Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

We left Death Valley in the rain & low clouds over the mountains, drove thru Red Rock Canyon in the gloom, & decided to stay at the commercial side of Lake Mead Nat'l Recreation Area (the other side of the camping area with a senior pass discount is dry camping) to replenish our batteries with electricity, fill up with water, & dump our tanks. Plus it's located on the west side of Lake Mead with a good view of the main body of the Lake, & only a few highway miles actually from Hoover Dam.

Although walking along Hoover Dam is free, parking in the multi-story parking garage is $10. Not a bad overall charge for the visit, I guess, & we didn't want to walk all the way down hill (& then back up) from the free area on the east side of yhe Dam. The visitor center charged to just go in (like the one at Gettysburg), & I don't think that's right - so I didn’t go in!

The road to the Dam has gorgeous views of the Bypass Bridge south of the Dam, but the sides on the Bridge are too high to get even a glance at the Dam driving over it. The red rock walls are very tall above the very narrow canyon cut by the Colorado River, so it was a perfect location for the Dam.

There are several nice statues & plagues on the west side of the actual dam. And it was fascinating to see how the concrete edge of the Dam meshed with the sides of the canyon.

And the view from the Dam looking DOWN to the Colorado River nearly gave me vertigo!

The water intake towers are massive, & even more so with the lake so low.

The kewlest part almost was the plague & marker for the Arizona - California border. Jeff has a foot in each state.

We're really glad we made the effort to see Hoover Dam. We've watched numerous documentaries thru the years on the building, dangers, & struggles of building this dam, so now we know up close what a triumph it was.

The Lake must have been even more beautiful when it was fuller. That bathtub ring is rather distracting. The National Recreation Area is on both sides (both states) of the Lake & runs north beyond the Lake area, plus along both sides of the Colorado River until just north of Bullhead City, NV, almost to the southern edge of NV.

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