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2017-09-23 Westbound; On to Washington and the Grand Coulee Dam…

We left Couer d’ Alene early this morning; Brent came out to wish us well:

2017-09-22 Idaho 05 Walters Phil and Brent

We stopped for fuel early; Washington welcomed us:

2017-09-23 Map Washington

Only two more States to visit before we return to California!

We then set our across the countryside of Eastern Washington;

2017-09-23 Washington 03

2017-09-23 Washington 02

I’m not suggesting that Eastern Washington is boring… Wait – yes, I am…

2017-09-23 Washington 01

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We soon arrived at our destination: The Grand Coulee Dam:

2017-09-23 Grand Coulee Dam 19

I thought something was odd.  This is not what I remember from when I was here in 1956… I remembered a long, wide dam, with a simple, straight-forward design.  What was this strange dog-leg off to the left?

We stopped into the Visitors Center (Marcel Breuer, architect).

2017-09-23 Grand Coulee Dam 01 Visitors Center

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We soon found out that in 1967 the left 250′ of the dam was removed and the new dog-leg portion was added; it includes a third powerhouse, allowing the dam to be more efficient and produce more electrical power.

The Grand Coulee Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Columbia River, built to produce hydroelectric power and provide irrigation water. Constructed between 1933 and 1942, plus the “remodel” from 1967 to 1974, Grand Coulee Dam is the largest power station in the United States, with a capacity of 6,809 MW.  (Hoover Dam produces 2,078 MW…)  It is 550′ tall and 5,223 wide.  (Hoover Dam is 726′ high, but only 1,244′ wide…)  The dam is the second largest concrete structure in the world, containing almost 12,000,000 cu. yds. of concrete.  (Hoover Dam contains 3,250,000 cu. yds…)

Power from the dam fueled the growing industries of the Northwest United States during World War II.  As the center-piece of the Columbia Basin Project, the dam’s reservoir supplies water for the irrigation of 671,000 acres.

The reservoir behind the dam is called Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lake. Creation of the reservoir forced the relocation of over 3,000 people, including Native Americans whose ancestral lands were partially flooded.  While the dam does not contain fish-ladders, neither does the next down-stream dam, Chief Joseph Dam.  This means that no salmon ever reach the Grand Coulee Dam, making the issue moot.

We joined a tour of the powerhouse #1, along with the treat of being able to be driven across the top of the dam.  (The roadway atop the dam is closed to public traffic…)  We saw the pumps and generating turbines inside the powerhouse, and had opportunity to take photos of the surrounding areas from atop the dam.

2017-09-23 Grand Coulee Dam 03 Powerhouse

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2017-09-23 Grand Coulee Dam 07 Powerhouse 3

2017-09-23 Grand Coulee Dam 04 Spillway

2017-09-23 Grand Coulee Dam 05

2017-09-23 Grand Coulee Dam 02

After the tour we walked across the bridge below the dam.  It contained many photo boards describing the surrounding geology (fun for Lynda) and the construction of the dam (fun for me…).

After viewing the dam, we checked into the RV park nearby; it is Saturday, so: Football!

2017-09-23 Saturday College Football

We took a break from football from time to time to walk about the neighborhood.  On one such walk we found some wild turkeys:

2017-09-23 Grand Coulee Dam 59 Turkeys

In the evening we drove back to the dam; they have a laser light show projected onto the dam, but what I wanted to see was the release of eater over the spillways.  We arrived about 8:15; the parking lot was mostly full, and people were milling about.  At about 8:25 they shut off most of the lights in the area and opened the spillways.  We could see the “whitewater” cover the face of the dam.  Unfortunately, they never used the thousands of flood lights mounted around the dam to light up the water.  So, while we could see the water, we could only see it dimly.

The laser show started.  It was not much of a big deal.  It told the story of the dam through giant speakers mounted about 6 feet from where we were sitting… The laser show was mostly the drawing of stick figures on the face of the dam to illustrate the story.  We won’t be back…

So we returned to the Villa in the dark.  An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-09-22 Westbound; Moving on to Couer d’Alene, Idaho…

Another easy drive today.  We relaxed and spent the morning in the Villa. It was still cold, and it was raining off and on.  I hitched up early, and we pulled out at about 11:00 am.

2017-09-22 Missoula 01 KOA

We drove north through the beautiful Montana countryside:

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2017-09-22 Montana 01

We stopped for a break to do some walking; before too long we crossed over into Idaho:

2017-09-22 Map Idaho

It was a short drive to Couer d’Alene, Idaho, where Airstream friends from SoCal have moved;  we found their house and parked the Villa:

2017-09-22 Idaho 03 Walters House

We immediately noticed a visitor in their front yard:

2017-09-22 Idaho 01 Walters Deer

We had a lovely afternoon visiting and walking about the neighborhood; we shared a delicious dinner with Brent and Cheryl Walters…

We retired to the Villa.  An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

Also, since this is a short post, here are the latest photos of our grandchildren, back home in Hollywood:

2017-09-17 McAnoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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