Tag Archives: dam

Space Age Visitor Center

There is a visitor center for the Grand Coulee dam.  Sadly, as with a lot of similar things, it was closed while I was there due to the virus.  While I couldn’t go in, I was rather taken with the structure itself.  I’m not sure when it was built but it has a bit of a 70s space age feel about it.  When in the park lower down the hill, it looks a little like a flying saucer has landed above you.  I bet it looks interesting when lit up at night.


Up in the Cascades, there are a bunch of dams.  The rivers have been dammed to provide hydroelectric power.  The lowest dam was not terribly cool looking but the dams higher up the pass looked a lot more like you would expect a dam to look.  One of them was easy to see although it was deep in shade while the rest of the scene was very bright.  HDR seemed to be the way to go.  The last dam we passed was visible from the highway but it was hard to get a clear look at it without some vegetation getting in the way.  Time to reach above your head while standing on a rock and using the Live View mode to try and see what you were shooting.  Limited success but at least you could see something.

Lafayette Reservoir

AU0E2184.jpgThe hills to the east of Oakland provide a great opportunity to build reservoirs. Supplying the Bay Area with water is a big deal so the reservoirs are in important pat of the local infrastructure. Damming a valley is no simple feat but, once done, a substantial quantity of water can be held. Of course, this also makes a nice spot to hang out.

AU0E2201.jpgWe took a trip to the Lafayette reservoir. It has trails and picnic areas around the water. Originally we had intended to walk around the whole thing. However, they had a facility for renting pedalos and rowing boats so we decided to go out on the water instead. Off we went in our pedalo. The rules were quite amusing. Absolutely no way we were to touch the water. I know the water will be used for public consumption but I don’t think the local wildlife is so bothered about what it does in the water. The water quantity is huge so there is no risk but you would think we were going to have some sort of toxic impact if we touched the water with a hand. Oh well.

AU0E2190.jpgThey obviously don’t want you getting too close to the water inlets but you can get pretty close to the dam structure in the boat. (You park on top of the dam so you are really close then!). The dam looks a lot more impressive from the surface of the water. Given what a lovely day it was when we there, I was surprised how few people were there. I’m not complaining since it meant it was quiet for us.