January 25, 2016

The Dalles Oregon Rich in the Cultural History of Oregon

By: Mary Pellegrini

The Dalles Oregon Rich in the Cultural History of Oregon

The Dalles Oregon has been the center of commerce for more than 10,000 years.  For centuries the Native Americans fished for salmon at Celilo Falls and tribes from far and near would bring their goods to trade for the dried fish.  The falls were flooded by The Dalles Dam in 1957 but spirit lives in the traditions and religions, indeed in the very soul of Columbia River Indian people. Their record of habitation proves Wy-am to be one of the longest occupied sites on the continent.

“Celilo still reverberates in the heart of every Native American who ever fished or lived by it. They can still see all the characteristics of the waterfall. If they listen, they can still hear its roar. If they inhale, the fragrances of mist and fish and water come back again.” - Ted Strong, Yakama

Guests at the Old Parkdale Inn often ask us how The Dalles got its name.  The word dalleis French for flagstone or slab, and referred to the flat and columnar basalt rock cut by the turbulent waters of the Columbia River.  The Dalles welcomed the hearty travelers of the Oregon Trail in the mid 1800’s.  It was here that pioneers loaded their wagons onto barges to continue their journey to Oregon Country in the Willamette Valley.

The Dalles is but 45 minutes from the Old Parkdale Inn and our guests love the day trip itinerary I assist them in creating. Stop in at The Dalles Chamber offices for walking tours and local information.  The Dalles Murals take your on an educational journey through town.  Klindt’s Booksellers is the oldest continuously bookstore in Oregon and the second oldest west of the Mississippi.  Next door is Breezeway Antique Boutique where about 15 vendors display their wares in designated spaces within the mall.  On the west side of town is The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum revealing the cataclysmic floods that helped shape the Columbia River Gorge.  Here also you’ll experience interactive exhibits of the Lewis and Clark expedition, The Oregon Trail and 10,000 years of Native American life in the Gorge.  For a scenic loop one can cross over The Dalles Bridge, drive West back on the Washington side of the Columbia River, cross back into Oregon and The Old Parkdale Inn.

The Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast can be your home base for exploring and enjoying the Hood River Valley, Mt Hood National Forest and the Columbia River Gorge. After a full day, you’ll love the peace and tranquility of the Old Parkdale Inn and we’ll get your started with a hearty breakfast.  Relax in the gardens, recognized as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat, perhaps with a glass of wine from a bottle you picked up at a local winery or our wine cabinet.  We can even have a bonfire, roast some s’mores, if you’d like.  Outdoor adventures such as kayaking, windsurfing, skiing, snow boarding, and hiking await.  Mt. Hood Meadows, Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, and Timberline Ski areas are only a short drive away, as is the vast Mt. Hood National Forest where trails and wildlife abound. Reserve your stay now.

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