The Dalles

by kfrego

My sophomore year of high school started in Peru, NY and ended in Spokane, WA. Dad finished work on the Niagara Falls Project and we moved to Peru, NY. We lived in a rented mobile home on Lake Champlain while Dad worked on the missile bases in the Plattsburgh, NY area. The work slowed down in January. Dad and Mom decided to return to the Spokane, WA area. When we arrived in Spokane Dad was offered employment as an ironworker on The Dalles Dam in Oregon. The position was temporary, but Dad took the job hoping for long term work.

The Dalles is named for a stretch of rapids on the Columbia River about one hundred and ninety miles upstream from the Pacific Ocean. From 1952 to 1957 The Dalles Dam was built. The rapids, along with historical Indian fishing areas, were submerged at the bottom of the reservoir.  The Columbia River was transformed to allow boat and barge traffic into central Washington State. The Columbia River gorge in the area of The Dalles is very scenic. The Dalles was a very nice small city. Myself and my sister Sharon had been out of school for three weeks traveling so we enrolled in the high school as soon as Dad started work.

The Dalles High School had a mix of local and construction family students. We registered and received assignment to all our classes from a friendly school staff. The school had a very friendly atmosphere and everybody was helpful. Their were many students at the school who drove very nice old cars with fender skirts and laker pipe exhausts. You didn’t see these types of cars at high schools in New York because of the hard winters.

Dad worked a very short time before the work at the dam was halted. Several people were headed to Tucson, AZ for a job that was just starting. Dad decided to go to Tucson. The next day Sharon and I went to school and spent the day checking out. We hadn’t been there long enough for anybody to miss us. Our new friends all wished us well. The next morning we were back on the road.

We liked The Dalles…………… we didn’t stay long enough to find anything wrong with it.