I was making a bee line for Jackpot, NV thinking I would find a campground before getting there. I found this one dirt road that looked promising but the further I went on it, the rougher it got finally getting so bad that at the first wide place on the road, I made a u-turn and headed back out.  I did meet a car on the way in there, flagged him down and he looked at my rig and said, "Sure, you can camp back there."  Even with that, I got nervous and headed back towards Jackpot.

Being ever the curious one, I paid for another day of camping in Jackpot

and headed back on that road without my trailer but fully expecting the road to go over a cliff ala Thelma and Louise.  After getting past the point where I had previously turned around, the road got to be real four wheelish but as I pressed on, water came into view.  The road sign said "Salmon Res 7 miles."  I really thought Salmon Res would be another desert mirage as the only sign of water in this area was at the end of a divining rod pointing up at a cloud.  As I got nearer, there was an actual hole in the ground potty and a picnic table and to my surprise, I wasn't alone.  I counted about five pick-up trucks and of all things, a trailer twice the size of mine parked near the water.


The Salmon Falls Reservoir used to be the Salmon Falls River.  I had a nice conversation with a retired couple fishing for trout at the very edge of the reservoir.  The husband was grousing that his wife had skunked him the day before catching four lovely 12 + inch Rainbow Trout and he was looking to even up the score.  I talked with them for about a half hour hoping one of them would get lucky while I was there so that I could photograph their catch.  I got directions from them to find the dam, went back up that nasty dirt road and got on Hwy 93 North bound stopping at a spot in the road called Rogerson, to have lunch.

The road to the dam was newly surfaced and as I entered it, a UPS truck was dogging me.  Not wanting to hold him up, I accelerated to 45, looked in the mirror and OMG, he was gaining on me.  55, 60, 65, 70 and finally he stopped gaining on me.  So here I am on an unfamiliar road racing one of those huge brown UPS trucks and looking for a dam.  Pretty damn silly if you ask me.


Eureka, I found the dam and I avoided being run over by a UPS truck.  I hope his boss doesn't read this as I am sure those trucks aren't rated for seventy MPH.  There was no posted speed limit so I suppose we weren't breaking any speed laws.

Check out this dam.  Completed in 1910.  What a surprise and out here in the middle of the parched Idaho wilderness.  It's officially known as the Salmon Fall  dam.  It's a single lane across the dam with a warning that trucks over a certain length are not allowed to cross on the dam because of the curvature and the length.







Looking down stream,there is no apparent presence of generators or an outlet of any purpose.  There are some leaks as shown in the following photos.


Not exactly a leak but the only sign of a place for dam water to go.  No traditional spillway so they must have figured out some other way to vent the excess water exceeding the dam's capacity, that is in a different place or maybe they pull the plug at the bottom of the reservoir. ;=).


There is water coming out of the rocks in both of these photos.  Every dam I have ever toured, I have been told that all dams leak.  This one sure has a few obvious ones.


Both from the dam face and through the rocks, yikes.


The water way parked behind the dam.  Your basic box canyon with a cement plug to hold the water back.  The canyon waterway spreads out a lot after this portion of narrow "Evil Knivel" jumpable portion near the dam.  You can view the entire body of water on Google Maps.


Ahh, the road side highway cross.  Funny thing is, the couple fishing told me about the daughter of a family in Rogerson who had married and was living on the West side of the dam with her husband working their own ranch and then they decided to test their wings.  It's difficult to imagine what went wrong: too much speed, got distracted, mechanical failure, blown tire?  The consequence was a 100 plus foot plunge into the canyon below the dam.  I can't imagine they survived the impact but if either had it would have been hours before a rescue crew could have reached them.  According to the cross, they flew through the air with the greatest of ease on April 16, 1996.  I suppose they were OK until the sudden stop at the bottom.  They were allowed maybe five last seconds before that sudden stop, to say WTF or any other number of expletives.  A little off subject, but I wonder how long the visible traces of the crash lasted before the ravages of time erased them or how long it took them to put up the barrier afterwards.




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