Smith Mountain Lake (SML) is an impoundment of the Roanoke (Staunton) River as it passes along the border of Bedford and Franklin Counties in Southwestern Virginia. The dam itself is in Pittsylvania County, and is connected into the power grid of American Electric Power (AEP), the parent company of Appalachian Power.
SML's waters feed the turbines of the dam, and then the water is sent downstream into another lake formed behind the Leesville Dam, which is also a hydroelectric plant. But only until Leesville Lake is full. Then, water from Leesville is pumped back into Smith Mountain by turning the SML generators into motors, and running the turbines backwards to start the cycle all over.
There is a recreational area at the bottom of SML Dam that is maintained by AEP for the use of the public, and a Visitor Center above the dam for observing the dam and gorge. It also tells the history of the dam and lake system in 3-D displays.
This stop on the photo safari was more of a test of the Canon Sure Shot Z135. I even got to use the Macro feature, and it did very well. My only complaint is the trend to overexposure in bright daylight, but this was easily fixed in PSE10. The flash worked great, and it didn't blow-out the subject when in Macro mode. And the low light situations are helped by the longer shutter speeds you get with these higher end Sure Shots. Overall, this is a very nice camera.
For more info than I can put here, go to http://www.aep.com/environmental/recreation/hydroImpressive Impeller
, on FlickrSMLD Close Up
, on FlickrYou Are Here
, on FlickrSmith Mountain Hydroelectric Dam
, on Flickr
As usual, the rest of the photos (31 total) are athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/7699588@N07/sets/72157630345998200/