Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Dam Post

Sometimes I think, and even maybe hope, that it is human nature to start taking ones' surroundings for granted. One of the things we promised each other when we moved here was to remind each other that we should never forget how lucky we are to be living on this beautiful island full time. And how gorgeous the view is from our front deck.

With that in mind, while I was in Michigan this summer, I decided to revisit a few areas that I had not visited in years. I wanted to look at them again with an eye that was not used to seeing them anymore. Would they stand the test of time? Would they be as interesting as I remembered? I think so, but you can judge for yourselves.

Introducing to you the Croton Dam.

This was the first dam constructed on the Muskegon River and it was completed in 1907.

It is 40 feet high and holds 7.2 billion gallons of water. It is capable of producing enough electricity to supply the annual needs of 6000 homes.

A view downriver from the dam.

I wanted to take a walk along the edge, seeking photo ops. That idea quickly came to a halt!

The Muskegon is a fairly quiet river, but not without its' dangers.

A view back upstream. The bridge is the highway that crosses below the actual dam.

I was pleased to see that it was not all icky with grafitti.

There is some good fishing to be had in this river. It attracts a lot of fishermen here below the dam. My brother-in-law told me what they fish for here. But as usual, when he starts talking hunting and fishing, I kind of tune him out!

Just for fun, I used my zoom feature. Just because I can, I guess.

The dam, however, is not without controversy. Some people would like to see it, and it's sister dam at Hardy, torn down. They don't generate enough electricity anymore to be significant, they argue. (tell that to the 6000 homes they supply.) They cut the river into unnatural segments, blocking the natural flow and interaction of fish species. They cause pools of stagnant water to form. They change the oxygen levels and temperature of the water downstream.

I think these two dams will be safe for a long while yet though. At least I hope so. They are part of the history and heritage of the area where I grew up.


Ann said...

It's interesting to go back "home" & revisit places of our youth--going back to my hometown ( at least where I went to HS) this weekend...seeing folks I haven't seen in 40+ years. Fodder for the blog!

Anonymous said...

I hear your reservations about offing the dams ..... you might wanna look into the subject a little more ..... seems many of those projects may have have seemed logical at the time ..... but, as we all know, with time grows wisdom.

O Robert