Legend of The Bridge of The Gods
Subject to Storytellers Fancy
The winner differs according to what tribe the legend comes through. If you are not of the Cowlitz tribe, living in the shadow of Loowit, but say Klickatat tribe, then the ending has a different twist. It goes like this from the eastern tribes: They (Pahtoe and Wyeast are brothers in this version), continued to fight until Pahato, the larger of the two defeated Wyeast. It was decided that Squaw Mountain (Loowit) should take her place by the side of the victor. Because it was Wyeast she truly loved, her heart was broken. She laid herself down by the feet of Pahtoe, falling into a deep sleep from which she has never awakened. (Maybe she awoke in May of 1980?) She is now known as the Sleeping Beauty (near Trout Lake), and she lies where she fell. It is said that Pahtoe once had a straight head like Wyeast, but when he realized the fate of his bride, he dropped his head in shame, never to raise it again.
In the destruction of the Bridge of the Gods its fragments created a great rapid called by Europeans the Cascades (thus also giving name to the mountain range the river cut through on its way to reach the Pacific), that required a lock to navigate by steamboats -at where else but?- Cascade Locks.
Perhaps as additional punishment, for the younger, more incautious Wyeast and Loowit, they got stuck with names of British dignitaries! Admiral Hood was a favorite of Captain Vancouver. It is interesting to Americans to note that the only blot on Lord Samuel Hood record was his failure in 1781 to relieve land troops under General Conwallis at Yorktown. The St. Helens link is a bit more bizarre. Baron St. Helens was Englands ambassador to Spain in 1790 when the Nootka affair erupted ( Spain and England squabbling over what is now Vancouver Island, B.C.) prompted England to prepare for war. An english ship had been seized, but St Helens alone backed Spain down. Vancouver on H.M.S. Discovery upon sighting a snowcapped mountain from sea, to honor the diplomatic hero, named it Mt. St. Helens.
Pahtoe was tagged to be the first of the "Presidential Range." It is not know for sure which President Adams, either, though son John Quincy's diplomatic efforts for the area suggest the later. Just as Lewis and Clark mistook Pahtoe for St. Helens, a Boston schoolmaster turned map maker first applied the name Adams to Mt. Hood.
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