06-30-2013, 07:17 AM
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
It's time to wrap this ride up so I can move on with stories about Hells Canyon.
Since the day was still young and I had already given up on that silly idea of getting home early I headed to the top of Dworshak Dam and the visitor center.
Stopped to check out this core sample. I guess if you build a big dam you have to take big core samples.
The visitor center was nice with a lot of North Idaho history. Logging and mining were both a big part of the history. On my fathers side of the family logging operations were handed down from one generation to the other. It seems weird that things that were just staples in my childhood are now museum pieces. (am I getting old or what? ) I remember water bags like in this picture hanging on the front of the logging trucks (and beer stashed in the creeks and streams running off the mountains ).
It seems very odd to see one of these encased in glass.
One of the tunnels in the dam.
ďThe 717-foot-high Dworshak Dam is a straight-axis, concrete-gravity dam, meaning that it crosses the canyon in a straight line and uses a huge mass of concrete, as opposed to its geometric shape, to hold back the water's force. The tallest of its type in the Western Hemisphere, it is said to contain twice as much concrete as Cheope's Great Pyramid.Ē
ďSome engineering projects are controversial, and the Dworshak Dam, built 1966-1973 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is one such example. The siting of the dam blocked a run of steelhead trout, and the reservoir covered an extensive area of wildlife habitat. To lessen the effects, the project includes the world's largest steelhead hatchery. Originally, the dam was to have six power-generating units, but peak loads would have led to flooding downstream and a second dam would have had to be built. So the final three generators were never installed.Ē
No wonder that sucker looked so huge when I was at the bottom of it.
I like the looks of the curved photo of the dam at the top of the stair in the visitorís center but since it's claim to fame is the straight-axis it makes me wonder why they made this curved.
There were a lot of things to see in the visitorís center and since I was the only one there the volunteers working the desk were telling me stories. Back in the early days lookouts werenít posted in nice towers like they were later but instead would find a high spot and look for fires from there. This lady climbed a snag and would sit on it all day looking for fires. If she spotted one she would signal the workers.
The story was that one of the men was very taken with her and he named the mountain after her as a sign of his affection. I donít remember the mountain name. Something like Bertha, Bertta, Martha, ah heck I donít know but I liked the story.
There is a nice colorful childrenís area where they can learn about boating safety.
The top of the dam. There sure is a lot of water in there.
While I was in the visitorís center enjoying the displays a storm blew in. It was raining hard enough the drops were bouncing when they hit the pavement.
Good thing Iím waterproof
Luckily the storm didnít last long but it was cold and time I worked on getting home.
Cavendish United Methodist Church.
Riding through the Palouse is a treat, itís always changing.
All those yellow roses around the old farm house sure are pretty.
There is a cache here that I didnít find but it gave me a chuckle.
This section of the road is very nice. It drops down from farm fields through a forest into a canyon with a river or creek at the bottom then climbs back up again. Very scenic but this is all I got for a picture of it.
All these birdhouses remind me of the blue bird houses around Bickleton, WA which is a fun place to ride to. I want to ride to Bickleton again sometime this summer. It's a good half way point to meet a friend or two from the Portland area for lunch.
Lots of grain in the Palouse which is evident by the number of silohs
I was on Hwy 95 for a short distance but traffic moves fast and passing isnít always available. With the Superbug only doing about 55 mph I needed to get off 95 so I took the first road west that I came to and it was a nice ride through the farmlands.
Kids playing at a park in one of the farm towns.
It was a good four days where I spent a lot of time thinking about the things I was seeing and the people I met along the way. It was refreshing so many people stopped to make sure I was OK when I was parked along the road and talking with them was a pleasure. This ride reminded me of why I like small town America and a rural lifestyle. The two cafes I ate in had waitresses with personalities and they were hustling while making sure each customer was taken care of and doing it with a smile. Coffee cups did not get empty before more was poured in. Much different than in the cities where the waitstaff act like they are doing you a favor to bring you a menu and take your order. Itís nice having a meal delivered with a smile instead of being delivered with a scowl and the bill. Unfortunatly I have too much city in me and my face scowls while my insides are smiling. . There is a lot I can learn from those waitresses, like how to smile on the outside.
As I was riding home I kept thinking of these people. They werenít fashionable, no brand names on their clothing to be found. They donít spend hours and hours in a gym trying to look good. They didnít have hard bellies or six packs. No bleached white perfectly straight teeth. No fake tans without tan lines and none of them looked 20 at 40+. Heck some of them were wearing mismatch clothes but all those things werenít important to them. T-shirts, jeans, flannel shirts, and sweats were the going thing. They all looked like real people aging as god meant them to age. Best of all they were kind folks that smiled easily and sincerely much different than the people I find in the cities.
When turning on the TV we are bombarded with all the messages about how none of us are good enough. We are told we need buns of steel, 6 packs, longer lashes, flawless skin, silky hair, younger looking, perky breasts, and it goes on and on and none of those messages have anything to do with the beauty found within nor the goodness of people. Iíd much rather spend time with a good person any day than the shallow ďbeautifulĒ people.
Iíll admit that I get sucked into those messages the media throws out and the celebrities that donít appear to age and I feel very inadequate. Getting out and being around real people that have good souls brought a realization I needed. Beauty really does come from inside and there are a lot of beautiful people out in the world and they are the people I want to be around.
At home when I checked my mileage I discovered I had ridden a lot further than I thought. I was thinking I rode about 500 miles but my guess was a bit short.
Next up and soon to come will be a week staying in Enterprise, Oregon with 100 other ADVers while enjoy the Hells Canyon area.