Idaho-Washington

THURSDAY

The alarm woke us up at 8 this morning.  We took our time with breakfast and then starting unhooking at 9.  We pulled out just before 10.  Bonnie watched as I backed out of the pull through site.  Yep backed out.  There was a narrow road and a fence if I pulled out.  When Bonnie came back from taking the trash she said it looked like someone had hit the fence with their tail swing at the end of the road where you had to make a sharp left turn.  So we took the safe way and backed out and then hooked up the car.

We had a couple hour trip down the west side of Flathead Lake and then turned West on Route 28 over to 200 and finally down to I-90.  We took 90 all the way to Cheney, WA.  We stopped for a sandwich just before we entered Idaho.

Bonnie drove after we ate and soon we were in Idaho.

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Bonnie drove her first steep 6% grades today, with lots of sharp curves descending the mountain passes.  I-90 out here is a lot different than back in New York.  One hill even had two runaway truck traps.  Idaho passed by us quickly and soon we were in Washington.  We passed through Spokane and about 10 miles West of there we pulled off at Cheney and found the Ponderosa Falls RV Resort.  We are here as its part of our Coast to Coast membership for $10 a night.

We got set up turned on the AC and relaxed for a while.  We had some left overs for supper and then drove into town to pick up some groceries.  We get 20 some channels here off our bat wing antenna and enjoyed the Olympics and checked in on Big Brother.  Tomorrow we will figure out what we want to do while we are here.

FRIDAY

Today was to be a DDR and we slept in and took it easy until lunch time.  Bonnie had mentioned a laser show at the Grand Coulee Dam.  I remember studying about the Dam when I was in school, at the time it was the largest in the world.  Today it is still the largest in the USA.  It was a 2 hour trip to get there just under a hundred miles.  So we decided to be adventurous and go see it.  The show started at 9:30 so we would be getting back after midnight.

I napped and cat napped in preparation.  We got a new neighbor in the afternoon a 5th wheel.  We are close together on his side and our awning would hit his slide if I put it out all the way.  The picnic table blocks the space between us so we have to walk around the other side to get to the car.

We left for Grand Coulee just after 5.  I forgot my camera so all these pictures were taken with my iPhone.  Bonnie drove on the way up and we had a good trip up.  There are a few towns to break up the drive and the roads are good.  They sure grow a lot of wheat around here and the harvest is in full swing.

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Most of the trip is on US-2.  We arrived around 7 and checked at the visitors center to make sure the free show started at 9:30.  Our first view of the top of the dam and Lake Roosevelt

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When the dam was under construction there were 14 towns around it housing the workers.  Only a few remain.  The dam was started in 1933 and they completed the original dam in 1941.  There were two power houses originally one on each end.  The overall dam is now just under a mile long and it rises 520 feet above the bedrock.  You are looking at about 400 feet of the dam above the river water.  The third power house at the far end was started in 1967-1974.  It now produces about 2/3 of the total power.  The dark section in the middle is about 1000 feet wide and it serves as the screen for the laser show.  They open the gates slightly to release water and the aerated water turns the area white.

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They actually dynamited off the far end of the original dam to add the wing and the third power house.

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We drove across the bridge below the dam to Coulee Dam and The Melody restaurant for dinner.  It is a local hot spot and we got the last table.  The building also houses the bowling alley and the fire station is underneath.  Bonnie had the special steak and I had chicken chicken fried steak.  Both were good and we enjoyed it.  A quick tour of the small town, this whole area is on an Indian Reservation.  Then back to the Visitors Center.  The third power house lit up.

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The moon was bright up over the dam.

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We got a good parking spot and a few minutes later they announced a movie on the building of the dam was starting.  I walked into the visitors center and found the theater just as it started. It was very interesting and lasted 45 minutes, only 15 minutes to go until the laser show started.  The lot had pretty much filled up but there was plenty of viewing room.  Soon the gates opened and the water started to flow.  First a few images to warm up the lasers.  Keep in mind that the images are up to 1000 feet wide and 400 feet high.

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A beaver the worlds best dam builder was the narrator warming up the crowd.

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Time for the main show.

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When started the dam was only supposed to generate power and provide recreation and camping.  But it was designed so that over 100 feet could be added to it and the high dam would also provide irrigation water for over 1 million acres in what is called the bend area.

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The dam produces over 6800 megawatts of power and supplies electricity to many states.

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Water is pumped up nearly 300 feet to Lake Banks where it is stored and released to flow many miles to water over a million acres of very fertile but dry soil.

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Then the war came along and planes, tanks, and ships were needed.  All required huge amounts of power for the factories and shipyards.

 

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War reports were listened to on the radio back in those days.

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One unfortunate result of the dam was that it stopped the salmon migration up the river.  The native americans had depended on the fish for a food source.

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Many species of wildlife also had to find new areas to survive.

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During construction dances were held for the workers.

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This showed that the dam is higher than Niagara Falls.

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The Roosevelt Lake National Recreation Area provides lots of camping

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The dam was built and managed by the Bureau of Reclamation

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It was part of FDR’s New Deal

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Well we enjoyed the laser show, even though we had a long drive home.  There was a good amount of traffic and we had an uneventful trip back and arrived just after midnight.  It took me a couple hours to wind down and finally got to bed around 2am.

SATURDAY

Today turned into our day of rest.  We hung out in the coach and enjoyed the AC as it approached 90 outside.  Bonnie made homemade scalloped potatoes in the instant pot that were delicious.  She had made rhubarb custard pie the day before and we enjoyed that for dessert.  I nice relaxing day watching the olympics and some netflix.

SUNDAY

We chose to drive over to Cheney this morning in order to attend the Worship Service at Cheney Community Church.  We found the church and met the Pastors mother-in-law and also his wife.  But it seems the pastors are all away when we visit.  Pastor Todd is on a mission trip in Honduras with a group from church.  They are drilling a water well.  This is just before the service started.

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Between vacations and the Pastor being gone the sanctuary had plenty of empty seats.  Trevor the member that filled in with the message did a good job with a message from Deuteronomy.

We headed home from church and planned to relax and watch the olympics.

Its been a good move and a good end to the week.  Hope to explore Spokane area this week.  Enjoying the AC today as it looks like we will exceed 90 later today.

Thanks For Checking In!

 

2 Comments


  1. Loved the pictures of the laser show at the dam. Thanks.

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