Recent posts on this blog showed the Columbia River near Vantage, currently drawn down 26 feet to take pressure off Wanapum Dam, which has a 65-foot-long crack discovered in February.
The fascination for old-timers is that the river now somewhat resembles its smaller, pre-dam (1963) days.
This week while driving west on Interstate 90, I turned off on Silica Road – familiar to those bound for Gorge concerts – to old U.S. Highway 10, which I drove through Frenchman Coulee to the road’s terminus at the river's edge.
I was able to find the spot where my dad stood in 1955 when he photographed the road and river (left) while driving home to Seattle.
Although I shot the scene later in the evening and with a wider focal length than the 1955 shot, it approximates what my dad saw.
The river surface may have dropped considerably since February, but the impounded Columbia is still a much larger body of water than it was 59 years ago.
Grant County PUD said last week it projects Wanapum Dam repairs will cost $61 million, and the water will remain at its low level at least through July 4.