Historic Klamath River Dam Removal – Interesting Story Off the Radar

A news story that get very little coverage is the Klamath River dam removal project.  In January 2024 the last dam was “removed” and the river started flowing unimpeded for the first time in over 100 years.  Of course, change of this nature (no pun intended) is difficult for many parties involved.  When dams are removed you end up with  “mud-flats” and the entire ecosystem has to readjust to the new river.

6 Things You Need To Know About The Klamath River Dam Removals

To listen to a very good and informative discussion, listen to this episode on KALW’s Your Call and an interview with Amy Bowers Cordalis.


This story is definitely “slow news” and will evolve over the next decade and beyond.


Symphony Bicicleta – July 2023

First Movement

La Familia
To the edge of town we ride along this winding river, through gnat-filled forests, over bridges that dodge the morning commutes. Breakfast at a familiar diner busy with ribbon-wearing war vets and regulars, then farewells to a buddy who navigates me each year to the start of this tale. Past cows, horses, pigs and more cows, fields of corn, by mailboxes with clever designs. Silos of corn. Roadkill large and small plastered to the asphalt in various stages of morbid decay. American flags abound tell me the wind.
Nighttime thunderstorms cool the air as hungry mosquitoes buzz outside my simple tent. The morning is clear as I pedal over the Chippewa and streams too many to name. By the evening I arrive at the timeless Trempealeau Hotel on the Mississippi as locals with guitars gather for songs, laughs and beers.

I rise with the sun to venture over wetlands forgotten save for the cranes, robins, yellow finches, redwing blackbirds and blue herons. A hundred miles of trail to ride with tunnels, old bridges and rail stations from long ago. Nervous rabbits endlessly scamper across the trail. Through quiet small towns where even the bars seem asleep I pedal.

Camping in Elroy with my sis and her pooches as we eat, drink and marvel at our rain-free luck. One more day on farm roads, climbing then flying down these rolling hills and glens dodging more rain to then but roll into my brother’s crib, not far from where I was born.

Second Movement

Continental Divide
I hear trombones and french horns.
Stacked fifths.
Parallel motion like a moose crossing the road.
Earth tilted so that streams can sing and dance.
Strings on a unison line with leaps unknown.
A solo trumpet hands off to a flute.
Timpani rolls.
Octaves call out a forgotten
Blackfoot melody to an open unending sky.

Third Movement

I see Meriwether Lewis in the rear view mirror driving a big rig, horn a blastin’ down Interstate 84. His sidekick Clark riding shotgun. Eyes bloodshot, he pulls a long draw on the flask. Back to the scene, two hundred years in the future as a bird of prey unknown soars high above.

The Columbia Gorge once sang a fine tune. Now it is the never-ending hum of the Interstate and the trains that clamber up and down this geological miracle, shaped by glaciers, volcanos and spastic floods building bridges to the gods.

Fires now burn the hairs that grow like fur on the ranges leaving only gray pointy sticks from once verdant pine. Hike up the canyons, the blackberries now just ripe while the timeless waterfalls wash the modern madness away like cymbals crashing persistent.


Paul Lyons - Adventure Cyclist

July I spent traveling around three regions of the United States primarily by bicycle. The Midwest and the 300 mile ride from Minneapolis to Madison, much on rail-to-trail paths. Glacier Mountain Park and East Glacier to West Glacier. Portland to the Columbia River Gorge. I traveled between regions with an Amtrak Rail Pass ($499) which worked great. You can get your bike on the train ride for $20. Just remember when you get off the train, you get your bike directly from the baggage car not at the baggage terminal!

The writing above is my summary of these travels. I saw some amazing country and met some truly remarkable people.

Traveling from San Francisco to Seattle on Amtrak

Eugene, OR

The Coast Starlight to Seattle leaves Emeryville, CA daily at 9:41 pm. It arrives at King Street Station in Seattle at 7:51 pm the next day. For around $100 you get a seat in coach. Probably not for extremely introverted, asocial people but I find Amtrak a fun way to travel. The vacation starts when you get on the train.

amtrak.com | The Coast Starlight

It is possible to get to the Emeryville station by BART and a bus at the MacArthur Station. From most places in SF this will take about an hour.

On Amtrak you can splurge and get a sleeper, but I have done this trip in coach, sleeping the first eight hours of the trip without too much problem. The seats are large and recline way back. The legroom is grand. It is a good idea to pack light meals and some snacks and perhaps some beverages as well. No personal alcohol but the snack bar has beer, wine and liquor.

Mount Shasta

The following day is well spent in the observation car enjoying the views.  You go through some beautiful forests and next to rivers far from the highways. The view of Mount Shasta is glorious.

We’ll get there when we get there.
My proposed tagline for Amtrak

Amtrak overnighters in coach are not for the faint of heart. The food is a snack bar missing half of the menu items. The fellow passengers are always an odd sort. However, the views of rivers, mountains and lakes make it all worthwhile. Even the scrapyards, car junkyards, trash-heaps and way too many homeless camps along the rivers are intriguing. Eugene, Oregon looked particularly depressing. Goodnight America, how are you?

Of course when you get to Washington, the exploration options expand. I took the train in February 2023 to meet up with a backcountry ski party.