Cascade Locks statues will honor Corps of Discovery stop

April 9, 2011


Artist Heather Soderberg has created a bronze Sacagawea statue that will be installed at Cascade Locks Marine Park April 13.

When Lewis and Clark passed through the Gorge on their return trip to Missouri, in April of 1806, the travelers found an area rich in wildlife, natural beauty and Native American trading partners.

In the area of present-day Cascade Locks, the expedition faced one of its bigger challenges: navigating the Cascade Rapids. Rushing water, high winds and driving rain made the task difficult.

So difficult, in fact, that the expedition was briefly separated on the night of April 9-10, 1806, as they tried to cross from the Washington side of the Columbia to the Oregon side. Three men and a canoe were left on the Washington side due to the high waves.

The remainder of the expedition spent the evening near Tanner Creek near Cascade Locks.

"In this channel we found a good harbor and encamped on the lower Side. We Saw Some deer Sign and Collins to hunt in the morning until the Canoes were toed above the rapids. Made 16 Miles to day. evening wet & disagreeable," wrote Captain William Clark in his journal.

In the ensuing days the group would cross back and forth from the Oregon and Washington sides, including visits to several Native American villages in the vicinity of Cascade Locks.

In the history of the expedition, the group's journey through Cascade Locks and Hood River County has been nearly completely brushed aside.

That changes April 13 when bronze sculptures of Sacagawea, the expedition's Shoshone guide, and Seaman, the Newfoundland dog belonging to Meriwether Clark, will be erected at Cascade Locks Marine Park.

"This is going to be a fantastic addition to the port," said Rachel Burand, the Port of Cascade Locks special projects manager. "We chose to do it on April 13 because that was when they came through on the return trip in 1806."

Local artist Heather Söderberg has been creating the sculptures of both Sacagawea and Seaman for the port, a multi-stage process that will not be finished until just before the statues are placed in the park.

When fully assembled the Sacagawea statue will weigh in at around half a ton and Seaman will weigh 500 pounds.

"It's a huge process," Söderberg said. "It takes months."

Söderberg moved her studio and foundry to Cascade Locks last year after being in the Wood Village area prior to that mainly because she believes that art makes communities a great place to be and she loves Cascade Locks and the Gorge.

"I moved my business here specifically to bring art here," she said. "I love Cascade Locks… and I've seen how much art can improve public spaces."

The process for having the two statues placed in Marine Park began several years ago, when a wooden sign commemorating Lewis and Clark's expedition in the park fell down from its pedestal.

Longtime Port Commissioner Jean McLean began advocating for a permanent replacement.

"I've been talking about that pedestal for a number of years," she said.

The conversation started as a statue of Lewis and Clark but eventually evolved into the bronze statues of Sacagawea and Seaman, with Söderberg taking on the project for just the cost of the materials.

McLean's term as port commissioner ends in June and she will not be running again. She said she is happy to have the statues going up before she leaves office.

"It's going to look good," she said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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