The bridge derives its name from an Indian legend about a natural bridge that was located at the present location of Cascade Locks. If you want to read the whole story, click here.
The short version is that Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams fell in love with the same maiden mountain, Squaw Mountain, who was a notorious flirt. The two mountains fought over her until they caused the bridge to fall into the great river and rapids were formed.
When my parents were young, the rapids were still there, but when the Bonneville Dam was built during the Great Depression the rapids were covered by the water from the dam. My history is connected to the dam because my grandfather worked as a night watchman, guarding the construction area during the years it was being constructed. The Bonneville Dam has a tourist area where you can visit and see the huge turbines that make the electricity that is used for power throughout the Pacific Northwest and learn more about the history of the dam, the river and the salmon that migrate to their spawning grounds above the dam.
You can see east and west along the Columbia River from the middle of the bridge and you also have a fabulous view of the magnificent evergreen forests.
Once you are on the Oregon side of the river you can stop at the Charburger for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and grab a window seat, and watch the barges and ships travel up and down the Columbia River, and pass under the bridge.