A Dam Post For You

April 12, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Another “bucket list” item scratched off. Today, I took a day trip to Hoover Dam. In all of the ‘gadding about’ I’ve done during my lifetime, I had never before taken the time to tour a dam.
I couldn’t have ordered a better day. It was absolutely gorgeous…about 80° with plenty of sunshine. I left Las Vegas about 11:30 and began my adventure.
I stopped in a turnout on the way to take a picture of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area sign on U.S.93…at my age, it’s important to document your travels in case you get lost. Next, I drove another couple of miles farther and arrived at my first ‘official’ stop, the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge Plaza, aka U.S.-93 bypass bridge. There, you can take a moderately easy climb on a trail to the pedestrian part of the bridge itself and walk across to the Arizona side.

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As you walk across the bridge, you are afforded numerous “Kodak moments” that will dazzle your eyeballs with splendor. You have a clear view of the outlet side of Hoover Dam, and since the bridge is about 900 feet from the canyon below, the vistas are amazing. Click here for all of the specifics about the bridge.

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After leaving the memorial plaza, I headed for Hoover Dam. I arrived a little after 1:00 pm. It costs $10.00 to park in their new parking structure, but there is no time limit, so you can spend the whole day there if you want. I strolled around the grounds for a bit, then went inside. There was about an hour and half wait for the next tour, so I bought my ticket, then strolled around a bit more. I almost bought lunch at their snack bar, but they wanted $5.99 for a stupid hot dog and $1.99 for a miniature fountain drink, so I decided against it.

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The tour began with a 10-minute movie about Hoover Dam. My tired old brain couldn’t even begin to retain all of the information presented, so this link will give you an idea of the history and construction of the dam.
After the film, we were guided to the power plant area of the dam. There are a total of 17 huge turbines, 8 on the Nevada side of the dam and 9 on the Arizona side. The entire flow of the Colorado River flows through enormous conduits to power these turbines.

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After the power plant tour, we were guided into the bowels of the dam. We were walking in what once were air shafts which provided ventilation during the construction of the dam. At one point, we were guided to an air shaft that provided the best possible view of the U.S.-93 bypass bridge. I naturally took advantage of the opportunity. The “light at the end of the tunnel” in the first picture below is the location of the aforementioned “Kodak moment” opportunity.

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After the tour, I walked across the top of the dam..all the way to Arizona. The first series of pictures were taken from the ‘spillway side’ of the dam.

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The next series of pictures were taken from the Lake Mead side if the dam on my return trip to Nevada.

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When I arrived back to the Nevada side, I was pretty much finished with Hoover Dam. I don’t mean that in a negative way, it’s just that there was nothing more to see there. I took one more parting shot of the parking structure and the over-priced snack bar before I left. I then drove a mile or so to the Lake Mead Scenic Overlook and took a few more pictures there.

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I’m glad that I finally took the opportunity to tour a dam. It was a fascinating adventure and I thoroughly enjoyed it…except for the snack bar prices.
Hint: If you ever decide to take the tour, pack a lunch, or eat before you go.
And speaking of food, I was famished after skipping lunch, so I stopped in Boulder City on the way back to Las Vegas for an early dinner at A&W Root Beer.

 

 

 

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