For the past month or so here in California, we can’t turn on the news without hearing people talking about water — water filling up reservoirs, overflowing rivers and creeks, covering roads and farmlands, and causing mudslides on the highways.
It seems that water is one of those things we tend to take for granted, until we have too little or too much of it! Most of us are aware the Grand Canyon was formed by the flow of the Colorado River; yet we frequently forget what a powerful force water can be. The recent events at the Oroville Dam are a good reminder — major damage to the concrete spillway followed by soil erosion beneath the emergency spillway, prompting the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people from the surrounding areas.
Huell looks at two historic examples of water under pressure: first at the Malakoff Diggins State Park in the Sierra foothills, where for decades miners used tremendous water cannons to help dissolve mountains in search of precious metals. Today Huell visits a vast man-made valley that remains a testament to the power of this process. Next, Huell visits California’s Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga-one of only three in the world.