How Coyote made the Columbia Rivergreenspun.com : LUSENET : Current News - Homefront Preparations : One Thread
Long ago, when Coyote was the big man on the earth, this valley was covered by a big lake. At that time there was no Columbia River. West of us, between the lake and the ocean, was a long ridge of mountains. But the Columbia River did not go through it. Indians today believe that. Coyote was smart enough to see that salmon would come up from the ocean to be food for his people here if he would make a hole through the mountains. So he went down to a place near where Portland is now, and with his powers he dug a hole through the mountains there. The water went through the hole and on to the ocean.
The water in the big lake up here was drained, and the water flowing out of it made the Columbia River. Coyote got the Columbia to flow through that hole, the way it does today. Then the salmon came up the river to this part of the country. His people after that had plenty to eat.
When he dug that hole through the mountains, Coyote made a kind of bridge. You have heard about it--a broad rock bridge that went across the river. People could walk from one side of the Columbia to the other. A long time afterward, an earthquake broke the bridge down. The rocks that fell into the water formed the Cascades of the Columbia. They made it hard for boats to go up and down the river there.
This version of the story was told by Peter Noyes, a Colville Indian, in 1951, who claimed he had first heard it nearly eighty years previously. In the last half-century, geologist have come to believe that vast parts of the Inland Northwest were covered by lakes. The last one was at the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago.
-- Anonymous, February 01, 2002
-- Anonymous, February 02, 2002