Tag Archives: arizona

Out & About—The All-American Canal

Out & About

Canals always have fascinated me. When I was running around as a juvenile delinquent in Brigham City, Utah, in the earl 1960s, I used to climb in the canal that directed water around the Mormon Temple and ride the water all around the plaza.

When I was over in Yuma, Arizona, this past week, I saw a lot of the All-American Canal. Looks like this:All American Canal

All American Canal

Yes. I wanted to jump in.

The All-American Canal is an aqueduct 82 miles long in southeastern California and is the only water source for the massive Imperial Valley. It provides drinking water for nine cities, irrigation water for the Imperial Valley, and electricity via its many hydroelectric dams.

Along with the Hoover Dam, the All-American Canal was authorized by the 1928 Boulder Canyon Project Act. Construction began in the 1930s and was completed in 1942. It is the largest irrigation canal in the world and moves a maximum of 26,155 cubic feet of water per second. Most water for the Canal is diverted from the Colorado River by the Imperial Dam, located about 30 miles northeast of Yuma.

Originally one of the driest places on earth, the Imperial Valley now is a huge crop land comprising about 630,000 acres, all due to the All-American Canal. Agricultural runoff from the Canal, comprising silt, selenium, and sales, drains into the Salton Sea, sadly, because there is no way for water to drain out of the Salton Sea, leaving a large, polluted lake with pollution becoming even more concentrated due to evaporation. Any fish caught in the Canal should not be eaten since they are known to have high levels of mercury, PCBs, and selenium.

There are five smaller canals which branch off the All-American Canal to help move water through the Imperial Valley, as well as a large network of even smaller canals. The main canal has a total drop of 175 feet, a width between 150 feet  and 700 feet, and a depth ranging from 7 feet to 50 feet.

All American CanalEight hydroelectric power plants have been constructed along drops in the All-American Canal system, all relatively small and providing a combined capacity of 58 MW.

The Canal runs through the Algodones Dunes, an extraordinarily dry and hot area, losing a lot of water due to evaporation. It used to lose 68,000 acre feet per year due to seepage, especially in the Algodones Dunes. Eventually, 23 miles of the canal was lined with concrete to prevent seepage, but that created other environmental problems. In some areas, a parallel, lined canal was constructed and water diverted into it to help control seepage.

Over 500 people, mostly Mexican citizens attempting to cross have into the United States, have drowned in the Canal since its completion because of deep, cold water, steep sides that make escape difficult, and swift currents of up to 5½ miles per hour. It has been called “the Most Dangerous Body of Water in the U.S.” In 2011 the Imperial Irrigation District started installing lifesaving buoy lines across the canal in 105 locations, as well as bilingual signs reading “Warning: Dangerous Water” in 1,414 locations.

All American Canal

All American Canal

All American Canal

All American Canal

All American Canal

All American Canal

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Out & About—Laguna Dam

Out & About

 

Dams always have fascinated me. I remember making dams along the street curbs when it rained and then playing in the huge lake the dam created.

When I was in Yuma, Arizona, a few days ago, I discovered the history of dams on the Colorado River.

Laguna Diversion Dam, 1905
Price-Stubb Dam, 1911
Hoover Dam, 1936
Imperial Dam, 1938
Parker Dam, 1938
Headgate Rock Dam, 1941
Shadow Mountain Dam, 1946
Morelos Dam, 1950
Granby Dam, 1950
Davis Dam, 1951
Palo Verde Dam, 1958
Glen Canyon Dam, 1966
Windy Gap Dam 1970

Hoover Dam, original named Boulder Dam, created Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States by volume. The Glen Canyon Dam created Lake Powell. Both Lake Mead and Lake Powell are huge recreational areas.

Notice the first dam on the list, the Laguna Diversion Dam. Prior to 1905, the Colorado River was a major steamboat passageway. The Laguna Dam effectively ended steamboat travel on the Colorado River.

Tourist displays in Yuma indicated that the Laguna Dam, Imperial Dam, and Morelos Dam were nearby, so I set off in search of them.

