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imity to the ocean in Columbia Harbor the level of the River is not affected by freshets from upstream, and the only variation that has to be recognized is the bi-diurnal rise and fall of the tides. NOTE : The business section of Astoria, which I knew so well in November, 1921, will be seen in the same aspect no more. On December 7, 1922, a disastrous fire broke out, which, eating its way into the piling supporting the streets and buildings, became uncontrollable and practically wiped out the major part of the choicest business district, entailing an estimated loss of $15,000,000. Occurring as it did in the inclement winter season, the disaster is especially deplorable. However, I hope to see Astoria, like San Francisco—where I lived during the earthquake and fire of 1906 and the reconstruction which followed them — rise phoenix-like, better and grander than ever. --page break-- CHAPTER XXVII FROM THE SADDLE MOUNTAINS TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN: The Basalt Barriers, Topography, Erosion, Character of River, Cultivated Areas, Irrigation, Rainfall, Forests, Columbia River Highway I believe that the reader who has carefully followed my course has, at least a fairly accurate knowledge of the character of the Columbia River and the valley through which it flows from Canal Flat to Pasco; but there is still some description necessary to complete the picture to Astoria. To get a thorough conception of the lower Columbia and its valley, as they appear today, it will be necessary to go back to a point above the Saddle Mountains, which are above Priest Rapids. With a good topographic map in hand it will be seen that the River in order to reach the Pacific Ocean had to find its way through three great barriers which were directly athwart its pathway—these do not include the Coast Range, which to my mind had nothing to do with the problem. These barriers were at one time dams that backed the water behind them into great lakes with their surfaces many hundred feet above the present river level. The first of these were the Saddle Mountains; the second were where the Horse Heaven Hills on the west meet the hills on the south of the

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