Friday, March 27, 2009

Petra's Adventures, Snoqualmie Hydroelectric Dam, Snow and Some Cute Kids

That is definitely the longest post title I have ever had. I just couldn't think of anything shorter!

The day we were out in the boat, Petra was wreaking havoc on Sallad's fence unbeknownst to us. We were having a jolly ol' time out on the water while Petra was testing every single board in the fence, looking for that one weak spot. When we were back within cell phone service we had a message on our phone that said something to the effect of "Hi, this is ----- and there is a dog named Petra in our front yard, and we have children so we can't keep her here." Of course we were so glad she was safe and that Sallad recognized the address they gave on the message as being only a few houses away from theirs. We contacted them quickly and a solution had already been found. She had been taken to stay with a nearby family who already had three dogs, one of them being a white boxer just a month younger than Petra named Boo. Boo and Petra had a great time and when we walked over to bring Petra home, she didn't want to leave. We tied her up securely with a large stake that screws into the ground and a long dog-run style cable so that we didn't have to worry about her getting out again. BUT.... one day we arrived back at Sallad and Grace's to see that #1 the fence was fixed and #2 the stake was nowhere to be found and instead the cable was looped around one of the beams on the back deck. What had happened?! Later a different neighbor (so now Petra was "friends" with three different neighbor families) came by to tell us that he had seen her running around the neighborhood dragging the stake and cable behind her. Wow. What a little escape artist! The kind neighbor had fixed the fence and tied her securely in the backyard. We sure learned some lessons that weekend as it was the first time we tried taking Petra on a trip with us. Next time we will definitely know what to do differently! She wasn't going anywhere tied up to the supporting beam of the house.

Petra was allowed inside for a few minutes. Doesn't Grace decorate nice? I just love her style. Thankfully Petra only potties outside and has learned to stay on her blanket fairly well. The newness of the people and the room were distractions though and she definitely showed them that she has character. :)

One of the most beautiful places in the Northwest is Snoqualmie Falls. I might be biased because it is also the place The Mr. and I got engaged but I think if you were to visit the falls, you would agree with me. I don't have any photos of my own to upload this time, because we were at the top of the falls, not the bottom. From the top, the falls just look like a flat body of water that all of a sudden disappears. What I will share with you though, is a photo that was taken by helicopter during the flooding in the past months and was going around as an email forward. Isn't this breathtaking? Click on it.

Sallad works at PSE, the company that runs 2 hydroelectric dams at Snoqualmie Falls. He was able to take us on a tour of the large underground hydroelectric facility and it was just amazing. First we stopped at the Snoqualmie falls train station that is no longer in use. Inside, the walls are full of all sorts of incredibly interesting black and white photos to look at, as well as simple diagrams of the dam. We picked up hard hats at this building and then walked over to the elevator tower. I have to tell you that the elevator there is really crazy. It is the old fashioned kind that you have to open and close yourself, and it goes straight down into the ground. I am not sure how far down the plant is, but Wikipedia says it is 270 feet. When you are in the elevator it feels like you are going so deep into the earth that your ears should pop or something but they don't. On either side of the elevator are huge penstocks. The water from the river above is cleared of sticks, garbage and logs and then it flows into these massive pipes plummeting 270 feet straight down. You can imagine the energy that creates!

I just emailed Sallad to ask him what the big spinny things are called. This is one of them. He replied with "They are generators. The water turns turbines, which turn a shaft
connected to generators." Thanks for clearing that up! These generators were huge and everything was so loud.

This is a diagram that was in the railroad station.
1. Transformer House
2. Elevator House (See how far the elevator goes down?!)
3. Penstock
4. Penstock (These are the massive pipes the water come down.)
5. Elevator
6. Snoqualmie River
7. Concrete Dam
8. Generator
9. Tailrace (We got to stand right at the beginning of this and it was SO COLD! It is basically a long skinny hole through the rock and water is flowing out to eventually join the river and continue downstream.)
10. Solid Bedrock
11. Tailrace Discharge

A photo of an old photo in the railroad station.

An old cutaway from Wikipedia originally published in a pamphlet in 1800 by what is now the Seattle Times. You can see how the rock was carved away on all sides to make room for everything. It's definitely a weird feeling to be in the cavity and think about how there is nothing but solid bedrock on all sides.

Lord's day morning in the Seattle area brought lots of huge fluffy flakes!

On Lord's day evening Sallad and Grace had Doc, Bashful and their four kids over. Luke had lots of fun "reading" me stories.

On Monday we went for coffee and then spent some time at Barnes and Noble. Bri liked the train table in the kids area a lot. This photo reminds me of "Honey I Blew up the Kid." A huge baby running free in a city creates some major damage. :)

Below is a little video compilation of Bri just being herself. :) There is sound, so turn your volume up or down accordingly.


  1. That video of Bri is SO sweet! And the song you put with it describes her perfectly!

  2. Sounds like Petra is an escapee! So far Lucy has not escaped and this week something in the backyard spoked her so she is nervous in the backyard! Any tips? Petra is so pretty.

  3. I love that photo of Brianna on the train table! And of course the video is darling, although I am a little biased. :) That's such a cute song you put with it. Where did you get it from?

    - Lisa

  4. Ahhh! love the video of Bri. Sounds like Petra is good at keeping life interesting. Don't know how she would do in our yard but she could chase some tom cats for us anyway. Phi finds them quite unnerving for some reason and is always checking over his shoulder for "titties" when he's in the yard. They are afraid of us and run but still a nuisance to have around.

  5. Darling video with the music. Great pictures. The falls are amazing! Especially like that night shot-neat!

  6. Yep, you convinced me to make snoqualmie falls a destination this summer. I haven't been in years. :-) The Bri video is so cute!


Your comments make my day, thank you!