeon populate the Gorge year-round, because they're lazy.
Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of about 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.