Monday, May 11, 2009


Hoover Dam and approach road.
Water intake towers and the beginning of Lake Mead.
The white shows the high water mark from 1983, the only time water went into the diverging tunnels so it would not flow over the dam. There is a good picture on the dam web site of the water rushing out the bottom.
Looking down at the Colorado River.
The new bypass bridge.
In the tunnel.
Turbine Room
Lake Mead
Sherri and Mike on their way to San Fran.

On another day the four of us took a tour of Hoover Dam which was built in the 1930's to create Lake Mead in the southern end of the Grand Canyon on the border between Arizona and Nevada. The 726 foot dam was built from 1931 to 1936 with fresh concrete being poured 363 days a year. To cool the concrete that will take 100 years to completely dry, refrigerated pipes were laid in each pour and a huge ice plant was built to pump cooling liquid through the concrete. Today the water from the 110 mile long, 495 foot deep lake uses 17 turbines to produce electricity for over 1.5 million homes in the Southwest. The tour includes a movie on the construction, a 500 foot ride down an elevator and a walk through the rough cut tunnels to the Nevada turbine room. There is an exhibit room with dioramas and displays on the construction and workers who built this engineering marvel. Walking across the dam gives you great views of the lake, currently 60 feet below normal, on one side and several hundred feet down to the Colorado River on the other. You also get excellent looks at the new bridge being built to take all public traffic off the dam.

We had a great time in Vegas and it was wonderful to spend some time with Mike and Sherri. We were so busy enjoying all the sights we did not even get to play euchre before we put them on the plane to San Francisco for the next leg of their Western adventure. From here we are going to the Escapees RV park in Pahrump and then heading to the coast in Northern California, Oregon and Washington. We have reservations in Vancouver, BC at the end of July to hook up with my brother Rick and sister-in-law Denise. While in the Northwest we will stop and see Nanc's brother Dave and his family. Our only other confirmed plan is to go on the Escapees HOP to the Rose Parade with Richard and Valerie Frayer at the end of December.

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