October 15 - 16, 2011 The Cochiti Dam and Just Hanging Out

Saturday, October 15

First thing this morning is that we realized we needed more drinking water.  Although we do have water hook ups, we have found that most of the water in the southwest is salty and does not make good coffee.  So since we went out, we thought we would check out the Santa Fe Farmers Market:

 10-15-11 A Santa Fe Market 005

It was interesting but I was a little disappointed in the produce.  Not to say it was bad, however, I come from a farm area where the farmer’s markets and farmer roadside stands are plentiful and reasonable.  Oh well.   Afterwards we made a short stop at Wal-Mart and then headed back.

Before arriving at the campground, we stopped at the Cochiti Dam outflow emptying into the Rio Grande River.  Hmmm..is this the same river that separates Texas and Mexico?

10-15-11 B Cochiti Dam 001

Yep it is.

“Cochiti Lake is located on the Rio Grande about 50 miles upstream from Albuquerque, NM. The Rio Grande is the fifth longest river in North America, and among the 20 longest rivers of the world. From its origins high in the Rocky Mountains, it travels 1,900 miles and drops more than two miles before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Cochiti Dam is an earthen fill dam located on the Rio Grande River in Sandoval County, New Mexico approximately 50 miles (80.4 km) north of Albuquerque, New Mexico in the United States. By volume of material, it is the 23rd largest dam in the world at 62,849,000 yd³ (48,052,000 m³) of material,[1] one of the ten largest such dams in the United States,[2] and the eleventh largest such dam in the world.[3] Cochiti Dam is one of the four United States Army Corps of Engineers projects for flood and sediment control on the Rio Grande system, operating in conjunction with Abiquiu Dam, Galisteo Dam and Jemez Canyon Dam.

It rises 251 feet above the Rio Grande streambed and stretches out more than five miles to impound waters of the Rio Grande and the Santa Fe Rivers. Its control tower is 260 feet above the streambed, the equivalent of a 20 story building. A 474-foot bridge connects the tower to the dam's main embankment. Originally Cochiti was authorized only for flood and sediment control. However, officials of the state of New Mexico and counties surrounding the site expressed interest in a permanent pool for fish and wildlife enhancement and other recreational purposes. Congress then modified its authorization for Cochiti Lake to include a 1,200 surface acre lake for recreation. Water for this lake is imported from the Colorado River Basin to the Rio Grande Basin via the San Juan Diversion Project across the Continental Divide. Construction of Cochiti Lake began in 1965; the main embankment was completed in 1975; and the lake opened to the public in July, 1975. In 1976, the Cochiti Recreation area on the west side of the lake was opened to the public. Another recreation area, Tetilla Peak, on the east side of the lake was opened to the public in 1983. A visitor's center on the west side of the lake, adjacent to the operations building is available to the public. Recreational facilities include campsites, electrical hookups, picnic sites, group shelters, restrooms/showers, drinking water, dump stations, universally accessible fishing area, and boat launching ramps. The Pueblo de Cochiti operates and maintains a small marina. Cochiti Lake is an all Federal project constructed at a cost of $94.4 million. The project controls water form an 11,695 square- mile drainage area.

Cochiti Lake borrows its name from the people that have occupied the present site continuously for over seven hundred years. Cochiti Dam operates in concert with three other U.S. Army Corp of Engineers flood and sediment control projects-Galisteo, Jemez Canyon and Abiquiu Dams. It sits on Cochiti Pueblo Indian Land, and as such, some sections are posted off-limits to the visiting public.”

Here is an interesting site about the dams on the Rio Grande:


And the Rio Grande south of the dam:

10-15-11 B Cochiti Dam 006

Notice the yellow in the distance – it is fall in this part of New Mexico.

Later this afternoon we had a great visit with Carroll and Byron just getting caught up.


Sunday, October 16

We spent most of the day, just hanging out, watching TV, getting caught up with emails, blog, phone calls, etc. and visiting with Carroll and Byron.  It has been great to spend time with them.  

Tomorrow we are going to Tent Rocks so stay tuned.

And I will leave you with one last picture:


10-16-11 Cochita Lake Area 001

Aren’t they the cutest!


KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

When we were on vacation last winter to TX, NM,AZ and CA we were disappointed to not find any cute little roadside stands to buy produce from. Most everything there is grown by huge farming conglomorations so nothing is sold by a local farmer. Although we did buy a bag of oranges from a guy in a pickup truck on the side of the road in Niland. BEST oranges I have ever tasted!

When we vacationed in Florida they were on every corner and we gobbled down fresh huge tomatoes almost every meal and brought home enough to last us another week.

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Diane said...

Hey Karen,
I followed your trip last winter - someday when we meet, I need to ask you about some of the places you stayed - ;-)) and we have common friends at the Slabs. Anyway, we both come from farming areas and it truly is different in the SW, isn't it. BTW, where do you buy those oranges - :-))).