Just down the road is a small museum that tells the story of the dam, the work to build it, and the history of the area going back to the time of dinosaurs.
At the entrance is a full size T-Rex which they have called Peck's Rex. A second T-Rex was discovered and it was called Wankel T-Rex for the person who found it.
The center has a good bit of the building dedicated to the dinosaur bones found in the area. These were very impressive. Long ago this area was an inland sea and was so deep that plesiosaurs swam along with some very big fish.
A lot of the center is dedicated to the dam and its construction. The project was HUGE. It is impossible not to notice the enormity of the project. Construction started in 1933 and was completed in 1940. It was producing electricity before the end of 1943.
Far above us and extending for 4 miles is a gigantic earthen dam which rises several hundred feet above us.
Part of the center was focused on animals and fish of the area. This included stuffed animals, two large aquariums and a bee display.
A portion of the center was dedicated to the living conditions of the people who lived here before and those who built the dam. The town was created just for the construction project. President Roosevelt was very involved in promoting the dams construction.
We watched two movies. One was on Lewis and Clark who traveled the river that is now a lake and the second was on the construction of the dam. The construction was a huge project and some were killed before the dam was completed.
As we left the center, we decided to drive up on to the highway on the top of the dam. We got a good view of the hydroelectric system of the dam but were not allowed to tour. The two large structures are surge towers. They keep the flow of water to the turbines steady and prevent damage to the turbines by surges of water. The towers are huge 10 story tall tanks to hold water. Wow!
The view from the top of the dam was impressive. I am sure it would be nearly impossible to build this today.
The spillway is huge and impressive. It is a controlled flow using 16 gates and not just an unregulated area.
We are a couple who have started on a new adventure...