Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hot Dam! 7.22.08

We have both been to Vegas 100 times and have never made it to Hoover Dam so this trip was all about going there. And it didn’t disappoint. We arrived there around 1pm or so and yes, it was hot…112 in the shade. There were pretty tight security measures in place – we had to go through a security checkpoint first and then were told we couldn’t park in the covered parking garage as we had the propane tank on the back of the truck so we had to cross over to the Arizona side of the dam & park in the sun. But we had a better view from there so it wasn’t awful. We took the ‘Discovery Tour’ which allowed you into 7 areas of the Dam, including a trip down to the hydroelectric generators.

The architecture, engineering, story of how the dam was built, and the scenery was amazing. It was definitely an engineering marvel. We spent several hours there & checked out many of the sights including the winged statues to honor those who died during the building of the dam - only 96 which is amazing, and we too turn rubbing the toes for good luck.

There were a good number of people there, but I was amazed to hear the average number of people on a daily basis was just 2,200. That number seems low to me. We met a great couple traveling to California & chatted with them for most of the tour. It’s been great to chat with so many good people on this trip. The one thing that just amazed me was the thickness of the dam! Michael loved being able to go down into the ‘belly’ of it & seeing the original diversion tubes, hearing the water surge below us, & seeing the huge generators. It was quite spectacular!

We left there & headed for the Downtown area of Vegas as, again, we have never seen the Freemont Street Experience. This is a 1400 ft long arched steel canopy along the street that has a light & sound show with 12.5 million synchronized LED lights. We stayed for two shows, the first was Don McLean’s song ‘Bye Bye Miss American Pie’ complete with animated pictures & bright colors.

It was nice and again, our necks were sore from looking straight up. All along Freemont Street were the old hotels that have been there forever – Golden Nugget, Vegas Vickie kicking up her heels on top of a strip club,

and a cool place called the Neonopolis where they have rescued some of the older neon signs from the graveyard and have them lit & displayed.

We even took in a cruise while we were there! We headed back to the hotel for one more night of luxury & prepared for our journey West again. We are going to Palm Springs next to visit Michael's family then ahhh....back to the coast!



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