Synopses & Reviews
Distributed by the University of Nebraska Press for Caxton Press
Teeming with the history of the Pacific Northwest, the mighty Columbia River is one of the longest rivers in North America. Surprisingly, however, this 1,243-mile-long river begins not in the familiar Columbia River Gorge separating Washington and Oregon but rather 1,000 miles upstream, near the British Columbia-Alberta border. Long before Capt. Robert Gray discovered the river's entrance in 1792 near what is today Astoria, Oregon, it served as a water highway and a critical source of food for Native people and the earliest Hudsons Bay Company pioneers. Today it continues to function as a watercourse for barges and ships carrying commercial goods to the world.
The Columbia has, however, been an enemy at times. Before dams controlled its flow, vicious rapids claimed lives, and the river, swollen by melting ice from Canadas Columbia Icefield, often flooded towns as distant as Portland, Oregon. At the same time, it has always offered stunning scenery. Read about the early river steamers on both sides of the border. Ponder the travels of salmon. Who built the Grand Coulee and Bonneville Dams? What happened at the Hanford Project? Explore with David Thompson, who discovered the source of the river. Meet the real people who call the Columbia River shores their home. The book's four sections as well as the Travel and Trivia section have been updated to expand our knowledge of the towns and people along the river.
About the Author
JoAnn Roe, a widely published journalist, is the author of seventeen books, one of which was the basis of a documentary for Japanese television. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and the recipient of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, the Governors Award, and other honors.