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Paperback, 164 pages
$34.95 list price
The dramatic beauty and stunning natural features of the Columbia River Gorge between Oregon and Washington States has drawn photographers and adventurers to record its drama since the photographic medium arrived in the American West in the mid-1800’s. From Carlton E. Watkins’ first glass plates in 1867, through the plates and film negatives of such photographers as Benjamin Gifford, William Henry Jackson, Edward S. Curtis, and Ray Atkeson, the Gorge has been captured and shared with the world, first for tourism and commercial expansion; later for recording the impressive geologic and cultural significance the region holds for the North American continent.
The unique and diverse beauty of the region is still available live, and in-person. This book does not attempt to pass itself off as a collection of “vintage” photographs, authentic to the past, but rather embraces the look and style of those bygone photographer’s work, while showcasing the modern look and form of the Columbia River Gorge, as they “may have seen it” - today. Imagine stepping back in time, but remaining firmly in the comfort of the present.
"Enter The Gorge - Beauty of the Columbia River Gorge" by Jon Ares
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From the book jacket:
Cradled by the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to the north, the Mount Hood National Forest to the south, the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area to the west, and the arid, wind turbine-dotted range land to the east, the geologically significant Columbia River Gorge radiates a natural beauty, but also demonstrates Nature’s never-ending journey of evolution and change.
A sea-level gap cuts through the North America’s Cascade Mountain Range, traverses decidedly diverse ecosystems, and within minutes, one can travel from the lush, green rain forests of old growth fir and cedar, mixed with deciduous maple, cottonwood and ash, plus many varieties of fern that dance in the mists of dramatic waterfalls, continue through a leeward slope of pine, oak and grasslands, which gives way to sagebrush, parsley flower, parched red rock plateaus, and lava beds of the Northwest High Desert.
This region is not only home to well over a thousand different kinds of plants found nowhere else on Earth, but historically has been home to thousands of indigenous peoples from many local tribes that called the Great River home, and thousands more that would travel to this region annually for fishing and trading. Archaeologists have uncovered more than ten thousand years of continuous occupation here - more than five thousand years before the construction of the Egyptian pyramids along the Nile.
Much has changed in ten thousand years, and much more change is ahead. Nature continues to reshape the Columbia River Gorge, and Mankind’s hand can be seen throughout much of the region. But Nature continues to control the land and water, retaking what Mankind once controlled, and restoring her claim on the cliffs, canyons, fields and streams. In 1986, the United States Congress created the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, effectively curtailing potential rampant urban development across the most sensitive portions. As Nature continues to repair the wounds of overzealous entrepreneurs (including, but not limited to logging companies and commercial fishing operations), government agencies and volunteer groups have taken a careful hand in presenting some of Nature’s most spectacular treasures in this region, by resurrecting ancient (and not-so-ancient) trails and roadbeds, so others can enjoy, and understand the beauty that is the Columbia River Gorge.