… While entertaining our Dutch friends over the weekend, I decided to capture some photos to create gifs!! … Needless to say – I am slightly obsessed!! You know, where there’s smoke, there’s fire!! This is a snippet from our weekend in the mountains!!! 😀
We spent the weekend in the mountains… our bliss!! Jasper National Park is our happy place… nature, mountains, no cellphones, hiking… we love it! This weekend we went along with a couple of friends, did some new (and old) hiking routes, saw a bear with two cubs… numerous elk and angry squirrels, just relaxed and had a good time!! I’ll do more “in-depth” posts on a couple of the hikes we did (pyramid lookout, fort point loop, lac beauvert loop, whistler trail etc), but in the meantime, here are a couple of those special moments…
The Hoover Dam has long been on my list of landmarks to visit. I believe it was one of my very first posts on my old blog!! I don’t know if this will be at all interesting to you, but these kind of structures absolutely fascinates and boggles my mind!! So, if you aren’t interested in the story, just scroll through the photos, but this combination of structures sure have an interesting history…
The view of the intake towers on the North side of the Hoover Dam.
Construction on the Hoover Dam, a concrete arch gravity dam, started in 1931 and was completed in 1935. It is built in the Colorado River on the border between Nevada and Arizona. The result of this dam wall is the largest mad-made dam in North America – Lake Mead. This dam would control floods, provide needed irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power.
Spillway on the East side of the Colorado River.
For scale – the size of the intake against the tiny people walking over the bridge. Scary!
To protect the dam from over-topping, two spillways has been constructed on either side of the Colorado river (one on the Nevada side, the other on the Arizona side). Water flowing into these spillways, drops into the impressive 180 m long and 15 m wide tunnels before connecting to the downstream main river channel. This complex spillway entrance arrangement combined with the huge elevation drop from the top of the reservoir to the river below was an engineering marvel in itself!
The large spillway tunnels have been used only twice, for testing in 1941 and because of flooding in 1983. After both times of use, inspection by engineers indicated that major damage occurred to the concrete linings and underlying rock.The spillways have been modified twice since and has proven to be successful.
Looking upstream of the Colorado River.
Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial bridge as seen from the Hoover Dam.
An excerpt from the US Bureau of Reclamation explains some of the interesting architecture surrounding the dam: “… Here, rising from a black, polished base, is a 142-foot flagpole flanked by two winged figures, which Hansen calls the Winged Figures of the Republic. They express “the immutable calm of intellectual resolution, and the enormous power of trained physical strength, equally enthroned in placid triumph of scientific accomplishment.
The building of Hoover Dam belongs to the sagas of the daring. The winged bronzes which guard the flag, therefore, wear the look of eagles. To them also was given the vital upward thrust of an aspirational gesture; to symbolize the readiness for defence of our institutions and keeping of our spiritual eagles ever ready to be on the wing.” …”
Rub the toes of these sculptures for good luck!
A view that includes the downstream power plant.
Upstream view of the Colorado River.
Walking across the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial bridge gives you the perfect view and scale of the Hoover Dam. But if you want to look down, beware that vertigo might set in!! At a height of 271 m (or 890 ft), this bridge is the second highest bridge in the US! This bridge was a key component of the Hoover Dam by-pass project, eliminating sharp turns and blind curves.
The first concrete steel composite arch bridge built in the US, and the widest arch in the Western hemisphere, the bridge was completed and opened for vehicle traffic in 2010. This bridge poses an ongoing concern related to suicides, but as of yet, no safety features has been set in place to prevent this (except for the 1.4 m high steel bridge rail).
Ever wonder what makes a winter wonderland a winter wonderland? If you think it is the whiteness or the magic of the snow you are surely mistaken. It is indeed the beautiful phenomena of hoar frost that creates a landscape that surpasses many beautiful scenes.
Never heard of Hoar Frost?
Hoar frost refer to the white ice-crystal that get deposited on the ground, leaves and branches of trees, wires etc. It forms on cold and clear nights when the heat radiates into the sky faster than it can be replaced from sources such as wind or warm objects. Objects cool to below the frost point of the surrounding air, and well below the freezing point of water.
The result of this freezing is a beautiful landscape that turns EVERYTHING into white, frost covered crystals. The name hoar comes from an old english adjective that means “showing signs of old age”. In this context it refers to the frost that make the trees and bushes look like white hair.
Here is my collection of photos I took yesterday while out walking the dogs in the South Cooking Lake Area (Alberta, Canada). It was around 15h00 and about -20°C. All photos are with my Canon 50mm f1.4 lens, although all with varying settings.