The image above was taken early on during our vacation, inspired by the wonderful photographs posted by my internet friend Syncopated Eyeball. You are invited to try to figure out what it is you are seeing. Later in the post all will be revealed.
We flew to San Francisco for our vacation a couple of weeks ago, having decided that it was high time we visited our family and friends that live in the area. We made the trip with mostly no problems, although we discovered in transit that TSA views baba ganoush and hummus as terrorist inspired items that might be dangerous to aircraft, so we had to make a detour to the USO to divest ourselves of these horrific gourmet organic items, much to the great pleasure of the people at that fine institution.
That slight unpleasantness and the flight over and done with, we headed north to Redding to visit Jim’s brother and his wife. A SPLENDID time was had by all, and in addition to playing some in person Scrabble and being indoctrinated into the joys of mah jongg,we got the A tour, followed by the B tour and then the C tour. I don’t know what could possibly out-do the beauty of Whiskey Lake, Lake Shasta and the dam, the Coleman National Fish Hatchery (complete with salmon running for the spawning season), or Burney Falls, but I guess we’ll find out the next time we visit the Redding area.
Lake Shasta was beautiful even though it was down 84 feet because of the very dry summer. We went and looked at it, saw the informational movie and then went back the next day for the dam tour. Shasta is the 9th tallest dam in the United States, and contains the largest reservoir. It is 602 feet tall, and this is what it looks like when you stand in the middle of the span and look down the spillway.
When we went on the dam tour, which involved going through security checks that were even more severe than the one we went on to fly across the country (NO binoculars!!! NO video cameras!!! No flash lights!!!), we got to look up at the spillway from the lawn outside the power house. Believe it or not, this lawn is planted in order to provide cooling for the generators. Anyway, from below, the spillway looks like this.
Those three openings at the top are coffer dams that can be closed when the dam is being used for flood control and add quite a lot of capacity to the lake. Look at that and realize that those three openings combined are 100 m wide. The spillway from top to bottom is about the size of 6 football fields. Those round openings you see, which are drains through which they pump the water that leaks through the dam, are each approximately 3 m. in diameter.
Next you see the view, from above, of the pipes that run water into the generators when the dam is being used to provide peak energy for Sacramento.
Here are those same pipes, up close and personal from the power house level. These pipes are big enough to drive a double decker London bus through.
And now, if you look closely, you will be able to discern the source of the image that began the post.
Mañana we shall see further loveliness from the Shasta area.