Churchill Falls Bottle Cache
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Easy hike of about 45 minute to hour return, take a camera
At the end of the hiking trail overlooking the original Churchill (Hamilton/Grand)River Falls where the 'bottle' used to be. Ammo can hung in a tree with log book and pencil plus a lock, notebook, night light, pair of clips and a roll of tape.
Churchill Falls are waterfalls, 75 m high, on the Churchill River in Labrador, Canada. Since 1970, the waters of the Churchill River have been diverted into the nearby Churchill Falls hydroelectric power station. Water flows down the falls less than once a decade, during spring thaw or periods of exceptional rains.
Churchill Falls were first explored in 1839 by John McLean, a trader of the Hudson's Bay Company. MacLean named the river the Hamilton River, after Newfoundland Governor, Sir Charles Hamilton. The falls were known as Grand Falls until 1965 when both names were changed to the Churchill River and Churchill Falls to honour the former British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.
The Churchill Falls power station has the second largest
hydroelectric-generating capacity in North America (5,248 MW installed, expandable to about 6,300 MW) and is also the second largest underground power station in the world, after the Robert-Bourassa generating station in northern Quebec.
Six km above the falls, the Churchill River narrowed to 60 m and negotiated a series of rapids before dropping into Bowdoin Canyon, from which sheer cliffs rise several hundred feet on either side. The river flowed 19 km through the canyon over a series of rapids. The total drop from the rapids above the falls to the end of Bowdoin Canyon is 316 m.
In August, 1949, Joseph R. Smallwood, Premier of Newfoundland, had the opportunity to see Churchill Falls for the first time and it became his obsession to develop the hydroelectric potential of the falls. In 1953 British Newfoundland Corporation (Brinco) was formed to do extensive exploration of the untapped water and mineral resources. With the development of the iron-ore mines in western Labrador and the construction of the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway (1954), development of Churchill Falls as a power source became feasible.
After years of planning, the project was officially started on July 17, 1967. The machine hall of the power facility at Churchill Falls was hollowed out of solid rock, close to 300 m underground. Its final proportions are huge: in height it equals a 15-storey building, its length is three times that of a football field. When completed, it housed 11 generating units, with a combined capacity of 5,428 MW (more than 7,000,000 horsepower). Water is contained by a reservoir created not by a single large dam, but by a series of 88 dikes that total 64 km in length.
Once all the dikes were in place, it provided a vast storage area which later became known as Smallwood Reservoir. This reservoir covers 5,700 km² and provides storage area for more than 28 million m³ of water. The drainage area for the Churchill River includes much of western and central Labrador. Ossokmanuan Reservoir which was originally developed as part of the Twin Falls Power System also drains into this system.
Churchill River's natural drainage area covers over 60,300 km². Once Orma and Sail lakes' outlets were diked, it added another 11,400 km² of drainage for a total of 69,200 km². This makes the drainage area larger than the Republic of Ireland. Studies showed this drainage area collected 410 mm of rainfall plus 391 cm of snowfall annually equaling 52 km³ of water per year; more than enough to meet the project's needs. Construction came to fruition on December 6, 1971, when Churchill Falls went into full-time production.
Churchill Falls Power station is the largest hydroelectric power house in the world. (Baie James produces more power but in two separate power houses which are not far from each other but nonetheless they are separate houses.)
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