Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Actually, You Can... (Dambusting, II)

The Park has moved the entrance station on Olympic Hot Springs Road out of the middle of the road and onto a little loop off to the side. This is to facilitate big pieces of equipment moving by; the biggest piece, the crane as tall as Glines Canyon Dam itself, has already moved up there. You can't drive up to the dam anymore on the main road, and the Whiskey Bend Road is still closed to cars since a landslide last winter. (The Park shows no particular inclination to repair the road, I mean, they say they will but the season is almost over. Probably they're just as happy to not have people back in there on either side.) But you can walk up the Whiskey Bend side, and in about half an hour be right there on the east buttress of Glines Canyon Dam. Love those late-1920s light poles. Hope someone is going to preserve a few of them... The date on the USGS benchmark on the concrete stairs there is 1929.

The crane, as viewed from the East Buttress, Glines Canyon Dam, September 3, 2011 (Click for larger image.)
Benchmark, 1929. (Click for larger image.)

From there you can hear but not see the water coming through the gates of the spillway. You can't see any of the dam face, or put your nose and camera through a chainlink fence and look down down down to the river 210 feet below.

West buttress and spillway, Glines Canyon Dam, September 1, 2010 (Click for larger image.)
Lake Mills, September 1, 2010 (Click for larger image.)

This is not romance, but industrial-scale work, and the ugliness too will be industrial scale. I won't live to see it healed, nor see the salmon find their way upriver and make new redds. But the only way to get there is to begin.

Lake Mills is being drawn down, September 3, 2011 (Click for larger image.)
... (Click for larger image.)

No comments: