Dam it

Have you read my novel Motel. Pool.? An important scene takes place at Hoover Dam. Well, I guess I have a thing for dams, because in Astounding!, my newest, there’s also an important dam scene. This time it’s Bonneville Dam, which lies on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.

We used to visit the dam when I was a kid. What I remember most clearly is the nearby fish hatchery, where there were some huge sturgeon, and the fish ladder. There’s a viewing area with windows that allow you to see under the water of the ladder, and there were always a bunch of lampreys stuck on the glass.

There are some environmental and historical controversies surrounding Bonneville Dam. But it also produces enough power for a half million homes–which turns out to be an important plot point in Astounding!

I haven’t been to the dam in years, but my 15-year-old daughter visited just a couple of weeks ago. Here are a couple of pictures she took:

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Yes! The lampreys are still there. They look like Star Trek monsters to me.

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