Grand Coulee Dam (Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area), Washington

I’m breaking my own rules by including the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, which includes the Grand Coulee Dam, in the Wonders of the World category. We intended that category only for Pyramids, the Gardens of Babylon, and the other famous wonders of the ancient world. But I can’t help myself when it comes to the Grand Coulee Dam. The Grand Coulee Dam is so awesome, so incredible, and just so huge, that the great Woody Guthrie wrote not one, but two songs about it:

“The world holds seven wonders,
As the travelers always tell.
Some gardens and some towers
I guess you know them well.
But now the greatest wonder
Is in Uncle Sam’s fair land
At king Columbia River,
The great Grand Coulee Dam!”

And again:

“Roll on, Columbia, roll on
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn
So roll on, Columbia, roll on
On up the river is the Grand Coulee Dam,
The mightiest thing ever built by a man
To run the great factories and water our land
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.”

When I first saw the Grand Coulee Dam, my reaction was that it had to be a work of nature, that no one could possibly have built it. Go there, look up at it from below, look down from on top of it, and you’ll see what I mean. The Grand Coulee Dam is now a relic from a period that is now hard to imagine, when government, of all things, moved earth and water to bring lights and irrigation to thousands. (They also moved the salmon when they authorized construction of The Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Complex.)

Location Information and Directions

Links: Grand Coulee Dam

Leave a Reply