East of Rowena Crest
Art Daily

East of Rowena Crest

Art at ArcheanWeb: Part of the Columbia River Gorge Series

The Columbia River Gorge stretches across two distinct ecosystems. The western portion of the Gorge, from Troutdale to Hood River, passes through the wet temperate rain forests along the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains. Moist air blows landward off the Pacific Ocean. The air is forced upward as it meets the western slopes, where it cools and and releases its moisture as rain and snow. Average rain fall is high, accommodating the growth of thick, lush forests.

By the time the air reaches the eastern slopes of the Cascades, its moisture load has lessened creating dryer conditions. The predominate dry, inland desert ecosystems on this side of Cascades lie in the rain shadow of the 700 mile long mountain range. The dense forests and fern choked forest floors of the western slopes give way on the eastern slopes to sparser, less dense stands of pines with more open forest floors. Continuing eastward, the trees disappear and parched grass lands cut by deep rocky canyons prevail.

The visual ethos of the landscape also changes. The hazy blues, purples, and greens the western Gorge morph into landscapes dominated by browns and golds. The clearer, dryer air lets the river pick up more turquoise from the open sky.

The climatic and ecosystem changes along the length fo the Gorge occur over a sixty mile stretch. These rapid changes are a testimony to the the dramatic environmental effects created by high coastal mountain ranges.

Full Image:

East of Rowena Crest
East of Rowena Crest by WM House

The artwork “East of Rowena Crest” is based on photos and sketches taken by the artist. The vista takes in a view of the Gorge as the river stretches eastward—a ribbon of blue in a landscape of brown and gold. Rowena Crest towers over the Columbia River along the southern, Oregon side of the river. Traveling west from The Dalles, historic State Highway 30 winds along the cliff tops offering wonderful views fo the Gorge. Just east of Mosier, Oregon, the road snakes upward to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint.

The Columbia River Gorge provides one of the most scenic drives in the Pacific Northwest. Part of this charm is the ecosystem transformation as the Gorge cuts from the coastal west side of the Cascade Mountains to the interior landscapes on the east side.


This piece of art is available as giclee prints on paper or on canvas. High-resolution versions of the image above are used in the printing process and the copyright watermark is removed.

Fine art giclee prints and other products are available through Geo Galleries. 

Link to Geo Galleries

Decorative Art through Etsy

  • 9″ x 18″ Wall Panel

Link to Etsy

Printing in different mediums and sizes is available for some artwork: archeanart@gmail.com

Feature Image: East of Rowena Crest – Part of the Columbia River Gorge Series – by WM House (Copyright Archean Enterprises, LLC 2021. All Rights Reserved) 

William House
William is an earth scientist and writer with an interest in providing the science "backstory" for breaking environmental, earth science, and climate change news.