We have a series of shadowy images showing a train blocked by a snowslide at Shellrock Mountain. I understand this happened quite often. We saw a similar event in an earlier posting, though this one appears to predate the Columbia River Highway.
It should look very familiar to anyone who drives on I-84 regularly. You can see the 19th century wagon road traversing the scree field above the train tracks. The road is still visible today, though you have to look a bit harder.
Looks so very cold. The convict road was much higher up Shell Rock.
Charlott on 28th October 2015 @ 7:01am
The wagon road is climbing to go east over the top of Summit Creek Falls. The later attempted to construct a road by convict labor was at the level of the present highway, pictures show them working very near the river.
Kenn on 28th October 2015 @ 7:57am
I have to somewhat disagree, as my father showed me the original convict road that he traveled when he was a little boy. That road was way up high, in fact I can see about where it was about, in this photo............ My guess is that it had already pretty well slid out by the time this photo was taken....They may have attempted a lower one, that I don't know.........
Charlott on 28th October 2015 @ 8:07am
I think Shellrock Mountain must have been a dangerous and cantankerous obstacle for early Gorge travelers.
Even now, it doesn't look all that stable, but, what a fascinating area of geology.
L.E. on 28th October 2015 @ 8:12am
I wonder why the early photos of this area don't show the large dead tree stumps of the submerged forest?
I think those trees were pine and you no longer see pine growing in this area.
L.E. on 30th October 2015 @ 11:35am
From an interview with Henry Metzger of Carson,
"In December of 1884, we were caught unprepared in the worst blizzard that had visited the Pacific Northwest in general, and the Columbia Gorge in particular, in the past 50 years. Just the week before Christmas. As we had but little provisions on hand and none to be had in the neighborhood. We had to get out or face starvation, and so on Christmas morning, ....we started out, walked across the Columbia River on the snow covered ice to Cascade Locks.
There we found food conditions rather bad......The railroad had been blocked by snow for five days already and there was no telling when it would be opened......
The next morning we started out for Hood River, walking up the Columbia River on the ice. At Shellrock, which is opposite Wind Mountain, we saw one snow drift on the railroad track where the snow was piled up, way above the telegraph wires and on the upper side the track was blown bare of snow.....
L.E. on 26th November 2015 @ 8:59pm