Monday, April 19, 2010

Southwest Day 7- Hoover Dam

We walk across the motel parking lot and have a nice sit down breakfast at Calico's. The pancakes are good and very filling. We then head straight to the Hoover Dam. This is the last major attraction on our list in Arizona. Major construction projects are underway. This route is a major connector from Las Vegas to Phoenix. The traffic can be heavy at times. A major bypass is under construction. In the picture below you can see the new bridge currently underway.

We follow the walkway to the ticket office. Everyone we have met tells us the same thing. "Take the dam tour". Well we have decided that we will take the full tour. Apparently there are two levels and we have opted for the full one.

After a brief movie we begin the tour. Immediately we take elevators down over 500 feet deep into the internal workings of the dam. The tour guide begins by telling us the facts and figures that were associated with the building of this project. The dam was completed ahead of schedule and all loans were repaid as agreed. Contrary to rumours, no one is entombed in the cement. However 96 men were killed on site during the construction. The amount of information was overwhelming.

Carol and Mike are paying close attention to the guide while I take their picture. The folks who will separate from the group for the full tour have yellow hats.

Above are the generators providing electricity for several states.

Carol overlooking the generators.

Above one of the many tunnels within the dam. The interior is amazingly spotless. I must admit I was impressed with the design and the forethought that was included in the original design decades ago.
Following are pictures taken after the tour as we walked to the parking garage. below the Columbia river continues on its course.

The view with the new bridge spanning the gorge.

Lake Mead is about 2/3 of its capacity.

Some of the traffic heading South. Nevada is to the right where our car was parked.

We retrieve the car and head back to Mesa and Mike's home.

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