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Old 05-06-2013, 01:32 AM   #1
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If it's spring it must be

Time for another cruise to Fishhook Park. So this weekend GW and I took off for a long weekend trip up the Snake River to one of our favorite destinations—Fishhook Park. There’s a Corps of Engineers park there and it’s a beautiful place to camp. They also have a decent dock (no power or water) that’s sheltered from the winds but not from the wakes of passing tugs and barges.
The weather for this trip was darn near perfect. Temps were in the low 80’s and the winds were light for most of the trip. We took off Friday around 1:00 and just slow cruised about 5 miles down the Columbia then 11 miles up the Snake River to Ice Harbor Lock and Dam. I called the lockmaster on the VHF as we were approaching and he had the downstream gate open and gave us the green light to enter as we got to the lock.
Here’s what the lock looks like from about ½ mile downstream….

And as we approached the lock….

At this point we’ve pulled into the lock and have tied to the bollard at the side wall. The bollard floats up and down with the water level changes. The lock is 68’ wide by about 668’ long and the walls are 120’ high. It can be very intimidating when you first enter the lock….

It’s always kind of fun to see how much we are lifted as the water rises. Ice Harbor is among the largest lifts in the US. Normally we go up/down about 100-105 feet…
Here’s our starting water depth….

And the ending water depth. If my math is correct, that’s a lift of 116’. That’s the highest I’ve ever seen it….

Here’s a shot of the water as we’re being raised. The water enters the lock through large valves in the bottom of the lock near the center…

Here we are at the top waiting for the cantilever gate at the upstream end of the lock to open…

And a shot looking back as we exit the lock. Don’t ya just hate boating when the water is so rough…

Here’s a shot of what the countryside looks like along the Snake River. It’s pretty desolate….

There are railroad tracks that run alongside the river in this stretch. After the many years of coming up here, this is the first time I’ve seen a train coming out of the tunnel. The tracks are heavily used in this area, with several trains and day (and night) coming through here….

No this isn’t all for us. Some friends met us up there. We had 6 of us for dinner and had much of this left over…

Here’s Jack (on the left) and me doing the chef duties…

And the spread that went along with the steaks and chicken…

Much of the day was spent just relaxing, doing a little maintenance on the boat and just swapping lies about how good we used to be at stuff when we were younger. We spent Saturday there and came back Sunday afternoon. The weather was great on our cruising days but the wind blew a little on Saturday, with sustained winds about a 15 and gusts a bit higher. It died down in the evening for our campfire and needless to say a good time was had by all!

Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:45 AM   #2
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Great picture trip post. Wish there were more like this. Especially in interesting places like the Snake River.

I think most don't post such things because they think where they live isn't interesting. But to others it's interesting and looking at pics is usually fine.

Yes that's a very big lock. W/O those bollards one would need very long mooring lines.

Like your "spread" too.


North Western Washington State USA
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:45 AM   #3
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Great Pics,
Fishhook is a favorite of ours too!, we had Volunteer up there three summers ago and had a ball. We really like to go up river around the bend and use the mooring buoy in the first bay. We have sat there for up to a week as we towed our comp ski boat along with us and it is the perfect ski spot.

I believe Ice Harbor lock is the tallest lift in N.America.. the view from on top of the flybridge when going down stream is really creepy.
Enjoy your summer
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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Great pics. Thanks!
Life is a Beach
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing, & yes we were all great at things when younger;-)
Ron on Northern Lights II
I don't like making plans for the day because the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in the courtroom.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:56 PM   #6
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GFC, Thanks for posting those photos. We did upriver several years back and had the same conditions you did. We both know the upper Columbia and Snake rivers are not always so kind.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:07 PM   #7
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Great pictures, here at Pickwick Lake on the TN /MS border the dam gates are wide open and the water is boiling down stream, glad we are not locking till the spring floods subside.
Again great pictures.

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