The Chinook Indian tribes of the Columbia Gorge used to lay the bones of their dead on open pyres on Memaloose Island in the middle of the Columbia River near The Dalles. A granite monument visible from Memaloose State Park campground marks the resting place where a local pioneer named Victor Trevitt wished to chart his eternal course buried among honorable men. Today, Memaloose State Park is a virtual oasis of beauty in the hottest part of the Columbia River Gorge. Temperatures can top 110 F on a summer day, but Memaloose always manages to provide cool comfort, lush green grass and shade thanks to the tall maples and willows that loom large in the park. The sound of pulsating sprinklers provides a melodic nighttime rhythm to the counterpoint of chirping crickets and lonesome train whistles. On summer nights, families select prime viewing spots on the cool grass and open meadows around the campground and observe the nightly celestial performances of shooting stars, wandering satellites and far away galaxies.