Some days I need to take a walk to clear my head. Sometimes a short walk around the property will do, sometimes it takes a longer one. Luckily, there are a virtually infinite number of great walks close at hand here. Last Tuesday I took the motorcycle down the Alaska Highway 14 kilometers to the Lewes Dam (a.k.a. the Marsh Lake Dam or the Yukon River Dam) to do some more exploring.
From the rest area at the south end of the bridge, this road takes you to the dam. This road is just cut into the glacial silt and is extremely muddy and slippery when it gets wet!
The Lewes Dam from upriver. I was out to the dam last October and posted some information about the dam with both current and historic photos.
All of the gates in the dam are now open and there’s no difference in the upriver and downriver water levels. A few weeks several people tried to run 3 canoes through the gates when there was still a drop, and the rescue that followed proved what a poor idea that is and that the signs warning against doing such things are justified.
The top of the dam with all of the wooden gates raised.
An ATV trail climbs the steep bank on the downriver side of the dam, and I decided to see what the view up there is like.
The ATV trail runs along the edge of the bank and then disappears into the forest – maybe someday I’ll see where it goes.
For today, though, this view was all the reward I needed.
On the way back to the rest area I saw this plant that I don’t recognize.
Almost a clover-looking blossom.
This tiny Least chipmunk (Eutamias minimus) joined me for a few minutes.
I wasn’t quite ready to get back to work yet so walked up to the bridge/river viewing platform at the rest area, which has several interpretive signs about the area before the dam was built, about Shortyville, and about the Yukon River and some of the birds and wildlife that may be seen.
There are getting to be more RVs heading south on the Alaska Highway than there are ones heading north – the first sign that the end of summer is nearing.
That outing was less than 2 hours long, but nicely provided the break I needed – back to work!