As of Tuesday, January 12, 2016
If you plan to send a box via Priority Express come Tuesday, you can attach a scenic slice of the Gorge.
The United States Postal Service is honoring the Columbia River Gorge with a postage stamp all its own. It’s a nice Northwest memento, but the new stamp doesn’t come cheap. One Priority Mail Express stamp — which gets you the “fastest domestic service” — will set you back a whopping $22.95.
The 2016 Priority Mail Express stamp, set to be released Jan. 17, will honor “the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge,” according to Dan Schaer, Portland district marketing manager, “featuring a grand and gorgeous scene that will be familiar to locals.” (In fact, Crown Point is believed to be one of the most-photographed locations on the planet.)
The stamps will be available starting Jan. 19 at Oregon post offices in the Gorge, including Bridal Veil, Cascade Locks, Hood River, and The Dalles. (Post offices are closed Jan. 18 for the Martin Luther King holiday.) No special cancellations are planned.
The stamp comes just ahead of the 100th anniversary of the historic Columbia River Highway celebration in June.
Bill White of Brightwood, a Centennial Committee member, said the group is pleased the Gorge is honored with a stamp, though it had lobbied for a less expensive issue. Anyone can buy one stamp or a sheet, and they will be available until postal rates are increased again, according to Schaer.
The image, created by Chicago-based illustrator Dan Cosgrove, is set high above the Vista House atop Crown Point on the Oregon side of the Columbia River.
The stamp is the most recent addition to a long tradition honoring natural wonders via mail. In 2006 the postal service released a commemorative “Wonders of America” stamp series that included Crater Lake, the Pacific Crest Trail and the coast redwoods, among others.