Five Fun Facts About The Willamette River

Willamette River

Willamette River

The Willamette River flows north through the Willamette Valley and right past a number of notable Oregon communities, including Salem, Corvalis, Albany, and Portland. It also provides a lot of scenery and recreation along the way too.

Here is a look at five fun facts about the Willamette River.

Tributaries

There are twelve rivers that flow into the Willamette River: Coast Fork Willamette River, Middle Fork Willamette River, Long Tom River, McKenzie River, Calapooia River, Marys River, Luckiamute River, Santiam River, Molalla River, Yamhill River, Tualatin River, and Clackamas River.

Distances

The Willamette River is 187 miles long. Where it flows into the Columbia River is 101 miles upstream from where that larger river meets the Pacific Ocean.

A Lot Of Water

Though it pours into the Columbia River closer to its end than its beginnings, the Willamette River contributes about 12 to 15 percent of the total water flow of the Columbia.

The Largest!

By water volume, Willamette Falls on the Willamette River just south of Portland, is the largest waterfall in the American Pacific Northwest.

The First Western City

Oregon City was founded on the shores of the Willamette River, right at Willamette Falls. It was incorporated in 1844. This made it the first incorporated city in the United States, west of the Rocky Mountains.

Five Fun Facts About Mount St. Helens

mount st helens

Mt. St. Helens made worldwide news in 1980 when it erupted violently, killing 57 people and causing a great deal of devastation. Shortly after its eruption, Mt. St. Helens became one of the top attractions in the Pacific Northwest. In the decades since the eruption, people who live within the region, as well as those who are traveling to the area from around the country, have ventured out to see and learn as much as they can about this important natural attraction.

There is a lot to know about this incredible place to visit. Check out these five fun facts about Mt. St. Helens.

What’s In A Name?

Mt. St. Helens was named by explorer George Vancouver in honor of his close friend, and British diplomat, Alleyne FitzHerbert, 1st Baron St. Helens.

Thanks, President Reagan!

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan and the United States Congress established Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

On The Big Screen

The film, The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens, was made by a film crew that was dropped on the mountain just five days after the May 18, 1980 eruption. The crew became lost soon after and had to be rescued by the National Guard on May 27th.

Who Owned It?

At the time it erupted, the summit of Mt. St. Helens was actually owned by the Burlington Northern Railroad. It had been part of the North Pacific Land Grant signed in 1864 by President Abraham Lincoln.

Tons Of Ash

It’s estimated that a total of 2,400,000 cubic yards, or 900,000 tons, of ash from the eruption of Mt. St. Helens had to be removed from highways and airports in Washington State.

Five Fun Facts About Pendleton, Oregon

pendleton oregon

pendleton oregon

Pendleton, Oregon sits in the eastern part of the state and is south of the Columbia River and the border with Washington. It’s famous for the Pendleton Round Up, a major annual rodeo which brings approximately 50,000 people into the city each September. Pendleton is also home to the nearby Wild Horse Casino which is another popular draw to the area. The Old Town section of Pendleton is listed as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places and is an interesting part of town to visit.

Pendleton can be a fun weekend destination or a great place to stop on the way east or west through the region. Here is a look at five fun facts about Pendleton, Oregon should you be heading that way.

The Pendleton Round Up

The Pendleton Round Up began in 1910 and is a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and in 2008 it was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. The ten events held there include bareback riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, steer roping, calf roping, Brahma bull riding, team roping, indian relay races, steer wrestling, and wild cow milking.

What’s In A Name?

The city of Pendleton was named for Senator George H. Pendleton of Ohio. He was the 1864 vice presidential candidate, who along with presidential candidate George B. McClellan, lost the election to Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.

Underground Pendleton!

Part of downtown Pendleton features underground tunnels and basements that were once part of the community’s “red light district”. Today, there is a popular tourist attraction that takes travelers on tours of these underground spaces.

Training World War II Heroes

Jimmy Dolittle’s Raiders, the World War II squadron that bombed Japan from a great distance away, did some of their training at Pendleton’s airport.

Famous Sports Names

Before having a 16 year Major League Baseball career that included appearances in three All-Star Games, slugger Dave Kingman was born in Pendleton. Pendleton was also briefly the home to Pro Football Hall of Fame member, and Dallas Cowboys star, Bob Lilly who had relocated there from Texas for his senior year of high school.

Five Fun Facts About The Yakima River

yakima river

yakima river

The Yakima River rises near Cle Elum and winds its way all the way to where it meets the Columbia River at the Tri-Cities. Along the way it provides scenic beauty and recreational opportunities to visitors and local residents alike. It also flows by several great destinations.

Here are five fun facts about the Yakima River.

How Long?

Over the course of its run from the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains to where it meets the Columbia River, the Yakima River travels 214 miles.

The Longest Of Them All

The Yakima River is the longest river that is entirely within the borders of Washington State.

Tributaries

The Yakima River has three tributaries. The three rivers that flow into it are the Cle Elum River, Teanaway River, and Naches River.

Are You A Beer Lover?

The water of the Yakima River irrigates approximately 75% of the hops grown in the United States.

Yakima River Communities

The Yakima River flows past the communities of Cle Elum, Ellensburg, Selah, Yakima, Zillah, Granger, Prosser, Benton City, West Richland, and Kennewick.

Five More Fun Facts About Spokane, Washington

Spokane Riverfront Park

Spokane is the second largest city in the State of Washington and the largest east of the Cascade Mountains. Spokane is home to a number of great lodging options, some awesome places to eat, and some fun things to do and see including shopping, Riverfront Park, Mt. Spokane, museums, and more.

