Thursday, January 24, 2013

Fontana Dam sluicing photos capture rare display

Fontana Dam sluicing photos were taken today. I hope you enjoy them. For only the second time in a decade, Fontana Dam has opened it sluice gates. Water shoots out at a jaw dropping 128,000 gallons per second. These sluicing photos capture a rare display of icy raw power.

A mammoth icy spray covered trees and created a stunning rainbow over the parking lot. Dipping temperatures caused black ice to form under the spray, giving the roadway an icy shimmer. Sluicing is an awe inspiring display of magnificent proportions. The width of the display was only second to its height. Water jetted several stories above the late.


Photos can't convey the raw power of sluicing at Fontana Dam in North Carolina. It is as though we stood on the precipice of an earthquake epicenter.  The rumbling of the water is equaled only by the ground shaking beneath our feet. No photo equals the experience.

The last time that the sluice gates were opened at Fontana Dam was eight years go. Being here is an experience that happens once in a decade - if we're lucky.

Only one thing comes close to paralleling the experience of standing  when its sluicing. That's driving here is driving here. To do it, you have to take on the infamous U.S. 129 highway known locally as the "Tail of the Dragon".
Fontana is in the hills of North Carolina near the Tennessee border. Part of the fun is getting there.

The Tail of the Dragon is one of the most dangerous roads in America. A turn off of this road leads you straight to the dam. It is a more than fitting complement to the mighty Fontana Dam.

 There are 318 curves on U.S. Hwy. 129 and a mere 11 miles to take them in. Did I mention that it's one of my favorite roads to drive? Sluicing or not, here's why I like driving U.S. 129 on the way to Fontana Dam.