Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Chris' Due Date
Monday July 13, 1992
We awake our first morning at Don Pedro to a beautiful sky and no wind. By 8:30 the guys are skiing. All the boys are skiing really well this year, and they're eager to ski. We have a beautiful day with Marty and Kathy. the weather is near perfect. The afternoon clouds up and looks like rain but no moisture.
We sit up and watch the stars. The full moon is so bright we can't sleep with the shades down.
Gary and Maria make us hamburgers for dinner. It's great!
Our usual campspot was on the shore between the two houseboats on the left side of this photo. We always got up early before the boats arrived from the campground near the dam and chopped up the water and before the wind came up. The water was like glass and great for water skiing. After everyone got to ski, we would come back to camp to make a hearty breakfast.
I first learned to water ski when I was about 6 years old in 1959. At that time we would camp at Lake Nacimiento near Paso Robles. A few years later I learned to ski on a single ski and by then we were camping every year at Lake Don Pedro. The original dam was built in 1923 by the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation District. With a storage capacity of 289,000 acre feet, it was barely able to accommodate the irrigation needs of a single growing season. After numerous dry winters, the Districts decided to replace the original dam with a much larger one in order to store water necessary to bridge multiple dry years. Construction of the new dam, which was much larger, began in 1967 and was completed four years later, primarily to store irrigation water, but also for power generation, flood control and recreation. The old dam is still in place, 250 feet below the surface of the full reservoir. The new dam is 580 feet high, 855 feet above sea level, 1900 feet long at the crest and 40 feet wide at its crest. More than 14 million people have visited this lake since the new dam was completed in 1971. It has 160 miles of shoreline and 13,000 acre-feet of surface area. It is one of the few lakes that allows primitive camping on the shoreline. Not too many people can say they camped there before the "new" dam was built in 1971, but I am one of them. Mom taught her children to ski in the 60s and now she is teaching her grandchildren to ski in the 90s. She was a very patient teacher.