Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hydro Power On Racquette River Road

It had been an active and interesting Monday morning up at the farm. I'd taken a photo tour of both Conifer and Sevey Corners, New York as well as hiking up to the Mount Arab fire tower. I was on my way back to the farm on Route 56 when I saw this sign for Joe Indian Pond. How could I resist? I turned down the road to find out more about Joe Indian Pond:

I never did find Joe Indian Pond, although I have since located it on a map. I suspect that, as is often the case up that way, the roads became so tiny and unmaintained that I didn't even recognize them as roads. I did, however, wind up on Raquette River Road, a long, straight, lonesome road which ran alongside the beautiful Raquette River. There were trees between the road and river for much of the way, but every mile or two I'd find an access road to a boat launch. I was stopping at nearly every one of them for a look:

The Raquette River seemed wide and placid, more like a lake. As I was to find out, that was because it had been dammed in many places to provide hydro-power:

This is one of the boat launches and a nice view of the river. These spots all had "No Swimming" signs, but I suppose that as remote and rural as this is, the local folks just do as they please:

Daphne and Clover (notice the wet, straggly hair from our rainy hike up Mount Arab) were watching out the car window when we saw our first dam:

I drove farther along the river road and then up to the dam for a closer look:

On the other side of the dam, most of the water was piped through a mammoth pipe:

All the way downhill to a hydro-power plant:

There were many of these dams, pipes and power plants all along the Raquette River:

And between each dam was a water access and boat launch provided by Brookfield Power. Each spot had a sign explaining that this public access was "Another Benefit Of Hydro-Power:"

I saw a series of such hydro-power plants, the last several including  large cylindrical buildings which I imagined were hydro-turbines:

And, amazingly, the Raquette River is still a wild and pristine river in many places. In this stretch, it is more like a series of lakes. But those "lakes," I'm sure, are wonderful recreation spots for local people, providing boating and fishing opportunities. But we were on our way home to the farm where old Wally and Winky awaited. I'll post more tomorrow:

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