Here's a quick followup to yesterday's mystery of the missing railroad tunnel. Dale offered the wise advice to consult the LIDAR survey instead of crawling through poison oak. The fine GIS folks at Hood River County directed me to this state LIDAR viewer, and all became clear.
First, a quick introduction to LIDAR. LIDAR is a very accurate way of measuring distance using reflected laser light. A LIDAR survey can not only show very accurate features, it can be done in such a way that it strips away vegetation to show "bare earth" where the earth isn't bare at all. LIDAR has been used to make significant archeological finds, or, in this case, railroadiphilic finds. As you can see, there is a clear 200 foot long cut through the circled point on the map. Jim and I spent a couple of hours on the ground here last week and had no idea this was a cut, but there is no way that uniform "v" shaped cut happened without human assistance.
We don't know if this cut was made as a result of trouble boring the original tunnel or if it was made at a later date, but it's pretty clear this is the 200' tunnel The Hood River Glacier describes in this article.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
Technology can be our friend!
Thanks Arthur for your leg work.
Dale Nicol on 1st September 2020 @ 7:06am
So you're saying it was a tunnel but is now just a cut through the rock where the tracks now lay?
Ben on 1st September 2020 @ 8:13am
We know they started boring a tunnel in1905, but they may have given up and switched to the cut we see today. Or they may have used the tunnel for some years, then replaced it with a cut later on. Ther is an example on the Union Pacific just east of here where a tunnel became a cut.
ArthurB on 1st September 2020 @ 8:29am
After yesterday's post, I looked at the "topographic" tab on Google maps and saw this same spot, and meant to email Arthur to point it out, but got too busy. The clencher for me was the scale on the Google map... a little bar marked "200 feet" that was exactly the length of the cut.
Kyle on 1st September 2020 @ 9:08am
So, that was a lava flow going back a couple of tens of thousands of years, that was a lava flow that has aged into rotten basalt that the Hood River has partially worn away?
nels on 1st September 2020 @ 1:27pm
Thumbs up to LIDAR, Arthur and Jim. Whoever he is.
Now, can LIDAR find where a house burned on the other side of the river?
L.E. on 1st September 2020 @ 4:17pm
L.E. Yes. If there was any sold material used in the construction of the house. Footing, fireplace chimney, Old homes usually had stones as footing, newer have cement. Old homes usually had a chimney, not all newer homes have a chimney. Also if there was any ground clearing, the work will show up and earth moved. I bet you will be able to find the location.
OrMtnMaid on 1st September 2020 @ 9:34pm
There are two things that look to be the pipe line. ButI only remember there being one. Any thoughts on that doubler?
nels on 1st September 2020 @ 9:36pm
LiDAR is super cool and you can easily go down a wormhole finding things you never knew were there. For example, take a look at how much of the hillside has eroded away across from (what we presume to be) Johnson's Point (off the end of Eliot Dr). Also, just out of view on the top (north) of this LiDAR image there is a massive slump adjacent to the new houses being built along the newly constructed 2nd Street. Follow the link Arthur provided and see if you don't end up getting sucked into as effectively as this site does!
Mike on 2nd September 2020 @ 10:51am