Dammed Colorado!

Family down river from the Hoover Dam

When we found out we’d be going to visit Las Vegas, my parents knew where they wanted to go first: the Hoover Dam. Not the Vegas strip. Not a Vegas show, like Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana. Not the casinos. Apparently it’s on their bucket list (what ever that is).

Down river from the Hoover Dam

But our visit to the Hoover Dam was anything but boring. Can you see the very narrow road that zigs and zags down toward the Colorado River? That adrenaline-pumping ride is how the Black Canyon Adventures shuttle bus brought us to water level. The view from the base of the dam is terrifying and awe-inspiring. Imagine the volume of water being held back to fill Lake Mead. Later, on the Power Plant tour, we’d learn about the amount of electricity generated as the water pushes through turbines at the base of the structure. Amazing.

Aren Elliott below the Hoover Dam

Actually our first visit after we arrived at McCarran International airport was to In-N-Out Burger, followed by the Springs Preserve. There we learned a lot about why people came to Las Vegas, the importance of a reliable water source in the desert as well as why and how the Hoover Dam was constructed.

Did you know that if the Hoover Dam stopped producing electricity, most people wouldn’t notice, but if the water supply was cut off the whole nation would be affected. Think of all that delicious California produce that’s made possible through the diverting of the pristine waters of the Colorado River.

Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam project provided much needed jobs in the 1930s and is a remarkable feat of engineering. But it is the scale of the structure that is pretty dam incredible. How could they create and plan a project this humongous without the internet?

Downstream from the Hoover Dam

I’ll always remember this first visit to the Hoover Dam. We travel so much I wonder what will be left to add to my bucket list?

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