Sometime in the late 1940s the Dorpat family made its first trip from Spokane to Portland and first stopped to witness this sublime Multnoma Falls. It was not, perhaps, the most exciting stop along the Columbia, that distinction still held to Celilo Falls, with the native american fishing platforms and the camps they had set up beside them. I remember that it was explained to me – I don’t remember by whom – that the many jalopies strewn about the camp site were often abandoned cars, left to weather, for “the Indians never fix their cars.” This seems wonderfull and strange to me at the time, now it seems more like an example of racist half-wittedness. The Dalles dam submerged the falls, the camp sites and whatever motorcars were no dragged or driven to higher ground. My most recent visit to this subject – Multnoma falls was in 2005, and Jean was driving. We were chasing some repeats for our book “Washington Then and Now.” It is a sign either of being in a hurry or, most likely, our inured sensibility that we scarsely turned our heads to find the falls as we past them on what is now a freeway along the river’s Oregon side. Now and suddently I wonder if I might have posted this subject earlier. It is a another tribute to Horace Sykes that he too in the late 1940s – most likely – felt the need to record these falls in spirt of the season. But some last vestigas of fall’s bouchet survive here and the falls themselve are softened in the dim light with a slow shutter.

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