Glines Canyon Dam

We used Rad Power bikes to carry us past the road washout and reach the site of the Glines Canyon Dam, which was removed in 2014 as part of the salmon restoration project.

Glines Canyon Dam

In Asia, Africa, and South America, large hydroelectric dams are still being built, as they once were in the United States, to power economic development, with the added argument now that the electricity they provide is free of greenhouse gas emissions. But while the U.S. still benefits from the large dams it built in the 20th century, there’s a growing recognition that in some cases, at least, dam-building went too far—and the Elwha River is a symbol of that.

Despite the prolific salmon runs up the 45-mile long Elwha River, the salmon couldn’t compete with the power needs of the timber industry on the Olympic Peninsula;  power that fed the mills and growing population of workers. Fish were no match for finance, and the 108-foot-high Elwha Dam, located five miles upstream from the river’s outlet, started generating power in 1914.

The Glines Canyon 210-foot-high dam, locate a further eight miles upstream was built in 1927. The battle to get the dams removed involved many legal moves by the local tribes but finally, in 1992 Congress authorized the federal purchase of the two dams on the Elwha from the timber companies that owned them and ordered a study of the idea of removing them.

The irony here is that it took over two decades to get the dams removed, far longer then it took to build them in the first place.

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Our mission is a labor of love, but it does come with overhead. If you’d like to support our efforts we’d certainly appreciate it. Currently, we’re actively participating in the following field research:

  • COASST Beached Bird Surveys
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rad power bikes

Once a year, a group of us get together to rekindle friendships and catch up. This year, Brad, Jason and myself decided to meet up at one of our favorite campsites on the Strait of Juan de Fuca just west of Port Angeles.

I had been anxious to see the results of the dam removals especially the upper Glines Canyon dam. However, a day trip into the area is problematic as the Olympic Hot Spring Road which accessed this area is permanently closed due to a washout that cut the pavement just beyond the Madison Creek Falls.

But we had a solution, something Jason had known about for a while, but just recently acquired by Theresa and myself; Rad Power Bikes. There are plenty of reviews both on YouTube and other sites praising the virtues of these bikes. They do a good job so there’s no reason for me to duplicate their information and I agree with all they mention.

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Latest Instagram

Looking out over Crescent Bay from Tongue Point. We recently experienced the lowest tides in a decade here in Washington. ...

Did our #COASST bird survey this weekend during some of the lowest tides in a decade. We could have walked out to the sea stacks off shore which I’ve never seen exposed like this. Of course, what goes out must come in…so we didn’t. ...

Red Sky in the Morning... it's supposed to be a warning, but I'll take it. ...

Wild and Scenic Rivers Project - Getting the collection gear and probes ready for tomorrows survey. Looks like we’ll get a break in the weather during the morning hours so that’s when we’ll be heading out. Looking forward to seeing what changes Mother Winter has wrought on the Suiattle River. ...

Headed back to the North Cascades to resume our Wild and Scenic River Surveys. ...

We’ll be shortly resuming our data collection for the #getwildandscenic project on the Suiattle River. Sensors have been calibrated and sent to us along with all our water sample collection bottles and chemicals. Looking forward to getting back out into the North Cascades. ...

We just received our collection kit from #adventurescientist. We’ll shortly being heading back out to the Suiattle River to start another season of data collection. ...

⁠ View of the south rim of the Dusty Lake region just to the east of the Columbia River near Vantage, WA. Here a small waterfall drains into the lake. ...

You never know what a simple hike through the woods will yield. Found this small dam in the hills behind our camp on Hood Canal. I'm guessing that at one time it was used by a hometead to hold water during the summer months.⁠ ...

Some of the lush green and waterfalls to be found on the Olympic Peninsula. ...

South shore of Dusty Lake just north of Vantage, Washington. We recently spent a night hoping for a shot of the Milky Way. That didn't happen as hoped, but we had quite the adventure nonetheless. ...

Just published our latest adventure - "A Visit to North Cove" - You can find the link in my bio up top. https://buff.ly/3KFAQB8 ...

Tongue Point on the Strait of Juan de Fuco. This was a negative tide and I’ve never seen so much of the reef exposed. ...

Never seen the tide so low here at Crescent Bay. Getting ready for this weekends #COASST bird survey. ...

⁠ Theresa doing her best to imidate the North head Lighthouse.⁠ ...

But for me, there is the aspect, which they don’t touch on, of using them as a filming platform extending the range of what can be explored in a day. And here is where I think their real power comes into play. This trip was a perfect example.

Not only did we make it to the Glines Canyon dam but we continued up the steep road all the way to the Appleton Pass Trailhead. We made frequent stops along the way enjoying the views and taking photographs. By the time we had returned to the FJ we had explored over 18 miles of trail; with a full load of filming, photography gear. This was something we would hardly have been able to comfortably complete on foot.

And, we had energy left to cook a large skillet of Chili-n-Mac and enjoy beverages around our campfire. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

 

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