First stop, canoe camp. (Warning, history lesson ahead!). Canoe camp is where the North Fork of the Clearwater river joins the main Clearwater. Lewis and Clark stopped here on their voyage to the Pacific, and with the help of the Nez Perce they were able to make 5 dugout canoes that they used to float the rest of the way. Canoe camp is neat because there is no doubt that you are an exact place where Lewis and Clark were at one time.
The canoes were made from Ponderosa pines, were approximately 16 feet long and weighed about 900lbs. If you swamped one of these bad boys, I imagine it would stay swamped for awhile. The canoes look impressive, but they when you see the Columbia river you realize that putting a canoe in the Columbia is about like putting a toothpick on a 4-lane interstate.
If your imagination can cut through the blur, that's a wild turkey standing in the middle of the river. We tried our best to get a good photo of him, but we had to zoom in so much it was hard to keep the camera steady enough for a clear picture. 80X zoom sounds great, till you try to use it. Would it be tactless of me to suggest a camera tripod as a Christmas present again? Oh wait, when have I cared about tact. I have no idea why we had such a hard time keeping the camera steady......No idea whatsoever why we couldn't keep the camera steady......Second stop, Dworshak Dam. All men still have that little 3 year old inside of them that is impressed by anything really big, I am not ashamed to admit that. Dworshak Dam is 717 feet tall, 3,287 feet long and required enough concrete that you could make a sidewalk all the way around the world (for reference, Hoover dam has enough concrete in it you could make a 2 lane highway all the way around the world.)
This may not seem like much of a "must-have" pic to you, but it is for me. This is Dworshak reservoir.....full. I have been to Dworshak 6-8 times and I've never seen it full. Nicolle and I went camping there back in 2007 and the reservoir was down over 100 feet. In 2007 the hike to the water was so long you had to pack a lunch.
So Dworshak is impressive, but why did the Federal Government build this huge dam in Northern Idaho. Hydroelectric power? Nope, Dworshak produces so little electricity it is classified as inactive. Irrigation water? Nope, the nearest farm is 100 miles away. Flood control? Kind of, but I think a smaller dam would have done the trick. No, the whole reason is because once upon a time Idaho had a very powerful US Senator. Dworshak might as well be made of pork, because that is all it is. Never fear! The dam cost $312 million to construct and it costs $5 a night to camp at the campgrounds, we'll have that dam paid off in no time! Sadly that is only the second most ridiculous thing about Dworshak.
I took this picture in 1999. Back then you could drive across Dworshak, but that all ended after Sept 11th 2001. After 9/11 Dworshak was closed to the public, why? Because the Federal Government was afraid the terrorists might blow up Dworshak with a car bomb. Can we submit that one to Mythbusters?
Dear Adam and Jaime, is it possible to breach millions of tons of concrete with a car bomb? We should have left it open, watching terrorists kill themselves while trying to blow up Dworshak with car bombs would have been more fun that watching a bug zapper, and when it was all over we could repair all the damage they did with a few gallons of paint. Decisions like that one and some people really think that the Federal government could do a better job at running healthcare.
However, we did have fun on our little road trip so I guess Dworshak definitely had a purpose on this specific day.