Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another Dam Day

Yesterday we had a short day at work,  just some more orientation and a dog rescue. Shortly after we got to the ranger’s office, security called over with a wet dog who followed a transient onto the project.  It had a tag which said his name was Rex. Jennifer recognized it as a dog belonging to a friend in North Bonneville, so we went and got him and drove him a couple miles home. He was a sweetheart, and you could tell he knew he was in trouble. Since it had rained all morning  he was very wet and didn’t smell too good. Turns out one of the kids had let him out off his leash.P8120011

The skies cleared in the afternoon so we moved to a new campsite right across from our original spot. We are better positioned for the wind, and only needed a short run of sewer hose, so maybe that will solve our problem.

We still have a pretty view, but can’t see the river like we could.

P8130025  Today we got a private tour of the project with Ranger Tim. He spent about 5 hours with us, taking us into the powerhouses and showing us the intricacies of the fish management systems. It was fascinating.

One of the powerhouses.P8130028

The control room.P8130027 P8130026

The spillway.P8130038

A close up look at one of the turbines that generates the hydroelectric power.


More turbines. 2 of these were functioning. Due to low water levels in the river, they are not generating as much power right now. Guess this happens every summer during their dry months.


The fish ladders.



If I wasn’t so tired I would go into some of the details about their fish management program. It is incredible what they do to make sure the fish can get around the dam safely. Maybe another post.

We had a bit of excitement in one of the freight elevators in powerhouse 2. We got to our floor but the door wouldn’t open. Luckily we were soon rescued but as Tim was on the emergency phone with the control room, I looked up and saw this graffiti above the elevator door. It gave us a good laugh.


Tonight we attended the volunteer appreciation dinner in Stevenson, WA at the very nice Skamania Lodge. We felt a little funny attending since we are so new, but  everyone is so nice and they genuinely seem to appreciate the help the volunteers provide. We hope we will be a bit more productive soon, since our orientation is about finished. It’s been a great learning experience  and a lot of fun so far.


  1. Gosh, a private tour! I'm jealous. Looking forward to your post about the fish management system.

  2. North Bonneville is a neat place. They have some nice places around there. The tour through the Dam was very interesting, and glad you enjoyed it.