Off to the Damn Dam!

April 18, 2008 at 10:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Celena, my gracious hostess, and I embarked on a trip out of sin city and into the desert wildlife this morning…passing over the mountains, along the shores of Lake Mead, and ending at one of the greatest civil engineering feats of the 20th Century, the Hoover Dam. Or as we lovingly refer to it, the Damn Dam. We sprung for the tour, traveling down the elevator to the spillway tunnels, back up to the massive turbines, then up to the observation deck to take some lovely photos. We also saw a very cool 3-D map of the entire Colorado River system, and she pointed out to me her tiny hometown, Page, AZ, which is next to another damn dam, the Glen Canyon Dam.

Some interesting facts I learned: Hoover Dam is 45 feet wide at the top (just enough for two traffic lanes) and 660 feet wide at the base, the size of two football fields. The waterline is very low right now, and water consumption in this area is exceeding the supply. Quite a concern for residents, who like their backyard swimming pools and casino fountains. The dam was built to supply water first, and the electricity harnessed is only a secondary function. Herbert Hoover, as secretary of commerce, proposed the dam idea in the senate in 1920s, and when it finally got passed, he was the one who signed the bill as president. The dam was originally called Boulder Dam, but FDR later changed it to Hoover Dam. I guess that makes sense — when you’re trying to pass legislation for a dam, it’s probably pretty conceited to suggest it get named after you!

After the tour we headed back down to Lake Mead for a picnic, but first stopped to check out a sign we saw advertising helicopter rides for only $29. It sounded too good to be true…and it was. $29 gets you two minutes in the air, and you don’t even go near the dam. Damn dam ripoff!

On the way back to Celena’s, I mentioned I’d wanted to see the King Tut museum at the Luxor, and since traffic was starting to pile up, we decided it was best to wait it out in the casino. I’m sure we’re not the first ones to think of that — but luckily we don’t really gamble. Instead we saw a very cool IMAX movie about prehistoric sea monsters. So fitting, because I’m such a dino/ancient creatures nut. The King Tut exhibit was also pretty cool — all replicas, of course, but a nice set up.

Tomorrow Celena has some work to catch up on, so I’m going to head down to some of the pretty casinos — the Venetian, the Wynn, and some others — stroll around, take some pics, see where the day takes me. I’m going to try to see the Bellagio fountain while I’m down there. Hopefully it’s not too windy this time.


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  1. […] day and age, who needs a phone when you’ve got IM? My friend Celena, who showed me such a great time in Vegas last year, sent me this hasty string on […]

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