Shellrock Mountain challenged road engineers from the 1800s through modern times. Here's the Columbia River Highway shortly after its construction (circa 1915). These Hood River women are on the wrong side of the snow drift, but fortunately there are two shovels handy for them to clear the way.
Can you imagine trying to drive up through there? Wonder how many hours it would have taken to get from Portland to Hood River. You better have had your lunch and dinner with you. I can recall that before the freeway was built it would take somewhere between 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours to get from Hood River to Montgomery Wards over on Vaughn St. So just going to the "city" was an all day outing.
I rather doubt if those "ladies" shoveled any snow, that wasn't a "ladies" job in that era. Wonder if the poles were at an angle like that from wind and maybe the snow pushed up against them.
Charlott on 11th February 2014 @ 7:05am
Definitely a large snow drift caused by the east wind. Those things are packed so solid they take forever to disintegrate. That narrow gap between Shellrock and Wind Mtn, can create some big piles of snow.
Shellrock Mtn is quite an amazing piece of geology. I look at it from the Washington side and wonder how in the heck you are suppose to safely put a road along that rock pile.
Are the Davidson ladies returning home from an unplanned stay in Portland?
l.e. on 11th February 2014 @ 7:21am
My dad used to tell the story of when he was a little boy during the depression and traveling from the coast to the Evans orchards behind Mosier. The family spent the summer picking fruit. He said the kids would get off the truck and walk and could keep up when the old truck was pulling steep grades. When he was logging on the mountain behind Mosier in the later 50s he used to keep the Evans orchards roads graded and in good shape. Mr. Evans used to leave a peach tree beside the road unpicked for the logging crew to eat on their way home from work. We used to stop and gorge ourselves on the juiciest peaches I have ever eaten. I wonder if the Evans kids still have orchards up there?
Buzz on 11th February 2014 @ 7:56am
This link, has a photo at the bottom of the page from almost the exact same spot.
Just east of here, at Starvation Creek is where the 1884 train was stranded for 21 days in the snow. No one starved to death, but that is because Hood River people packed them food. I don't think there were very many people living in HR in 1884 to pack food!
A great article about Shellrock, with photos by Tom Kloster
Lynn Topinka has a Penny Postcard taken at Shellrock Mtn that shows the community of Collins Point across the river. I think that is the only photo I have ever seen of that steamboat stop.
l.e. on 11th February 2014 @ 7:58am
This looks quite a bit like Sisters today - officially 36" of snow and the thaw has started.
In the late 40's, I remember driving with my family down what is now the "old" hiway after spending Christmas with my grandfather in Hood Rover. There was a terrible snow storm -I remember mother telling me it took 5 hours to get to the dairy that had the billboard "You can beat our milk, but you can't beat our cream". Is that right? I don't think it is. . . I'd love to read the correct quote.
Jill Stanford on 11th February 2014 @ 11:50am
I stand corrected. My dad's family picked fruit in the 20's. By the 30's my dad was logging. My uncle was born on the Evan's place, and by the early 50's was an aeronautical engineer in California. Easy to work your way up, when you start out picking fruit.
Buzz on 11th February 2014 @ 12:27pm
Yes, the road trip from HR to Portland was a bit long....always someone car sick at the million $ restroom, then when passing 12 mile corner (Gresham) we knew we were close to, in our case Sears (now Metro's Headquarters). us kids were always in the back seat; thus car sickness as the road until 12 mile corner seemed to be all curves.....
I had not heard before about the HR folk supplying food to the stranded train passengers.......
Arlen Sheldrake on 11th February 2014 @ 3:09pm
Jill, I think it is something like: you can whip our cream but you can't beat our milk.....Arlen
Arlen Sheldrake on 11th February 2014 @ 3:13pm
The train was headed from The Dalles to Portland on 18 December 1884, when it got trapped between 2 snow slides, with drifts some 25 feet high. There were about 148 people stranded on that train. It was Christmas Day when the "rescue" team reached them with much needed food. Bet that was a wonderful Christmas present. It was a week later, when the train was able to back its way to The Dalles. That was one long train trip.....
Charlott on 12th February 2014 @ 7:11am
Thank you Arlen - I believe that is correct! It was driving me "nuts". And yes, my sister and I were nearly always car sick in the back seat on those long,long drive in a Buick. We drove 99 from Seattle to Portland, stayed overnight at the Mallory Hotel and then progressed up the Gorge to HR. THe opening of I-80 has made such a difference but I often drive the "old" highway to see the sights that are now hidden.
Jill Stanford on 12th February 2014 @ 9:42am