The Locks at Bonneville Dam
We've always wanted to catch Jeremy going through the locks, but between catching the viewing window (only 1 pm to 4 pm) and finding good weather and avoiding scheduled school and sporting activities, we had never managed to make it. On May 30, though, we finally managed that trifecta and saw Daddy and his tugboat go through the locks on their way home.
We're up in a viewing tower here watching the tug come around a bend into view.
It's hard to grasp the enormous scale involved. These are the fronts of two barges. They usually push four barges, as you'll see.
Here's another scale picture: Those front two barges that dwarfed the deckhand standing in front of them in the last picture now look tiny out at the very front of the load. I wasn't able to get a picture of all four barges and the tugboat while they were in the locks because it was just too massive.
Here are the boys seeing their dad and waving hello. They were very excited and thought it was very fun.
Here's Jeremy. He came down from the tower onto the main deck to be at eye level as the barges were being tied off. Thankfully he was on his off-watch, so he was free to come hang out by us.
Now the boat and tow are going down. Notice how much the water level has changed since the last picture. These locks drop about 60-80 feet. It's amazing how quickly it happens.
Now Jeremy's climbed back up to the tower to see us. In a few more moments, we'll only see the very top of the tower.
The boys loved watching this bridge (the road that parallels the tug and stops abruptly in the previous pic) swing back across this channel. Then we got in the van and drove across the bridge to get to the Bonneville visitors center, where we learned about electricity and saw some fish. What a great day!
The scale of this retired turbine is so impressive.
The kids participated in a hands-on demonstration of how electricity is made at Bonneville. Taylor was "The Mighty Columbia River."
Aric was an excited electron bouncing around.
No trip to Bonneville would be complete without a visit to Herman the Sturgeon.