Friday, August 17, 2012

The Buffalo Bill Dam

 Buffalo Bill Lake is a remarkable reservoir as it is a huge lake with almost desolate shores. Given the lake of rain and rocky shoreline, very little vegetation grows in the area. Still, there are beautiful views available on every front.

 The lake is several miles long and is at about 5,100' in elevation. Offering great fishing, this is a popular local destination as well as providing irrigation and power generation.

Col. Bill Cody had a huge impact in the area in addition to founding the City of Cody. He was an early proponent for irrigation and owned much of the land in the current lake area. 

 The dam was completed in 1910 and was the tallest dam in the world when completed at 325'. Built out of concrete and rock, the construction was a totally new experience in engineering.

The dam is only 70' wide at the base and widens to 200' at the top as it is wedged tightly in the rock gorge carved by the Shoshone River. At this point shown in the picture, the water is about 325' deep. Whew. 

On the downstream side of the dam, the vertical height is easy to see! Here, Rick is looking straight down to the base some 350' below. Not a sight for the vertically challenged. 

The gorge behind the dam presents a remarkable view of the original river canyon and is a beautiful, if rugged, picture of the river.

This shot behind the dam shows the more recent 25' extension to the dam which brought it to a height of 350'. The building on the far side is the Visitor Center which provides a great historical overview on the dam and area. 

The original construction was very challenging with floods, extreme winter weather and new methods of construction being used. It was hard to imagine the difficulty that the construction crew had back then, but this picture gives a bit of an idea as to how the dam was built. 

 The Buffalo Bill Dam and Lake are a great place to visit just a few miles outside of Cody and we had a great time checking the area out.

1 comment:

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Nice tour, we sure found it a worthwhile stop:)