Diablo itself is quaint, in a Dharma Initiative sort of way. This was home for the week, House 10. I quickly started fantasizing about fixing the whole place up and turning it into a charming little mountain resort.
In the short time we were there it was plain to see that the town plays host to a whole array of colorful characters by way of its purpose. + setting = a novelist's dream. If only I were any good at plot.It was hot during the days, but deep shadows set in well before sunset, facilitating some lovely evening strolls through town/along the river, same thing.
A sign on the now-abandoned pool house. Diablo at one time had more long-term residents than today. There was a school (the school building came to house the museum we were dismantling), a community building (that's actually recently been restored for administrative functions), and a pool. All that's left of the pool itself is an indentation in the ground.A local.
We speculated about the model year of the firetruck that might be contained within.
The school/museum. This building also housed a cookhouse where three meals a day were prepared for, I do believe everyone staying in town that wanted them up until very recently.
City Light used to operate tours up and around all the dams. An incline railway that originally took supplies up for dam construction and was later open for visitors to ride is located just across from the school building, thus the school was a natural spot for some interpretation. (Here are a couple of neat images of Diablo/the incline rail: 1928 and 1934.)The museum told the story of the Hydroelectric Project and housed artifacts relating to Seattle City Light's earlier days. In addition, it displayed a collection of items belonging to the family that owned the land prior to City Light. Post 9/11, public access around the dams was restricted, therefore Diablo can no longer be the destination that it once was. Tours that are more restricted in scope than those of days of old are still offered by City Light in conjunction with the North Cascades Institute during the summer.
I wish I could remember what electricity-related gadget this lovely little logo went with.
The Diablo Dam, this view is from the end of town, just up the road from the school.
As I mentioned, down from Diablo is the town of Newhalem and Gorge Dam and Lake. I forgot to mention that associated with each dam and lake is also a powerhouse. Love pre-mid-twentieth-century public works architecture.All that water sure gets these lines/transformers humming. Audibly.
Up the trail behind the Powerhouse is Ladder Creek Falls. The lighting of the falls at night and the creation of a garden around them was a pet project of Mr. Ross, mastermind of the whole Hydroelectric Project. The original lighting fell into disrepair and the nighttime colored light show with musical accompaniment ceased at some point, but a new more energy efficient system has since been put into place. Likewise many of the tropical plant species Ross imported have since been replaced with natives. We didn't come back after dark, but the unembelished daytime version of the falls wasn't exactly ugly.
Hmmm this looks suspiciously like an old gas fixture to me. I could be wrong, but if so, the irony.
Despite the fact that cell service dropped off to non-existent a couple of miles outside of Newhalem as you headed towards Diablo, meaning our only connection with the outside world while in Diablo was the spotty house wifi, living and working in such a remote, beautiful place was a pretty fantastic off-the-bat-Washington experience for this midwesterner.