Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dam Good Run, Walk, Hike

On Saturday, Lake Pleasant Regional Park hosted the Dam Good Run, Walk, Hike.  Participants could choose from 3 routes – 2 miles, 4 miles, or 8 miles.

The 4 and 8 mile routes took the runners/walkers across the Waddell Dam.     DSC_0365










This is the only time that the dam is open to pedestrian traffic, and in order to gain access to the dam, the park has to provide volunteers to man several checkpoints along the dam.

That’s where we came in!  Several of the camp hosts volunteered our Saturday morning to help out with the Dam Run – either on the dam, or at several other checkpoints along each of the routes.

All's quiet on the dam this morning

Saturday morning was warm and sunny as we gathered at the Visitor Center and received our assignments.  Louis and Mary, along with Tom, Bryce and I were assigned to the dam.  Bryce had the very important job of telling the 4 mile runners that they had reached the turn around point at the far side of the dam, and Tom’s job was to make sure that the runners who continued on past Bryce were aware that they were on the 8 mile route. 

Louis, Mary and I were assigned to designated spots along the dam, and our job was just to make sure that nobody ventured off the designated path.

With our assignments clear, we headed down the hill to the dam.

Getting set up for the run

We had interesting trivia on cones along the dam


The cones we carried had informational trivia attached to them . . . for the reading enjoyment of the participants.








The “Dam Team”, ready for work!

The Dam Team!

Nicolas, along with Ron, was assigned to the location where the 8 mile runners leave the road and pick up the trail for the tail end of their route.  He was going to be responsible for directing traffic as the runners crossed the road.

Nicolas gets instructions from Terry

After getting his instructions from Terry, he headed back towards the campground.  It was going to be awhile before he had to do anything!

While we waited for the first runners to reach us, I took some pictures from my vantage point on the dam.

A quiet morning on the lake

View from the Dam

The Waddell Canal

Central Arizona Project


These structures pump the water into and out of the lake, to and from the canal.

Water Pumping Structures

This canal is part of the Central Arizona Canal System, which brings water from the Colorado River at Lake Havasu, into central Arizona where it is stored in Lake Pleasant.  Water is brought into the lake through most of the fall, winter and spring, and then in the summer the water travels from Lake Pleasant, back through the canal system, to Phoenix and the surrounding communities, and down to Tuscon, supplying water during the hot, dry months.

Our maintenance compound, laundry facility, and 2 volunteer sites are located next to the canal south of the dam.

Our Maintenance Compound

Some of the first runners


Around 9:15, we saw our first runners coming down the hill from the Visitor Center, heading toward us on the dam.

We continued to see folks for about the next 20 minutes or so, and most of them were just walking, enjoying the view from the dam.

There wasn’t a huge turnout, and other than the first few runners, most were casual runners and walkers, just out enjoying the beautiful morning.  I took lots of pictures for people, and several stopped to chat for awhile.


When they passed me, they continued on across the dam.  The 4 mile runners turned around when they reached Bryce and reversed their route, but the 8 mile runners took a trail through the desert below the dam, past out maintenance compound, and back up the access road to the campground where Nicolas directed them back to the Start/Finish Line at the 10 lane boat ramp.

Runners and Walkers on the Dam

Volunteer Frank marked the end of the pack, and he completed the entire 8 mile route, making sure that nobody got lost along the way.  Once he exited the dam, the gate where Tom was stationed was closed and locked. and we followed the 4 mile walkers as they came back across the dam.

Tom escorts the last walkers back

Once everybody was off the dam, the gate at our end was closed and locked also, and we made our way back up to the Visitor Center.

Trudging back up the hill

We were done for the day and could go back to the RV for lunch, but Nicolas had to wait for all the 8 mile runners to return before he was done. 

We didn’t do much else for the rest of the day, except relax, but I do have a few nice sunset photos to share with you.
















March 14th, 2014


  1. Sounds like you all had a relaxing but fulfilling day and again you did it as a family.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. Hi Marci & family.
    Your blog title made me laugh. We were going to be volunteering at a COE lake near Fort Worth a few years ago and took our grandsons when we went to visit the dam office. They thought it was so funny that the employees were referring to so many things using the word dam. As soon as their parents were home they had to tell them about everyone using the word dam, the boys thought
    that was so funny. Well I guess this is a case of, you had to be there. So glad
    you're enjoying your time at Pleasant. Becki

    1. Ha! Ha! Just wait 'til we go on the Hoover Dam Tour . . . have you seen Vegas Vacation?


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