Monday, January 19, 2009

My trip in pictures

...more verbiage tomorrow.

Saturday, I finally visited a place I've really wanted to see in person for some time, but for one reason or another, did not. While on my own in Vegas, it was the perfect time to go see The Hoover Dam. It only took four years to build, though there was infrastructure going into place many years before the dam was even constructed.

Some facts about the dam that I knew I wouldn't remember, but were conveniently place on a plaque for me to take a picture of.

This was taken from the bus on the road leading to the dam. There's a security checkpoint on either side of the dam where they search your car/bus. Then you drive across the dam and play "dodge the pedestrian". In the summer, I'm told, it backs up traffic for miles. They are building a bridge to bypass the dam and will alleviate stress from a lot of people's lives.

The dam from the observatory deck. It's big.

From the dam looking down. Wow. It's high.

Nice pic with the sun there I thought. The structure on the right is the beginning of the bridge they are building which I mentioned above.

Here's the bridge they are building on the other side. The two will meet in the middle. It looks to be mostly cement.

The turbine rooms and bottom of dam as taken from the observatory deck.

The circular structure is the observatory deck as taken from the dam itself.

The Dam and Lake Mead in the background (only a little). Yes, it was a nice day in the upper 60's. Apparently in the summer, it routinely gets to be 115 degrees as the cement retains the heat and makes it even hotter for longer.

The impact of almost 10 years of drought and a booming population in Vegas and downstream of the dam.

If you click on this picture, you can see the brown high water marks (actually where the white stops). It's amazing how much the lake has been drawn down.

On the bridge is the division between Arizona and Nevada.

Don't believe me? This tower is in Nevada and it's 3:00.

This tower is in Arizona and it's 4:00. Ha! It did take me 5 minutes to walk between the towers on either side of the dam though.

The dam, which is in Black Canyon as opposed to Boulder Canyon (the project was originally called The Boulder Canyon Project), is compared to other structures on this plaque including the Eiffel Tower, The Arch in St. Louis, Washington Monument and the pyramids in Egypt.

I like this plaque because it shows the tunnels that had to be built to divert the Colorado River around where they wanted to build the dam. They actually built a smaller dam as well to help while they built the base of the Hoover Dam.

The vast Lake Mead. It backs up for 110 miles!

So those are my dam(n) pictures.

Here's the Monte Carlo, where I stayed. More on the hotel tomorrow.

Think the Strip is built up already? Bzzzzz. Wrong. Look at all of the new construction!!! And this is just within view of my hotel. Wynn built his new hotel and then put up a duplicate hotel called Encore. All the big hotels have expanded or added separate buildings. The economy does not seem to be hurting in Vegas at all. Except in the residential real estate sector. Speaking of which, land is very expensive there. Know why? Because there is a huge reserve for endangered species that we are not allowed to build on. Pretty interesting.

Hopefully you celebrated Martin Luther King Day today. If not, take another read of his "I have a dream" speech. Pretty inspiring.

Things I'm grateful for:
#61 Vegas baby!! It really is fun to visit there periodically.
#62 That, at least around me, racism is not anywhere near as apparent as it used to be.
#63 The end of the Bush administration.


stef said...

Wow. I've always wanted to visit the Hoover dam too. But now I feel like I don't have to. Thanks Joe!

el supremo de nm said...

Those are some pretty 'dam' good pictures Joe.

alexis said...

wow, those are great photos! Now I want to go too :P