Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Glen Canyon Dam

So focused on visiting Antelope Canyon I completely spaced on the major fact that I would be driving right past Glen Canyon Dam.  In an instant my van was parked and I was checking out the Visitors Center and Tours of the Dam?!?  


Wow, the dam is HUGE!  710 feet (more than twice HH) with a bridge above and the powerhouse below.

Construction lasted from the mid 50s to the mid 60s.  To house the workers, 'camp' was established at the current location of the small city of Page.  (I'm wondering if the locals still call Page 'camp'?).

The Lake Powell catches runoff from snow melt in the Rocky Mountains in a 100,000 square mile watershed.  At capacity, it's 186 miles long.


Fifteen of us followed our leader, a young Navajo gentleman, past serious security checks where we got a  lecture to make NO terrorist jokes at the risk of being escorted out immediately.

On the crest of the dam we were lucky to see the tops of the eight intake structures.  Hopefully soon they will be covered with water.


At the far east end of the dam is a crane that travels on railroad like tracks.  The two other distinctive structures on the crest are the ELEVATORS.  The one next to the crane provides access into the dam for employees.  The other is strictly for visitors.


There are 94 employees at the dam.  Of those four are women.  One of the women is a mechanic,  one is a powerhouse operator.

We rode the elevator not quite to the very bottom of the dam where we disembarked in a tiled gallery that would lead us to the power house.


Along the way we got a peak at a regular inspection gallery.  No tile in there!  Funny they mention employees riding bikes for transportation.  I think the elevators are the important tools here!


(More on the power house in the next post).

These four jet valves are on the east abutment.  They are 96" and each release 4,000 cfs.


Two spillways tunnels exit just downstream of the dam.  The 40' diameter tunnels are controlled by 2 40' by 52' radial gates  and can carry up to 100,000 cfs of water around the powerhouse.


Back at the top of the dam, the sun was setting and folks were anxious to get on their way.    That gave me a chance to have a short conversation with our tour guide.  He was aware of HH and we talked about the controversy surrounding the construction of both these dams.


OK, now for the powerhouse.

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