The Portland metro area is a land of water at the confluence of two of the major rivers in the Pacific Northwest. The Chinookan People, who lived along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers before European contact, were master canoe builders, and the rivers were their highways. When Europeans displaced the Tribes and disrupted their way of life, these settlers continued to use the rivers as the primary arterial for commerce. Numerous ferry lines crossed the rivers, playing a major role in transporting people and goods. But with the onslaught of the automobile Oregonians lost their connection to the rivers that were so pivotal in shaping and defining this region for millenia.
But now there is a movement to bring a world-class passenger ferry service to the Portland metro region. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Friends of Frog Ferry founder and president Susan Bladholm and Captain Peter Wilcox about their vision to use the waterway Mother Nature gave us as a natural highway to move about the region.