April 29th, 2012
Construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in Eastern Washington began in 1933 and it was completed in 1942. The dam is one of the largest concrete structures in the world at 167 metres / 55o feet tall, 1592 metres /5223 feet wide, with 12 million cubic feet of concrete. This is enough concrete to build a highway across the country from Seattle to Miami!
The dam produces the largest amount of hydroelectricity in the USA (that is why my power bills in Seattle are ridiculously cheap!) which is enough to power 2.3 million homes per year. It provides power to 11 Western states and also parts of Canada.
When you are standing near the dam the sheer size of it is really overwhelming, especially when vehicles and cranes on or near the dam look like matchbox toys!
Near the visitors centre there are lots of little Marmot’s scurrying about. Upon seeing some photos one of my friends commented “they build much better dams than Beavers!”
Not far south of the Grand Coulee Dam is another monument of sorts, but this one was made by Mother Nature. Steamboat Rock State Park is a very impressive monolith surrounded by Banks Lake (it is a basaltic butte rock 244 metres / 800 feet high, that has a surface area of 600 acres!).