That pioneering woman, Lady Columbia roams wild and free. She wanders through manly mountains and secret Sasquatch forests on her way to Mother Ocean at the Oregon coast.
Long before Lewis and Clark, her Columbia River curves coaxed an Oregon Trail through the Pacific Northwest.
Craggy cliffs. Diamond river sparkles. Freckle-faced wildflower slopes.
Dinky dog towns of the Columbia River Gorge.
As Gorge summers heat up, raging wind whips river surf, miles from the ocean.
Hood River, Oregon - windsurfing capital of the world.
Wind junkies return each year, braving long voyages back to secret spots, across the miles - up hill, up river, migrating like salmon friends do.
Hood River, Oregon comes alive with cab-over campers, Sprinter vans and beat-up SUV’s, packed street-light high with windsurf boards, mountain bikes, snowboards and SUP’s.Over sized, over stuffed rigs overflow small town roads, bulging with racks and stacks and trailers of gear.
Gorge road trips mean tail wagging adventures and big happy dogface grins. On all kinds of species.
In summer, all roads lead back to the Columbia Gorge.
Hood River - small in size, huge in spirit – home of extreme athletes, entrepreneurs and community-minded creatures.
Surf dogs fill our beaches.
Windsurf central is The Hatchery, where salmon too, are reborn.
From Doug’s Beach, you can sail across from Mt. Adams to Mt. Hood and drop in at Rowena on the Oregon side.
The Wall. Mellow Mosier.
The Hook brings up next gen surf dogs.
The Event Site overflows with water dogs from local to global beaches. The sandbar shrinks and swells with river flow, where the Hood meets Columbia. Surf dog central - where canines and kiters roam.
Long before the name Hood River - this river, this town - was Dog River.
Here in small town America, people give back and help out with their whole hearts, like nowhere else on Earth.
Dog River rushes down from Mt. Hood to the Columbia as snowmelt and salmon migrate.
Salmon surfers sail beneath our toes and our towns and our paws and our sailboards.
Fish ride river surf, over locks, under flocks of eagles and fishermen. Drawn like sunset, and Lady Columbia, to Mother Ocean.
Then, turn around and swim another 100 miles back home.
Up a creek, uphill, over rocks, crossing currents and swells, riding against tide and rational thought - returning to spawn in dinky dog ponds fed by the tiniest trickle.
Like the rest of us surf dogs, they are drawn here each year.
Together, we migrate and mingle.
Share a home and a life and a season, a reason.
With river and forest and land and all creatures in it.
- Barb Ayers, DogDiary.org, home of the secret Surf Dog Diaries
From "Writing Up the Gorge" exhibit at Columbia Center for the Arts, Hood River, OR