Some distance west of the junction, the backwash of Bonneville Dam widens the Columbia River. Paralleling the highway, the Paha Cliffs, perpendicular walls of lava rock, are not remarkable for height, but are of such regularity and symmetry as to seem fashioned by human hands. Indian legends state that Speelyia, the coyote god, created the many pillars of stone by turning mortals and beasts into rock. Geologists explain that seismic and volcanic action raised the mountain area, and river erosion left the odd-shaped formations.
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