Friday, January 8, 2016

The Mosier Twin Tunnels

It took me awhile this morning to sort through my favorite photographs of this hauntingly beautiful destination.  Because hiking to the Mosier Twin Tunnels, high above the Columbia River, is part of my daily routine, I haven't considered writing about it until today.  Duh.  What have I been waiting for?  

Perhaps because the secret is out.  On any given weekend, the road is packed with kid-toting families and bouncing dogs.  Bikers come roaring down from Hood River at high speeds and man, you better get out of their way because they ain't stopping.  But go early on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning, and the five mile trail is yours.  And yours alone.  This is when the magic oozes from both ends.
 
This narrow road between Mosier and Hood River, Oregon was part of the historic Columbia River Highway in the 1920's when cars, too, were very narrow.  But as they got bigger and bigger, only one car at a time could drive through the tunnels.  Accidents piled up.  Not only that, but big chunks of the basalt cliffs broke off and turned those Model T's into pulp. The road was closed.  The tunnels were boarded up.  Eventually they filled up with rocks and debris.  And were forgotten.

Until 1995.
This is another reason why I am so in love with this place.  The Powers That Be actually restored the tunnels to their former glory and then opened this stretch of road to pedestrians and bikers only.  For the enjoyment of its people.  Period. To a cynical ex-Californian like me who saw billions of dollars thrown at widening the 101 while hiking trails and state parks were neglected and even closed, the completion and success of such a project seems like a minor miracle.  No.  Make that a major miracle.

And so I continue to walk up this road and through the tunnels every week.  Under sunny blue skies.  Under dark wet ones.  I soak in the view.  I take pictures.  Oh, brother, do I take pictures.


I am in love with Oregon.




2 comments:

  1. Wow. I didn't even know this existed. And it is so beautiful. I promise I won't go stomping through there early in the morning and ruin your nice solitude but I am going to check it the next time I'm up that way. Oregon is such a special place.

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  2. Don't mean to sound like such a misanthrope. You are most welcome to join me hiking anytime!!!

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