Monday, August 1, 2011

Gavins Point Dam: First Stop on our Journey

Last week was our trip to Little Town on the Prairie with stops at both Gavins Point and Sioux Falls.  We made what you might call a 'water tour' on our Laura trip.  Considering that the visit to the roaring water sites was my husbands' idea, I think that maybe it was his way to make this girly trip a little more palatable! 

Gavins Point Dam is the Natural Resources Districts flood control mechanism for the Missouri River near Yankton, SD.  Until this spring, it's not something I gave much thought to.  However, the fact that the river is flooding in Iowa and Nebraska due to the increase in water being released at Gavins Point, I've become more aware of its role. 

Driving through the rolling hills of Nebraska, we talked about how grateful we were that we made this trip in the comfort of our Honda mini-van with air conditioning and leather seats.  Sure beats a covered wagon!  However, I think any Pioneer mama would have been knitting away at a blanket just like me.  However, they just might not have had Fox News on the XM Radio and sounds of the girls' DVD player in the background.  If we had brought our old player with just one screen maybe that would have rivaled the pioneer trek.

Gavins Point Dam was awesome and the mighty power of water is absolutely amazing.  They are currently releasing 165,000 cubic feet of water a minute, surpassing any previous record.  Normal is about 30,000 cubic feet.  The Dam Road is currently closed due to the power of the release and we had to view the Dam from both the Nebraska and South Dakota side by traveling the long way around the city of Yankton. 

On the Nebraska side, there is an excellent Lewis and Clark and Gavins Point Museum with lots of hands on exhibits.  The girls loved dressing up in the gear of the Lewis and Clark era and Miss A was especially happy to drive the Steamboat.  I think she was hoping we could go down the river on a Steamboat! 

Because the Hydroelectric Power Plant is on the NE side, you can't get very close to the Water or the Dam, but the views from the Museums' overlook are amazing. We had a little picnic lunch before heading across the river to South Dakota to see the action up close.

Standing right up next to River, the water is spraying and misting so much its almost impossible to get a picture with steaming up the lens of the camera or your glasses.  The sound of crashing waves is LOUD and you can really appreciate the power of water.  Wow!

Witnessing up close the amount of water coming through this Dam, its understandable why it's flooding downstream.  We told the girls that hopefully they will never see this again in their lifetime. At least that is our prayer. 

Gavins Point Dam was an amazing start to a wonderful getaway!

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