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Friends of Vista House looks for more volunteers, offers training session

Crown Point landmark opened to visitors March 14

A geologist and an artist who depicts geology in action will speak to current and potential Vista House volunteers at a spring training session Saturday, March 29, at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale.

The Friends of Vista House, which hosts the visitor center at Crown Point, is always looking for help in welcoming visitors, says board member Hal Gowing. Two of those volunteers, geologist Dave Olcott and artist Stev Ominski, will address the training session on the geologic history of the gorge. Ominski created an acrylic painting depicting one of the ice age floods sweeping toward Crown Point. Olcott will discuss the clues to those events that can be found today.

Potential volunteers and veteran hosts are included in spring training sessions, which include an April 19 bus trip to sites in the Columbia River Gorge.

The main rotunda of Vista House, now equipped with an elevator to take handicapped tourists to the basement gift shop and exhibits, needs three hosts in order to operate the elevator efficiently, Gowing said. Bonnie Jepsen of Gresham is head of the volunteer development committee. People interested in donating time to Vista House may call Sally King at 503-695-2240 or at 503-695-2746.

Vista House, operated by Friends of Vista House in cooperation with Oregon State Parks, opened on a daily basis, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on March 14. Beginning April 19, hours will be extended, and the site will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In May the site, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, will mark the 90th anniversary of its dedication as a 'comfort' station for travelers on the Columbia River Highway.