In the Heart of the Gorge

A Photo Essay During a Cyclonic Bomb

Columbia Gorge from the summit of Cape Horn.

When the first shockwaves of the cyclonic bomb began to detonate in the Pacific Northwest, I was on the crest of Cape Horn, six hundred feet above the Columbia River as the skies blackened, 200-foot-tall Douglas-firs shivered in the winds and creeks dry for months began to swell from drenching rains.

Cape Horn stands at the mouth of the Columbia Gorge, the last large cliff on the north side of the 100-mile-long chasm the great river of the Northwest carved through the Cascade Range, as it barreled its way toward Cape Disappointment, the Desdemona Straits, and the Pacific Ocean another 120 river miles to the West. Cape Horn is made of basalt, laid down by successive floods of lava pouring out of volcanic fissures in the earth on the Idaho/Oregon border more than five million years ago.

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Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3

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