Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Sunday Drive...

Late Saturday night my strong silent mysterious man came home from another really long day working at the dam. And almost everyday since Dec 26th he has been on the roller coaster of almost being completed with the first generator install. And every day we rode the ride with him... from "we should be done by Thursday" to "we lost a day today, it will be another week" to "I have no idea when we will be done".
So I have really learned not to get my hopes up, that we could have him back any day, or not until June (okay that was never in the plans, but I have a tendency to over exaggerate!)
Late Saturday night, he comes home and says Sunday should be his last day... kind of? Okay that is tomorrow and that is really confusing?? What does that mean??
His boss has given him the morning off to go to church with his family!! YAY!!! We were really excited about that part. Next he got permission to bring his family up to take a tour inside the dam... Wow! We have to make that happen, it is once in a lifetime, and you don't just get to walk inside of a dam these days with security at the place it is now. So I have some responsibilities on Sundays that I would have to make some arrangements to have covered for me so we could leave right after church. I don't think it is a problem, but I will have to ask tomorrow.
The teenager was in the same situation, but he wasn't as confident that he could get someone to cover for him. Even when he asked the only one person that was actively attending meetings, he didn't feel like they would come back after church to attend an additional meeting that he was supposed to be conducting. We convinced him that others need the opportunity to step up to the plate, and as long as his leaders were aware, they could help shadow this youth and teach them how to take over. I have to say, I do love that he takes his church assignments so seriously... my heart swells. Especially when it was only a few short months ago that we were still fighting on Sunday mornings about what he would put on to wear to church... that is a whole other roller coaster!
So we were all able to go... and excited doesn't even begin to describe our emotions!!
It was really great to have "Dad" for the day!

On the way up we see some deer!
Well I should re-phrase it... my strong silent mysterious man can spot deer and elk now from 100 miles behind sage brush. Jacob and I do not have the same trained eyes, so he had to stop and give us binoculars to point out every deer we saw on the ride. He would explain the outline of their ears were at a different angle than anything else on the horizon... everything else is vertical or horizontal, but their ears have a 45 degree angle to them.
None of that helped me, but the more he would see, the more amazed we were at how really good he had gotten at spotting them.
Okay these guys really stick out on top there... but you can see how their color would blend in with everything around them. It is much trickier than it sounds.

The drive up was gorgeous...

The scenery was amazing... but I was surprised at how little snow there is.
The roads were really curvy, and super steep on my side, they became muddy and looked super slick, like one false move and and the entire vehicle could slip right off and plunge down into the icy waters below!

And they looked very icy!!
I was already fighting of the car sickness that hits me when we are driving on windy roads, turning left and right and left and right and left... oh puke! I just don't do curves well at all.
And if trying to hold back my shot nerves wasn't bad enough, he was doing this most of the time!! Watching for deer!!!
We finally arrived, safe and sound to the site. The pictures don't even do it justice... it is breathtakingly LARGE!!

We arrived at the gates and went through the check in process... getting our hard hats and bright orange vests. Which go with nothing in my wardrobe.
Radio down and wait for only one of the two supervisors that are certified with the government that have to be with you the entire time you are on site.
They lost a day once because one of the "Chinese guys" wandered off and was found by himself at the food trailer without a certified supervisor... they asked them all to leave, and the dust didn't settle from that until the following day. So they mean business.... I was kind of nervous I might touch something or step somewhere and be out of line and shut down the place.
I was trying to be on good behavior though.

This was a beautiful sight... driving across the top of the dam. I understand you won't be able to do this anymore at any dams before long... they are creating bridges now, so you don't drive on top of the actual dams. For security reasons I guess.

The light poles are cast iron and glass made in the early 1920's... Jim said he really wants one, and Jacob piped up from the back and said "your boss should give you one for working so hard up here". We chuckled at his loyalty to his Dad.
I couldn't take pictures inside... seems like the "golden child" was one of the few that got permission to do that. But it was really interesting!! And it was fun to see what and who he has been married to for the past 2 months.
Nobody could believe he actually got a day off, and he drove back up on his day off!
We loved being with him, and getting the full tour!
We could go right up to the edge and peek over if we wanted. I was good with 10 feet back, it was a million dollar view from the top.
Apparently when it snowed, the snow would build up the side of the slant on the dam. And when it warmed up the snow became heavier, and slid down the dam as it melted, and someone who wasn't an engineer had placed all the welding equipment on this landing and they came in one morning to all of this expensive equipment teetering on the side about to go over. So they had to spend the next day building guard rails.
It won't be next years Christmas card, but it was a once in a lifetime experience to go see all of this and go where few will ever go; and stand where millions of gallons of water will soon be filled.
The road back down was just as slick and curvy and scarry, but I was brave and tried not to be squimish and ruin the ride for the boys.

We (well Jim) saw a few more deer on the ride home...

We stopped so Jacob could practice his elk call... it was weak, keep practicing son.

Jim was disappointed because in the early and really late hours he normally is driving this road. He see's hundreds of animals and it is just usually too dark to get pictures, he just has a few. So he was hoping in the daylight to get some nice photo's... but the animals were bunkered down in other places.
I got word Wednesday night that they are buttoning things up and will be turning on the 1st generator on Monday... and his boss told him he wanted him there for start up, but he could take the days off in between. I didn't believe it until he turned off the alarm this morning and is still sleeping in bed while I post.
Yay! I am so excited for the next 4 days to have him all to myself.
I imagine the decompression process will be much like it is for me when I come back from a week at girls camp. But I am up for the challange!
We have missed him and are so happy to have him back for how ever long we get him!!


Anonymous said...

Beth, I love all the amazing pictures and the whole post. I felt I was there with you and could imagine myself getting sick on the windy roads. You have been strong with him gone and working long hours. Good job! I bet it has been a great experience for him to. Thanks for sharing.

Love, Emily S

Beth said...

It was a neat day... I love how pictures can help tell the story too!

Thanks for commenting... I love comments!

Lindsey said...

Josh does the same thing... always lookingo for animals, never looking at the road. Scares me to death! Looks like you guys had lots of fun!

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