Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Just Call Me A Dam Fool...

...or a frustrated engineer. If it involves water, power, and construction, I'm a happy woman. Despite a paralyzing fear of both water and heights, I love to spend my time poking about and contemplating the minds involved in the creation of something so amazing.

A recent weekend trip took the Munders around the state and we visited several of my favorite places.

Among them the Croton Dam, or more officially, the Croton Hydroelectric Plant. First opened in 1907 and still in use today. Looking for an oh so romantic evening? Swing by the dam after dark and spend some time out on the Muskegon River under the lights. The view, especially in the winter, shouldn't be missed.

Next on our trip was a stop at both the Hardy Dam and the Rogers Dam. The Hardy Dam has an amazing resevoir, which according to Wikipedia offers excellent fishing and a nature trail system regarded as one of the best. The three mile unpaved path parallels the Muskegon River and contains 26 different trees with identification plaques. The trail area is home to wild turkeys, grouse and bald eagles as well as beaver, mink and otter. Fishing includes salmon, steel head, rainbow trout, brown trout, walleye, bass, perch and other pan fish. Have spent many happy hiking hours there we definitely agree.

Of course, no trip to favorite spots would be complete without a stop at the Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant. I love this photo we took of the resevoir, it looks so fake.

A true test of your lungs is the hike from the turbines shown below, to the top of the resevoir.

Unfortunately, in our post 9/11 world much of the freedom to get up close and personal with these amazing sites has been reduced to a few tours when and if, available. We count ourselves lucky we were able to spend hands-on time and get to know several of the wonderful employees at these facilities pre 9/11. They encouraged our interest and answered our endless questions during many visits over the years.

photos copyright Chrissy Munder

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