Life Outside Spring 2018 - 9

From the Editor

TINKER CREEK'S LITTLE SECRET

It provides, along with Catawba Creek, water tunneled
to Carvins Cove, from the other side of a big ol' mountain.

W

HEN YOU HIKE THE WONDERFUL TRAILS of

THE CATAWBA
TUNNEL
The Water
Authority would
want you to
know: Just to
visit and look
upon, not to
explore.

Carvins Cove, there is a looming presence
to your north: the nearly 3,000-foot Tinker
Mountain.
And when you hike the Appalachian Trail
from U.S. 220 in Daleville, there is a pretty
presence far below and to the south: the
nearly 13,000-acre Carvins Cove Reservoir.
And far below to the other side of Tinker
Mountain-invisible due to foliage and its
course along the base of the mountain: the
flow of Tinker Creek.
So you've got a big pond on one side of
the mountain and a famous creek on the
other side of it.
And never shall they meet, right?
Well, wrong, and it's a five-decadesold tale worth a re-visit. It came to my
attention a few years back on a hike up
the A.T. from the Daleville lot, on a day
when we paused longer than usual at the

Tinker Creek crossing less than half a mile
into the climb toward Hay Rock: The flow of
the creek-on its way to meet the Roanoke
River in Vinton, was ripping along, way up
toward the bridge.
And the next day on the radio, I heard
about Tinker Creek helping replenish a
depleted Carvins Cove.
Wha? With that big mountain between
them?
I called the Western Virginia Water
Authority and talked to Sarah Baumgardner,
public relations ace and long-time neighbor,
who explained that . . .
. . . back in the proverbial day- the
decades soon after the dam was completed
in the 1940s-city fathers looked far enough
ahead to realize that little Carvin Creek and
the other small flows off of Tinker and Brushy
mountains weren't going to provide enough
water for future needs and populations.
As in us, today.
And so the idea was hatched to build a
6,528-foot, six-foot-diameter diversion tunnel
from Tinker Creek through the mountain to
the reservoir. "Diversion" in that it wouldn't
draw water out of Tinker Creek except when
its flow reached a high level.
Pretty nifty, from both a civics and a
walk-to-it perspective (from along the Happy
Valley Fire Road) to find the mouth into the
Cove, which was dedicated in 1966.
It also turns out that, about a decade
later, the city opened a second tunnel, this
one even more ambitious, at 10,595 feet,
and with a higher carrying capacity. The
Catawba Tunnel.
And with all the new trails, you can walk
or bike to the Tunnel Trail, and watch that
through-a-mountain flow as well.
We all get drinking water. And we all
have the chance to go see where some of it
comes into the reservoir.

-KURT RHEINHEIMER

LifeOutsideMag.com // Spring 2018

9


http://www.LifeOutsideMag.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Life Outside Spring 2018

Life Outside Spring 2018 - Cover1
Life Outside Spring 2018 - Cover2
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 3
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 4
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 5
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 6
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 7
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 8
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 9
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 10
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 11
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 12
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 13
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 14
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 15
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 16
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 17
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 18
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 19
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 20
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 21
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 22
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 23
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 24
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 25
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 26
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 27
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 28
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 29
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 30
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 31
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 32
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 33
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 34
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 35
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 36
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 37
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 38
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 39
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 40
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 41
Life Outside Spring 2018 - 42
Life Outside Spring 2018 - Cover3
Life Outside Spring 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/Life_Outside_Spring_2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/Life_Outside_Fall_2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/Life_Outside_Summer_2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/Life_Outside_Spring_2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/Life_Outside_Fall_2017
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com