When I was very young my idea of Thanksgiving was turkey stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. As I matured, attending Mass in the morning and then having a great dinner was how I pictured that special day. Always after the big dinner we would go on an adventure of some sort depending on weather conditions. Cave exploring was alway my favorite. White Nose Syndrome killing off the bats put an end to that particular activity as many caves were closed. Sledding in the snow down the steep hill west of the house was popular as well. With climate change we rarely have the snow during Thanksgiving anymore. Now we generally go for a beautiful family hike somewhere and that is what we did this year at Stub Stewart State Park located not far from Pebble Creek where Jason and Jeannette host Thanksgiving this year.

Stub Stewart St Park, just a few miles from the Lindeth’s, has miles of trails designated for hikers, horseback riders, and bikers.

Earlier in the week I prepared a full on Thanksgiving dinner for Taylor’s family and grandpa. Trout Lake school had a fund raiser selling apple pies so I purchased one for our dessert.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was late in the day after school and basketball practice so after dinner we just did routine things like homework and projects.

Chris, our family friend who now lives in Los Vegas, was home to spend Thanksgiving with his family. When Chris comes home he and I try to get in at least one hike, weather and circumstances permitting. The weather was beautiful so we decided to check out the White Salmon River where Condit Dam stood for 100 years until it was breached and removed in 2011. The dam was removed because the investment needed to comply with new requirements was estimated at $30 to $50 million, while at the same time the amount of water available for power production was reduced. The removal of the dam was a big deal at the time making national news. Locally it was very controversial and exciting. First we checked out the trail along the White Salman at the north end of where the backwater of the lake behind the dam once stood.

The shady areas were covered with frost, providing miniature beauty at every step.

The entire trail we walked was once below the surface of what was known as Northwestern Lake

Then we drove south about three miles to where the dam once stood. It is amazing how nature healed that area to where you would never guess there was ever a dam there.

Condit Dam
Water flow was stopped while preparing to breach the dam
A hole was blown at the bottom and the water surged out with catastrophic force
For miles below the dam the banks of the river were decimated

It was incredible how in just a matter of months the river banks were starting to heal themselves. Within a week the water was flowing clear again.

What we see in these photos was under water for 100 years

I am happy to see the river back. On the other hand we spent many years fishing and boating in Northwestern Lake. Often, as the sun was coming up, I would be on the lake in my kayak enjoying the sunrise. It now gives me the shivers when I see how deep that lake was. At the time I had no idea. Trout caught were exceptionally delicious as the water in that lake was colder than normal. Northwestern Lake was fed daily from White Salmon Glacier on Mt Adams.