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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Fairbanks Gap, Oregon"
Includes ... Fairbanks Gap ... Fairbanks Water Gap ... Missoula Floods ... Fairbanks, Oregon ...
Image, 2011, Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Avery Park, Washington, and Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon. Fairbanks Gap separates Fulton Ridge (on the left) and Kaser Ridge (on the right). Image taken September 28, 2011.


Fairbanks Gap ...
The Fairbanks Gap, also known as "Fairbanks Water Gap", is a water gap in the Columbia River Basalts through which the waters of the Missoula Floods "jumped banks" and flowed into Fifteenmile Creek Valley, eight miles east of The Dalles, Oregon. The gap runs between two ridges, with Fulton Ridge being to the east and Kaser Ridge being to the west. In 1965, the U.S. Board of Geographic Names made "Fairbanks Gap" the official name for this Missoula Flood feature. Nice views of the Fairbanks Gap can be had from overlooks along Washington State Highway 14, as well as Avery Park, a small Washington park located along the Columbia River.

Missoula Floods ...
Between 80,000 years ago and 10,000 years ago ice sheets of the "Wisconsin Glaciation" covered much of North America, including Northern Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Towards the end of this glaciation a large ice dam blocked the Clark Fork River, creating "Lake Missoula", a massive lake 2,000 feet deep and containing more than 500 cubic miles of water. Lake Missoula stretched eastward more than 200 miles and contained more water than Lake Erie and Lake Ontario combined. Periodically, the ice dam would fail. These failures were often catastrophic, resulting in a large flood of ice- and dirt-filled water that would rush down the Columbia River drainage, across northern Idaho and eastern and central Washington, through the Columbia River Gorge, back up into Oregon's Willamette Valley, and finally pour into the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River.
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Fairbanks, Oregon ...
The Oregon community of Fairbanks lies on Fifteenmile Creek near the mouth of Company Hollow, south of Fairbanks Gap. Fairbanks, founded in 1905, was a post office on the Great Southern Railroad line. It was named after the Charles W. Fairbanks, the new Vice President under Theodore Roosevelt. The post office closed in 1909. Early history of the area shows it was a part of the Oregon Trail.

Views ...

Image, 2011, Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon. Image taken September 28, 2011.
Image, 2005, Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon. View from Washington State Highway 14. Fulton Ridge is left of the gap and Kaser Ridge is right of the gap. Avery Park is in the foreground. Image taken May 24, 2005.
Image, 2005, Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon. View from Washington State Highway 14. Image taken May 24, 2005.
Image, 2005, Fairbanks Gap, Oregon, and Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fairbanks Water Gap and Mount Hood, Oregon. Looking downstream from Washington State Highway 14 at Mount Hood, Oregon, visible through Fairbanks Gap. Image taken May 24, 2005.
Image, 2005, Mount Hood as seen through Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Mount Hood as seen through Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon. View from Washington State Highway 14. Image taken May 24, 2005.
Image, 2015, Mount Hood as seen through Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fairbanks Gap as seen from Interstate 84, Oregon. Image taken May 9, 2015.
Image, 2015, Mount Hood as seen through Fairbanks Water Gap, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Fairbanks Gap as seen from Interstate 84, Oregon. Image taken May 9, 2015.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources: McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland; U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) website, December 2008; U.S. National Park Service website, 2005, "Ice Age Floods".

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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September 2011