The Morelos Dam was closest, but it also happens to be in Mexico. Since I don’t have a passport, I did not go into Mexico.

Imperial Dam was not accessible because the dam is on U.S. Goverment property and the road was gated.

Laguna Dam, the first on the list, was accessible. Looks like this:

Laguna Dam in Arizona

Laguna Dam in Arizona

The Laguna Dam originally connected Arizona to California, but when the Imperial Dam was completed in 1938, the California part of the dam no longer was needed, and its diversion outlets were closed on June 23, 1948. What you see in the above pictures is on the Arizona side, all that is left of the original dam.

The Laguna Dam now regulates water outflow from the Imperial Dam into the All American Canal, a huge aqueduct 80 miles long that that feeds Colorado water into the Imperial Valley for irrigation, as well as providing water to nine cities. More on the All American Canal in tomorrow’s post.

Out & About—Amethysts

Out & About The World

Jim and I both always have liked amethysts. We have a 3-column amethyst, a pair of amethyst bookends, and several smaller amethysts.

I saw these in Kingman, Arizona, on July 24, 2018.

Amethysts

I would have bought one of those (one?) if I had been ending my journey instead of beginning it. I wouldn’t end my journey until nine days later.

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Out & About — Sunrise, sunset

Out & About

While on my long road trip in late July, I was taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets, posting them to Facebook while never knowing for sure if any one would be my last sunrise or sunset.

Now that I’m home, doing better because I’m finding things to do (including trying to get back to blogging daily and visiting the blogs of all my blogging friends), I can sort through the many pictures I took and share them.

Following are the sunrises and sunsets, their locations, and dates.

Sunrise in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
July 24, 2018
The bridge in the first picture is the London Bridge which was bought by Robert McCulloch of McCulloch Oil for $2.46 million and shipped from London to Lake Havasu City where it was reassembled and opened on October 10, 1971.
Sunrise over London Bridge in Lake Havasu City AZ
Sunrise in Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Mid-morning at Pirate’s Cove Resort in Needles, California.
July 24, 2018
Sunrise at Pirate's Cove Resort in Needles CA

Sunset over the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
July 24, 2018
Sunset near Kingman, Arizona

Sunset in Brigham City, Utah.
July 25, 2018
Sunset in Brigham City, Utah

Sunset on Highway 50 (the loneliest road in America)
between Ely, Nevada, and Sacramento, California.
July 26, 2018
I call the first one “Clouds on Fire.”
Sunset west of Ely, Nevada
Sunrise near Ely, Nevada

Sunrise in Yosemite National Park.
July 29, 2018
The haze is smoke from the Ferguson Fire which started a few days earlier.
Sunrise in Yosemite National Park on July 29, 2018
Sunrise in Yosemite National Park

Sunrise in Panamint Springs, California,
gateway to Death Valley National Park.
July 30, 2018
Sunrise in Panamint Springs, California

These last pictures all were taken on July 31, 2018, in Barstow, California, so I included the time the picture was taken. You’ll understand why I have so many sunset pictures from one night in Barstow once you look at them.

Sunset in Barstow, California.
July 31, 2018, 7:31 p.m.
Sunset in Barstow, California

Sunset from the historic Harvey House in Barstow, California.
July 31, 2018, 7:35 p.m.
(Google or Wikipedia “Harvey House”)
Sunset in Barstow, California

Sunset in Barstow, California.
July 31, 2018, 7:44 p.m.
Sunset in Barstow, California

Sunset in Barstow, California.
July 31, 2018, 7:48 p.m.
Sunset in Barstow, California

Sunset in Barstow, California,
looking east over the historic railroad yard.
July 30, 2018, 7:53 p.m.
Sunset over the railroad yard in Barstow, California

Sunset in Barstow, California,
looking east over the historic railroad yard.
July 31, 2018, 8:01 p.m.
Sunset in Barstow, California

Which one is your favorite?

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post