When most people think of Shasta Lake, they imagine themselves on a houseboat enjoying California’s largest manmade reservoir. With 365 miles of shoreline it is a boaters paradise. What most people don’t think about is the massive structure that is responsible for holding back the water that creates Shasta Lake. We’re talking about Shasta Dam which, is a perfect example of “California’s Gold”.
Construction of the dam started in 1938 and ended in 1945. It’s 602 feet high, 883 feet thick at the bottom, 30 feet thick at the top, and 3,460 feet long. The face of the dam is as big as six football fields and the spillway is the largest manmade waterfall in the world – three times the height of Niagara Falls. There are 18 outlets on the face of the dam, each big enough to drive a pickup through. Shasta Dam has the second largest mass of any dam in the United States.
In this adventure, Huell and Luis get a behind the scenes look at this engineering marvel. Miles of tunnels and millions of gallons of water make for an exciting day, but there is another aspect to the Shasta Dam – the human element. It is the people who built the dam, the people that poured concrete 24 hours a day for 5 1/2 years and the countless other jobs that make this structure such a gem. Huell meets several of the original dam workers and listens to their stories about the glory days of Shasta Dam.