Saturday, May 12, 2007

Dam Good Sites

While traveling along the highways of the USA in late afternoon, a place to park the Motorhome starts to be important. Campgrounds are plentiful and a lot of books are available to locate them. We have found 'Trailer Life' to be one of the very best. the 'Next Exit' is a good one as well.

'Woodalls' has lost a large portion of it's appeal because the State and National Parks are left out of the latest 2007 edition. Woodalls now only caters to it's base of privately owned RV parks. We do stay in that type of park on rare occasions. We donated at a national park, our 'old woodalls' before we realised the 'downgrade'.

The 'Natural Allure' of the many Government Parks as well as the rates being lower, are the reasons we find attractive. We are 'not' the type of people who play golf and use all of the organised social amenities provided at the high end, privately owned RV parks. Those things are not of interest to us. We personally, most enjoy watching the wildlife from the campsite and exploration of the areas. Even the lowly squirrel, or the plentiful small birds are of interest to us.

During a stopover at the area around Gatlinburg Tennessee, (south of I-40 east of Knoxville) and near the famous 'Dollywood', we found the Hydro-Electric 'Douglas Dam', Built by the US Army Corps of Engineers for the Tennesee Valley Authority (TVA) before these latest years of Oppresive Environmentalist's Restrictions. Todays endless, 'goosestep marching', cadre of Lawyers and their legal 'wrangling for dollars', makes it totally impossible to ever do that type of immense project again.

Todays exhorbitant legal costs involved would far, far exceed the actual costs of the project. So sad that our great nation has fallen victim to our own legal system. Maybe our 'finely honed pendulum' will some day finish it's swing to the 'left' and start back toward to a period of common sense based 'equalibrium'. 'Recreation on lakes and waters'

The Dams provide clean electricity and public recreation areas for all citizens regardless of their status in life, as well as diverse Wildlife habitat, and flood control, to a large portion of the Southern United States. The Civil War ended over one hundred and thirty years ago. The South, because they lost the Civil War? was not reaping any of the nations econonomic growth until the last several years, when the worlds investments began to shift here. The demographics of the domestic working middle class USA shifted. I should say, fled the voracious tax appetite as well as the legal restrictions of the Liberal, free for all, 'Rust Belt' among other areas, to leave for the lower taxed, conservative south with it's new found freedom, opportunities, wealth and prosperity.

The endless valleys are now, Dam created long river/lakes, with fishing and boating, with access available to everyone, not only the wealthy 'shoreline owners'. Striped Bass are most sought after. The ever present very big 'Catfish' is always a fishing story to remember, telling and re-telling for years. The restaurant chain, 'Cracker Barrel', is the best place to eat 'Catfish' while traveling, due to it's consistancy of quality at each restaurant. Try it, You will like it..

In the Carolinas, the water backed up by a few of the Dams, provides the water for the cooling towers of the Nuclear Power Generating stations. The electrical generating capacity of these areas brought prosperity to the people that lived in abject poverty before these projects started a long time ago. The new homes and businesses of today are being built as fast as the working class 'domestic citizens' find out about this 'goldmine' and move here from other 'declining' areas of the country.

Read online; 'The Wall Street Journal' 08 May 2007, 'The Re Alignment of America' by Michael Barone.

The 'Douglas Dam' near 'Dollywood' (Gatlinburg) in Eastern Tennessee, was our home for two nights while we went sightseeing during the days. We found the endless numbers of birds, deer and other wildlife around the Dam, a treat to watch. The birds have found that when the Dams automatic system slowly opens the generating gates, a number of fish flow through the massive turbines and some are either stunned or killed by the blades. The birds and other wildlife are fed to the max by this harvest. The plentiful supply of fish is in no way diminished.

Normally the Great Blue Heron is very unsociable and solitary. Not at the Dams. They reluctantly stand about 10 feet from each other watching the great Dam. When the horn sounds, indicating the gate opening, they know feast time is starting. We counted approximately one hundred Great Blue Herons, all at 'attention' staring at the base of the Dam.

