Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Big Creek

Spring Break is here, and we are going on some small adventures, versus one big one.  On Sunday, we went exploring and visited the town of Big Creek.  I had visited Big Creek last year, to talk about passing a school bond. Big Creek has a K-8 school, with about 50 students, and their high-schoolers come down the hill to Sierra High. I was so impressed with the beauty of the area, I wanted Mark to see it, so it has been on our list since then.  So we packed up the four of us, plus Scotty and Casey, and hit the road.  Big Creek is just over an hour from our house.
Our first order of business was to drive through town and stop at the famous General Store and Deli.  Unfortunately, it was still closed for the winter!
We drove to the end of the tiny town, with a posted population of 345, and ended up at the end of a promontory.  So, of course, we explored.
And we happened upon someone's wonderful treehouse.  So we played.
Next we visited Power Station 1.  The central Sierra Nevadas are populated with many lakes and reservoirs, mostly serving hydroelectric projects. The Big Creek project is an extensive one, including nine power plants and six reservoirs. It was constructed by Southern California Edison to supply power to the Los Angeles area.

The area we were visiting, Powerhouse 1 and the penstock (pipeline) carrying water down from Huntington Lake was constructed 100 years ago!  The ingenuity and hard work required for this project, especially considering the tools and technology available at the time, is just mind-boggling.  I found a really interesting account at revivethesanjoaquin.org 


Looking down the river bed below the dam.


We were hankering for a hike.  Driving back out of town, there was an old railroad trail next to the penstock.  It looked like an adventure.  So of course we started climbing.


We climbed.  And climbed.  And climbed.  At last the penstock disappeared into a cave.

So of course we went in.


And then it was time to head down.  We took our time, and enjoyed the beautiful views.


This line ran next to the penstock.  With its old-timey ceramic insulators, I wondered if it was a telegraph line!  But it was probably just a regular phone line.

All in all, another great adventure in our beloved Sierras.  Are we lucky, or what?!

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