We are in Wenatchee, WA touring the incredible Rocky Reach Dam. When we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised with the beautiful gardens and picnic area. The layout around the dam is outstanding, it even has a huge American flag made of flowers that was awesome.
Our first stop was at the Rocky Reach Visitor Center. They have a tour of the facility with a museum, a cafe, balconies that offer panoramic views of the dam and grounds, the juvenile fish bypass system, the reservoir (Lake Entiat) and the Columbia River. The project is on the Columbia River about seven miles from the city of Wenatchee. The dam is 473 miles above the mouth of the Columbia. The reservoir impounded by the dam is Lake Entiat. The project provides energy for more than 7 million people throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Rocky Reach is nationally recognized for efforts to protect the environment. A first-of-its-kind juvenile fish bypass system was completed in 2003 to help young salmon and steelhead on their way to the ocean. A major powerhouse upgrade started in 1995 includes new turbines that are more fish friendly. Our favorite part of the tour was the "Look a Salmon in the Eye" exhibit, you take an elevator to an underground viewing area where you can watch the fish swimming by. I had to take pictures through thick glass, underground, but some pictures still turned out okay. (see photos) The Rocky Reach Dam was was also featured on an episode of Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs, hosted by Mike Rowe. We missed the show, but will be looking for reruns for sure.
After the fish viewing, we took the elevator to the 4th floor to visit the Museum of Columbia. The museum is worth a visit all by itself. It offers a glimpse of early life along the Columbia River with exhibits including the Rock Island bulb turbine display. Jerry turned this one until he made it light up, it was cool! They also have a collection of early inventions by Thomas Edison and the Nez Perce Indian portrait collection and MUCH more. I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story.