I have often camped at Percha Dam State Park, usually taking a spot overlooking the dam and river. It’s a quiet place, and seldom are other campers found in that drycamp area. However, never have I seen water flowing over the dam. Only a small amount coming through the gates, like in the first picture.
But this time, I noticed it was more than normal, and increasing. So, I asked the camp host about it. She said, on that day, they would be releasing water from the reservoir upstream. Sure enough, the flow continued to increase through the day. You can see in the second shot, that there is more coming over the first drop.
As it continued to grow, I went to the top of the dam for a look. It was now rushing down through the gates, and creating quite a commotion. On the down side, the water began to tumble, and at times got quite violet. Boy, was that exciting! The bottom portion of the concrete dam changed color; I assumed from seepage, as it is very old. Here and there, water splashed a little over the top. Look closely for the drips.
Could that mean I would soon see water over the dam?. The next morning a small amount did seep over the top; but dried quickly in the sun. A ranger told me that after a month, the gates would be closed, and then it would cascade over the top. To see it, I would need to return.
This water was headed down the Río Grande toward Texas and Mexico. Later, the gates would be closed and the water diverted into irrigation canals. I will have moved on by then. The next time I’ll know when to arrive in order to see the water cascading over the dam. Early May should be just about right.
For now, it was enough to see water, water, everywhere. The last photo shows what the river looked like before the release. I could have easily walked across to the other side without getting my feet wet.
Camp: Percha Dam SP drycamp
Scene: Dam, river, water release
I’ve always wondered why rushing water is so intriguing to us.
Yeah, that crossed my mind too. To me the visuals, motion, and being close to the force are all exiting.
To me, rushing water is very much like a campfire. Awesome and mesmerizing.
A very good way to put it. I agree.
As a trout fisherman, I see water all the time… and never get tired of it! I like to camp near streams and hear the sounds. It’s always pleasant to enjoy a picnic in front of water. I’m not sure why it’s so enjoyable but it is fascinating to man and beast alike. There is a tiny little noisy stream, barely 18 inches deep near Decorah, Iowa. The water is crystal clear and rushes very fast. When my cats go camping, they also like to watch rhat stream.
I sure enjoyed your pictures!
Interesting observations Brad. Since we need water for life, that too could cause a primal response. Even kitties need it; but, they may be fascinated by the motion.