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The Power Lines Fascination.

Warning: This blog entry is super geeky.

I have always been fascinated by power lines. I’m surprised that I haven’t been overly fascinated in the “Transformers” movies and the like, because as a little kid I thought that the poles and towers that carry powerlines across the country side kind of looked like people.

After taking care of some family business up in my hometown today, I took the opportunity to take some of the less-traveled backroads home. The ride is actually shorter if you can successfully navigate your way through the twists and turns of the Tug Hill Plateau and I was able to do this successfully. It was a beautiful day for this sort of adventure and since I was off from work, I wanted to savor every moment.

The route home included driving by the Bennetts Bridge Hydro-Electric Plant, one of two power plants on the Salmon River in Oswego County, New York (the other plant is the Lighthouse Hill Power Plant).

Built in 1932, Bennetts Bridge has two sets of powerlines coming out of it. The pair of towers carry a total of four circuits. By the looks of the towers, one set was installed before the other.

When I see the pairing of these towers standing along the side road, I actually see a “couple” with one wearing a hat.


The lines on the left are on the older towers. The circuit on the right side of the right tower is a higher voltage than the others, though I don’t know the voltage of these lines. This is the first time I have been able to peg a date on these towers, knowing that Bennetts Bridge was first put into service in 1932. This pair of lines heads toward Syracuse, where it joins the other lines distributing power across New York State near Caughdenoy, which is wear the Great Blackout of 1965 originated (Aunt Clara’s participation in the event notwithstanding).

I decided not to take photos of the power plant itself because there were warning signs all over the place discouraging such activity and I wasn’t in the mood to get into a hassle with the security patrolling the area.

If you’re ever up in that area, the Department of Conservation has built a wonderful park area around Salmon River Falls, with a ranger stationed nearby to answer any questions you may have. When I was in high school it was common for some of my classmates to go up on the falls to party on the weekend. I lost a couple of classmates that fell off the falls.

It’s an especially beautiful drive in autumn as the leaves turn gorgeous shades of colors in this neck of the woods.

4 Comments

    1. I have actually done that under the powerlines that are a few miles from our house and the lights did light up. Maybe I’ll do that again tonight! The lines near the house are some of the highest voltage lines in the country. They hum quite loudly. When it’s foggy, they crackle.

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