It’s always fun to know some little known info about some of our local destinations. With that in mind, we hope you enjoy Five Fun Facts About Spokane, Washington.

Happy Father’s Day!

On June 19, 1910, at the YMCA in Spokane, a Father’s Day celebration was held. This was the first celebration of the event. It wouldn’t receive a presidential proclamation until Lyndon Johnson did so in 1966 and in 1972 became a national holiday when signed into law by Richard Nixon.

A Cow Town?

The first settlers in what is now Spokane were cattle ranchers S.R. Scranton and J.J. Downing.

What’s It Mean?

In the local native language, “Spokane” means “Children of the Sun” or “Sun People”.

Hoopfest!

Spokane’s Hoopfest, an annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament, is the largest event of its kind in the world. It began in 1990 and is held on the streets of downtown Spokane.

A Narrow Interstate

The Spokane River Centennial Trail connects Spokane all the way to the Washington-Idaho border. It’s 37 miles in length and follows the Spokane River. At the border, the trail continues on for another 24 miles under the name of the North Idaho Centennial Trail.

Five Fun Facts About Grants Pass, Oregon

Grants Pass sits in southern Oregon, right on Interstate 5 and very near the community of Medford. This is a fun community with some great activities. It’s also very near to some honest to goodness first class attractions too like Wildlife Safari, Oregon Caves National Monument, and Crater Lake. You could even take Highway 199 and head west to the Pacific Ocean!

It’s always nice to know more about a place before you visit. Here are five fun facts about Grants Pass, Oregon.

What’s In A Name?

Grants Pass post office was established in 1865 and was given its name to honor the success of future President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant’s success at Vicksburg during the Civil War.

Coffee, Anyone?

In 1992, two brothers joined together to run a small pushcart coffee business in downtown Grants Pass. That one pushcart would eventually grow to become the very well known drive-thru coffee chain, Dutch Brothers.

Old Newspaper

The Grants Pass Daily Courier, the main newspaper for Josephine County, was established way back in 1885.

Grants Pass Running Back

Dick James was born in Grants Pass and would go on to play football at the University of Oregon. He was then selected in the 8th round of the 1956 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He played eight seasons with the Redskins and then one each with the Giants and Vikings. 2002 would see him named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins on the 70th anniversary of the team’s founding. He would also be so honored in 2012 as a member of the 80 Greatest Redskins. As of 2016, he still holds the NFL record for most career rushing touchdowns by a player born in Oregon.

Oldest and Best

Grants Pass is home to the state of Oregon’s longest running growers and crafters market.

Five Fun Facts About Rocky Reach Dam In Washington State

Rocky Reach Dam

Rocky Reach Dam sits just a few miles north of Wenatchee on the Columbia River. It’s a vital part of the hydroelectric dam network in the region. If you’re traveling through the area, stop there and enjoy the viewpoints, park, playground, and museum.

Here are five fun facts about Rocky Reach Dam.

From A Distance…

Rocky Reach Dam sits 215 river miles south of the Canadian border and 473 river miles above the mouth of the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean.

Location, Location, Location

After the original survey work had been done, the original planned site of what would become Rocky Reach Dam was actually approximately one mile upriver of where the dam was eventually built.

Birthday

Construction began on the Rocky Reach Dam project on October 2, 1956. Famous people who share October 2nd as their birthday with Rocky Reach Dam include Mahatma Gandhi, comedian Groucho Marx, comedian Bud Abbott, lawyer Johnnie Cochran, singer Don McLean, fashion designer Donna Karan, singer Sting, quarterback Mark Rypien, and talk show host Kelly Ripa.

Rocky Reach Dam… A TV Star

Rocky Reach Dam was featured in a 2009 episode of Dirty Jobs, hosted by Mike Rowe.

A New Lake

When water started backing up behind Rocky Reach Dam it formed a new reservoir known as Lake Entiat.

Five Fun Facts About The Hood Canal Bridge

Hood Canal Bridge

Hood Canal Bridge

The Hood Canal Bridge is a famous structure in the Pacific Northwest. It stretches for nearly a mile and a half and features a draw span in the middle that is opened periodically to allow watercraft to pass through it. This is a main travel feature to the region and handles much of the traffic going to or from the Olympic Peninsula.

If you’ve traveled across the Hood Canal Bridge you know it’s an extremely memorable experience. Want to know more about it? Here are five fun facts about the Hood Canal Bridge.

What’s In A Name?

Known to almost everyone as the Hood Canal Bridge, it does in fact have another name. The official name for the bridge is the William A. Bugge Bridge. Bugge was the director of the Department of Highways for 14 years, from 1949 to 1963.

The Longest Of Its Kind

The Hood Canal Bridge is the longest floating bridge over a saltwater tidal basin in the entire world.

The Timeline

The Hood Canal Bridge saw construction begin in 1958 and it was opened in 1961. 1979 saw a violent wind storm sink much of the western section of the bridge. That was rebuilt and reopened in 1982. Then from 2003 to 2009, an extensive project was undertaken to replace the eastern half of the bridge.

Open Sesame!

Washington State law requires the Department of Transportation to open the Hood Canal Bridge within one hour’s notice of a boat or ship requiring to pass that way.

The Toll Has Got To Go

When the Hood Canal Bridge had reopened in 1982, it had done so as a toll bridge. The tool booths were removed in 1985 after a court determined that the insurance funds used to partially rebuild the bridge constituted repayment of the original bonds used to fund the construction of the bridge.

CHECK OUT MORE ABOUT THE HOOD CANAL BRIDGE:
WSDOT – Hood Canal Bridge