Sunday, June 12, 2011


I try to keep this blog current, so when I fall behind, I have pictures that just don't get posted. This one, however, I felt was too good to by-pass both for the scene and the experience.

Last Tuesday, June 7, as Mike and I returned to the town house, we stopped to geocache along a trail which runs beside the North Fork of the Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam, just four mile northwest of Orofino. Fishermen were present and mist rose from the river. I thought it a pastoral scene.

Dworshak Dam is the highest straight-axis concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere. Construction commenced in June 1966. I graduated with the Orofino Class of 1967. So, I grew up in a world that was anticipating this dam and construction was controversial.

As a child I used to swim at a beach here that is now underwater. As I walked along the trail I tried to remember -- tried to imagine -- what this area was like in previous eras. My mother told me that when she was in high school, she would hike with friends to this area, carrying an apple or a picnic lunch. Do you think my mother would have let me hike to the North Fork with friends? Not hardly!! Young people did it in the '20s, though. Life changes. KW


Leah said...

OMG. That dam is enormous. I looked for photos at Google and found aerial views. That must have decimated the area.

Chris said...

Since we spent our summers on the upper part of the North Fork, I didn't swim much out of Ahsahka. I do remember driving up to Elk Creek to see the log decks and visit friends though. It still seems strange to think all that is under water. I try not to think about it when I'm out there on a boat.

debdog42 said...

Leah, the dam IS huge! The water is 600 ft deep at the dam. That's a lot of water!!!

Kathy said...

I agree with you, Chris -- I just try not to think about all that's under water. And it did decimate the area and change things forever. I remarked to my sister that while I remember the occasional white tail deer in the Gilbert area when I was growing up, I just don't recall that the deer were a problem. Harriet commented that the deer used to be on the North Fork and when they were forced from that habitat they moved across the main Clearwater -- one of those areas being Gilbert.