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Fun fact: The John Day Dam has the tallest lock in the U.S.

Oct. 20, Day 28IMG_7852

Dam #1: check. Dam #2….

I think the John Day Dam is my favorite – we got to slip in with a barge, the lock operator and project manager had a super nice chat with us, and it looks the most like Mordor. The lower gate has these towers on either side that lift and lower the gate (think a giant and extremely dull guillotine instead of the double-door exit in McNary).

This time, when we called up the lock operator in advance to let them know what was going on, they already knew about us. Lock and dam personnel sound like a tight bunch; maybe that’s how they keep occupied when there aren’t any boats coming through? We’ve been wondering.

Anyway, the project manager was very interested in our trip and offered to help if he could. He also asked us what we thought the primary concern of the John Day Dam was.image1-1

Rachael and I looked at each other. Boat passage? Flood control? Power generation?

“Fish passage,” he said.

Well, we like to hear that. It’s been a good year for salmon in the Columbia River – and, although one good year doesn’t indicate a trend, it’s nice hearing from everyone who’s concerned about the fish.

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