Thursday, November 29, 2007

The 460-foot Headtower.

The low lake level in Lake Shasta has exposed the remains of the 460-foot headtower used during the construction of the dam during the late 1930s and early ’40s. The tower was a key component in building the dam because concrete was placed with the use of a cableway radiating from the headtower.

Construction began on Shasta Dam in 1938, and the headtower was one of the first structures built. There were seven cableways, each connected to a separate tail tower at the outer ends and operating on five tracks that circled the headtower. A man worked inside the top of the headtower and single-handedly directed the entire cable system. He often wore a fedora, a white shirt and a tie. The concrete for the dam was placed in blocks, one at a time. The concrete was transported in 6-by-7-feet buckets on the cableways. The tower had four legs spaced 185 feet apart that were set 100 feet into the ground. Before Lake Shasta was filled, the headtower was cut down for safety reasons. When the water level gets low enough, the remaining part of the headtower reminds us it’s still there.

You can see the headtower from a number of locations — Fisherman’s Point (bring binoculars), Centimudi boat ramp (binoculars also needed here) and from the dam. Yes, you can walk out on the dam with permission from the guards. Walk a little more than halfway across the dam, look down and there it is — complete with fishing lines and weights tangled around the metal.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Centimudi Boat Ramp and Shasta Dam

The Centimudi Boat Ramp is paved. It has three (3) ramps for varying lake levels; a four lane ramp with a courtesy dock is available when lake draw down is between 0 and 75 feet, a three lane ramp is available when lake draw down is between 76 and 95 feet, and two lanes are available up to 210 feet of draw down. If you look carefully toward the tree line (first picture) you can see where the floating docks are sitting on the paved ramp. Last year in November we were catching some trout by the middle of the paved ramp. The second picture is from the road above and is looking down at the exposed dirt and rock area where people are now parking their vehicles.
The picture of the three Shasta's (the Dam, the Lake and the Mountain) shows the overall "emptiness" of the Lake. At this time the lake level is about 123 down from the crest.

Click the pictures for a larger image.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Back to Lassen

I had a chance to get back up to Mount Lassen because of our beautiful fall weather. Almost 84 degrees today in Redding and was a little cooler in the mountains but very beautiful. We have had nice warm weather for a week now and it should stay this way for another week or so.

There are some nice large pines on the way up. They are beautiful in the sunlight with their mossy north side absorbing the fall sunlight.

Click images for a larger photo.