Glen Canyon and Lake Powell

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Friday we traveled to Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. Glen Canyon, and Grand Canyon were explored by Powell, a civil war officer who lost his arm at the Battle of Shiloh. Powell filled in the unknowns on the map about the canyons. Eisenhower created the dam that filled the canyon with water and gave the southwest Lake Powell, a source of electricity and a reserve of water to use as a hedge against drought. The canyon floor sits about 300 feet below the surface of Lake Powell.

Eisenhower fired the dynamite that opened a canyon wall from his desk in 1956. It took 10 years to build and 18 years to fill it. The highest water level was reached in 1983. While it generates electricity the Navajo power plant which can be seen from the lake is one of the only “clean burning coal” plants in the country. The tribe installed the highest level of scrubbers available to prevent pollution. The Navajo plant generates more electricity than the Glen Canyon Dam and the Hoover Dam combined.

Later in the afternoon we had our first view of Grand Canyon. The Native American word Kanab, which is used to name many forests and town in the area, means upside down mountain. This is an excellent description of the canyons, especially the Grand Canyon. When we were entering the park we saw an elk. This sighting was exciting but also pointed out how much more practice I need with a camera.

In the evening we went to the National Geographic Center and saw the IMAX movie about the canyon.

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