September 16, 2015

Glen Canyon Dam

By Eleanora Jaroszynska
Glen Canyon Dam
August 31, 2015

I expected there to be some internal sound inside the dam. The sound of moving water or the many pipes working their way inside the dam wall. But there was nothing. Only a stagnant silence in the cool tunnels that took us down to the foot of the dam. A reflection of the dead, stagnant body of water of Lake Powell forced to a halt by the dam wall. That evening I went for a swim in the Lake. There had been a petrol spill from one of the boats so there were sickly rainbows swirling at the shore. I went further along to where the water was clear as I was determined to have a swim! There was a layer of green sludge at the bottom of the lake that rose up with every step. There was nothing alive about the water and the only wildlife that I could see were the fire ants on the shore. A stark change to Loch Lomond back home in Scotland which is swimming with life! At the edges of the lake the mountains that rise unnaturally sheer out of the water as the base has been engulfed by the swelling of lake water are like tomb stones to the maze of canyons that have been lost to the water.
The time spent at Glen Canyon Dam brought to mind a quote that seemed relevant to the river’s life/death.

“He saw that the water continually flowed and flowed and yet it was always there; it was always the same and yet every, moment it was new.”
Hermann Hesse Siddhartha

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