Many other types of birds are there as well. Pellicans have decided to feed at these areas as well as large numbers of Egrets and various other types of Cranes. Bright red 'Cardinals' are a treat for us because NM has no significant numbers of them.

The wonderful flying capabilities of 'Vultures'of all types, searching out 'thermals', while endlessly flying back and forth looking for whatever flows down stream or ripening on the highways, are always fascinating to watch.

Mornings with a cup of coffee, relaxing in the 'captains chairs', gazing out the big windshield, are as bountiful with wildlife as evenings, at 'The Tailwaters' below the Dams. The 'Headwaters' above are used more by the boating and fishing crowd. The US Army Corps of Engineers help maintain these campgrounds as a public service. Privately owned campgrounds with numerous camping sites are also available around these 'Oasis' areas.

San Angelo Texas also benefits from one of the great Army Corps of Engineers Dam's. Lake Nasworthy, The City Parks Marina, at one time provided boats for family fun. Well the 'Lawyers Open Season' and the US legal system now allowing the 'Lawyers Open Season', sure ended all that. The risk of a devastating lawsuit brought the reasonably priced, public rentals to an end.

Their countless recreational camping sites are still a great place to enjoy plentiful numbers of Turkey, Deer, vultures, common Squirrels as well as Black 'Rock Squirrels' and for some reason Donkeys, Peacocks and Llamas. I think the later are owned by someone and just wander at times. Hurry before the 'Liberals attorneys' decide that it is way too dangerous for anyone but the 'Elitists'.

Beware of the 'stinging Fire Ants' (illegal aliens) while traveling the south. Bleach seems to neutralise the sting if dabbed on within seconds of the sub-miniature ants 'multiple stings'. I carry a bleach 'pen' when exploring. Ammonia ('After Bite')also seems somewhat effective but I prefer the bleach. Their small mounds look like many little piles of finely ground coffee.

Thank you, 'US Army Corps of Engineers', for an excellent job. They have a website listing locations, we used a little folded paper map, given to us by a volunteer, showing the whereabouts of most of them. Thank you volunteers for the help you give to maintain these great National Treasures. The United States government can not do all of this without your help. (Corps volunteer Program)

Oklahoma and Texas have a shared 'Corps of Engineers' Hydro-Electric Dam (Texoma) as well. Denison Dam (Texoma Lake) near Denison Texas on the Oklahoma border. The lake backs up for miles along the course of the river. The same plentiful numbers of wildlife are hanging out below the Dam waiting for easy treats. When we traveled in the past, on our way to wherever, we rarely slowed down enough to enjoy some of the natural things made available by our great nation for the American public.

Our Government is doing a great job, considering the growing population of 300 million people, all acting like immature baby birds, all 'Demanding', to be catered to. Leaving their trash every place they visit. Although grown adults, they still apparently need a Mother. Again the volunteers are on site doing whatever needs to be done in order to help maintain these environments. Very few people are blessed with this giving 'spirit', tell them that they are appreciated whenever you come across them.

There also is a miniscule but 'litigously' boisterous, movement by the 'FORCES of DARKNESS' to remove all vestiges of ALL Dams to allow the 'Natural' flow of rivers to return. Which Tenured College Profs poured this ridiculous nonsense into these perpetual 'Babies' brains?

I would surmise, the only way these 'Forces of Darkness' will accept the world, is the condition it was in before 'Mankind' populated the Earth. They do not seem to realise that the electricity to manufacture their 'Political Bumper Stickered' 'Prius' has to be generated by some engineering marvel. They seem to have no concept how this is accomplished. They also still need a Mother.

In the meantime get out and enjoy the Greatest Nation the world has ever known. The fantastic endlessly changing scenery with it's many different altitudes and climates. The plentiful amenities. The nicest people you will ever meet anywhere. The access to anywhere in this nation without wearing a passport on a string around your neck.

Even the fuel heading upwards towards four dollars a gallon is cheap and easy to aquire by world standards. Beer is about the same price and only fun when you drink so much of it, your brain, to say nothing of your life, is heading for disaster. Whiskey is much more costly. I can go on and on but you need to get rollin'. See you somewhere in the USA some evening around the campfire. Life is great.


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