"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." ~Goethe~

28 August 2009

Frogs toes and a Dam...

What a combination, eh! Well let me explain. The other day the girls and I had finished the days lessons earlier than planned. So with Glenn being off (and getting bored just sitting around waiting on us) we took a spur of the moment field trip down to the Snake River to see the Swan Falls Dam. Never been there in all these years of living in the area. What a shame it took us this long. (Field trips aren't being done in the public schools around here for now because of no money in the budgets. Another reason we homeschool and the girls can see and learn about so much more than in public schools. And then we don't have to deal with 100 kids plus who don't know how to behave and take the whole experience away from everyone.)

The dam was built in 1900-1901 to supply power to the mining town of Silver City in the Owyhee Mtns. Let's just say we were very impressed when we saw the pics of the horse drawn wagons that were used to bring in all the supplies, materials, concrete, etc. just to build this dam. Simply amazing. All I could think of was, you probably didn't hear those men griping and complaining about all that hard work. Once they put their mind to something, it just got done. You know that wouldn't happen today even with all the machinery that is available to make something like this.

I hope you can read these signs when you click on them. Very interesting information about the whole project. The one side gets abused from the sun and weather.

The part of the generator houses that look like grand buildings is the part of the original dam and the flat boring looking part is what was built in 1994. There was definitely some pride put into the creation of the old part of the dam. I love to look at old buildings. They just have so much more character compared to what is built now a days.

We decided to walk across the catwalk that goes along the whole side of the dam just to get to the other side. Now keep in mind I am the one who doesn't like anything to do with water when I can't see the bottom of things. So I wasn't too giddy when Brenna started skipping across the catwalk like it was no big thing she was over VERY deep water with BIG dam gates nearby. So the skipping was halted when the images of the catwalk collapsing into the river came into my head. Sorry, I am a weenie!
At least Brenna spotted this little guy scurrying around near the beginning of the catwalk and was able to watch him for a bit. There were more of his friends all around.

As we made our way around the old buildings we were able to look into the windows and see what was inside...


and this. So very cool! We saw a sign that said that tours are given on certain days of the week if Idaho Power is given 48 hrs advance notice that you are coming. I think we will be calling one day soon. I really want to go in and see all the cool old equipment!

We finally made it to the other side without anyone falling (or crashing) into the water. FAB! Brenna was amazed that there are 12 huge water gates that were closed to hold all the water back for now. I think I might convince Glenn to come back next spring just so we can see the snow melt water rushing through the gates, from a safe distance mind you.

Here is a look across to the other side of the river were we started from. And yes, the road comes down along the steep side of the canyon to the river. I didn't look too much!

Here's the view of the 12 gates on the bottom side of the dam. Where we were standing is usually completely covered with water in the spring with all the water flow coming out of these gates.

It started to get really hot in the sun and then something really started making me sneeze around all the desert plants on the other side of the river, so we went back across to where we started. We had to check out the old house nearby. Nobody lives there now but how cool. And a little creepy. You could see in a few windows and things looked as if someone was just there earlier in the day but with lots more dust. I believe it's the house where the "dam keeper" use to live. Glenn was creeping us out saying he saw someone standing in front of the attic windows. Nice.

After all that exploring and getting tired of the heat already, we headed back up the canyon to head home. I had Glenn stop just to show how far up the top of the canyon is. I still can't believe I got even that close to the edge just to get this pic. Heat exhaustion or a lapse of insanity. It's the only explanation. It's either that or I was drunk. And I don't drink. So...

Things have been busy with school work, chores, etc. But I have been able to finish the one frog and am half way done with the other. Brenna loves her little frog. She just hasn't decided if it's a boy or a girl yet. No big hurry you know. It will come to her one day. Both the girls like the brown thread instead of the black thread mentioned in the pattern. It's theirs, so they get what they like.

On the second one I've got the body, arm & hands and now the toes done. This is a pic of the toes before you gather them up and then sew them to the end of the hands. Very little. You have to make 12 of these. 3 stitches, 4 rows. I've not made anything that small before the first frog so I was really wondering if I knew what I was doing. Now, piece of cake. I can make toes all day long. Not that I would want to.

I have to get this frog finished NLT this weekend because new yarn will be arriving Monday for the girls sweaters. I finally decided on a pattern from "The Yarn Girls guide to Knits for Older Kids" book (located below in the bookstore). The pattern called for sock yarn, knit with 2 strands at a time. For Em that is 2000 yards of yarn. Now you say, "that's alot of yarn". Yes it is! Especially when you are looking at all the specialty sock yarns out there and that much yarn would have cost me about $100 just for Em's sweater. Well, after figuring that out and nearly having a coronary, I went with Red Heart's Heart and Sole sock yarn. Much cheaper, soft and beautiful colors. So for about $60 I was able to get enough for Em's sweater and Brenna's also. Sorry, but I am a tight wad. And if I'm going to put that much time and work into these I want to make sure they hold up also. There are some other sock yarns I wonder about after making a few pair and having to mend heels often. I will show off the yarn colors the girls picked out when it arrives.

There were patterns bought also. Luckily I didn't pay for those. My friend Di was over last weekend and she forked over the money to pay for quite a few for me and her. I was against this (seriously) but there are times you can't say no to Di. So anyhoo, those will be on the way soon and will show them off as well.

I have had fun making these little frogs and have really admired Susan's patterns now because of them. And after looking around her "stuff" I went to the Loop yarn shop site and bought the pattern for Susan's knit chickens. So completely adorable! I can see some of them made and hanging out around the kitchen. So, now that I have been totally bad and spent money I have to stop for now. Until Glenn gets home tonight and we decide were we should make reservations in Salmon, Id for a quick little getaway with the girls. Nothing like making plans at the last minute! I have convinced everyone to put off the trip to Coeur D' Alene until next spring or early summer. I don't want to rush a trip like that. I'm just hoping that there will be moose to see in Salmon. I hear that they wander around everywhere. Could you imagine. Wow!! I'm getting all excited and there is still a couple of weeks to wait!

Anyhoo, off to come up with another no oven dinner. Too hot for that today. This weekend is suppose to cooler. Thank goodness. Plus I have to go check out what is going on with the Play Doh creations in the dining room. Supposedly there is cake, animals and other "party" things being made. Not sure if cake, animals and party should be going together in the same sentence. Sounds a bit rowdy to me. Supervision may be needed.

Have a FAB rest of the day! Hopefully you found something to smile about.


(sorry for the edit. I didn't like the pics of the dam signs because you could read them. I hope you can now.)

1 comment:

  1. Ho ho, hello cute Ms Frog! I love her face in brown too, she's so content!

    You do live in a nice area, we also have a little medieval dam but it's not operative at the moment and the reservoir is empty and dry.