Saturday, 7th, we took a rest from sightseeing and stayed home.
We woke on Sunday, 8th, to cloudy skies and decided to go to Gunnison for supplies. On our way back, the skies grew ominous and it started to rain. By the time we got back to the motorhome, the winds were really picking up. And for the next few hours we watched the storm - we even pulled our slide in since it was so windy and the motorhome was shaking.
By early afternoon, the rain and wind stopped and we started seeing some blue skies. So off we went for a little road trip. Blue Mesa Dam is near us and it is the uppermost dam in the the Wane N. Aspinall Unit dams of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Colorado River Storage Project.
“Blue Mesa Dam, completed in 1965, is a 785’ long zoned earth fill structure with a crest width of 30 feet. The earth and rock-filled embankment contains three zones of selected rock, cobbles, sand, and clay. The dam stands 390 feet high from the stream bed. Water is released from the reservoir through large pipes called penstocks that extend through the dam and into the power plant where the water turns two turbines. Each turbine has the capacity to generate 48,000 KW of electricity. The two generating units are operated by remote control from the operations center at Glen Canyon Dam.
Additional water can be released through the outlet works and the spillway.”
The road crosses the top of the dam and there is a little parking area on the north side. This is the first sign we saw there:
More information on the dam:
The top of the dam:
The spill way:
There are two channels and the water was really flowing:
Our next stop was the dam overlook. The two channels are on the right are from the power plant and the flow on the left is what is coming over the spillway. The sound was loud!
We met a ranger there who gave us information on the Colorado River Basin and all the waterways plus things to see along the roadway.
One of the interesting things he told us was that today at Morrow Point Dam, water is flowing from the four portholes – first time since 1995 – 19 years ago.
Another interesting tidbit about the storm this morning – The wind at the visitor center (12 miles from us) was recorded at 70 MPH – Sheesh, no wonder we were rocking and rolling.
Here is a picture of the Morrow Point Dam from a few days ago with only two open:
Now there are four open – WOW – LOTS of water!
Back to our tour – this is after the Dam – the Gunnison River – BUT, it is actually Morrow Point Lake. The dock below is where the Morrow Lake Boat Tour starts. It is a mile from the parking lot – down 242 stairs then a 3/4 mile walk. That tour is still on my bucket list! (They will not be running until July – )
Wouldn’t it be cool to take a boat trip down this lake/river:
Our last stop was the over looks for the Curecanti Needle:
Here it is:
The Curecanti Creek – snowmelt runoff:
Running into the Gunnison River/Morrow Point Reservoir:
Looks like a castle, doesn’t it:
We made our way back to the dam and decided to take a side trip to Soap Creek Road:
This is the road that we see directly across from the campground. We went a few miles and enjoyed the views and decided we would LOVE a piece of property here for the summer – LOL! Anyway, the skies started to darken and the winds picked up so we headed back. Here is the campground from across the reservoir – notice the skies:
Closer view – we are the second from the right:
Back home, the storm rolled in with rain and wind – oh my….
We have enjoyed our stay here and will keep this on our bucket list – so many more places to explore.
Tomorrow we are heading to Coalville for two days – hopefully there will be internet – .
Stay tuned and enjoy today.