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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/376

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372
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

THE RECLAMATION OF THE NORTH PLATTE VALLEY
By W. S. COULTER,

ASSISTANT ENGINEER, U. S. R. S.

THE North Platte River rises in the semi-arid region of the North Park Mountains in Colorado and flows into Wyoming, its course through the latter state describing a rough quadrant of about one hundred and fifty miles radius, having for its center the southeast corner of the state. Eighty miles from the state line it turns to the southeast and so continues to its junction with the South Platte in central Nebraska. The route through the last two states lies almost wholly

PSM V70 D376 Dam site in the pathfinder canyon on the north platte river.png

Pathfinder Canyon on the North Platte River. Location of Dam Site.

within the arid region and drains, in Wyoming, a mountainous country where the snow lingers long into the early summer. During the winter and spring the snowfall upon the peaks is considerable, and when the white mantle begins to dissolve under the increasing heat of the summer sun, the rivers are gorged with the flood waters. The North Platte, which trickles along the center of a broad gravel bed throughout the summer, a pigmy sporting the habiliments of a giant, assumes monstrous proportions at this season, swelling from a few hundred