Las Vegas, NV 11/27/07 Pt 1: Hoover Dam, Lake Mead
Start/Stop Home First image Previous image Next image Last image
Hoover Dam- one of the great engineering feats of our modern times, and just a short trip from the city of Las Vegas, where we’re staying this stop.

What can you say about Hoover Dam? It’s pretty neat. I would say it’s pretty dam neat, but that would be going way, way too far, and someone would have to smack me. In addition to its good looks, Hoover Dam does a great deal of good for this area and surrounding states by providing flood control, irrigation, and hydroelectric power. The dam holds back a whopping 26 million acre feet of water (making Lake Mead), which is enough to cover Pennsylvania in a foot of water- or so I’m reading here in the Hoover Dam book. How the water would get to Pennsylvania is still not clear. Not surprisingly, with all that water dangerously building up pressure behind the dam, and Pennsylvania in constant peril, they want to make sure that nothing and no one will – uh wait, will I get arrested for saying this? No? Okay - blow it up. We’re now on a watch list somewhere.

We didn’t visit Hoover Dam before 9/11, so have no comparison between now and then. We imagine they must have had tight security before too- but know that if you go now, you will definitely be watched. That was okay for us, as we currently have no plans for world domination.

Several miles before you cross the dam, there’s a security stop where they check your vehicle to make sure you’re not transporting anything “iffy”. They are in the process of building a new road that will allow traffic to pass at a safe distance, rather than right across the top of Hoover Dam, so if driving across the dam is on your list of “must do’s”, you’d better get here quick.

The first time we went to the dam, we were told that we couldn’t park because Marley was with us, (dog terrorists- they’re ruining it for everybody), and so we had to come back another day when Marley was at the dog spa (aka “kennel”- it’s a “dog spa” when Marley is listening). The visitor center was the first one we’ve come across with its own metal detector, x-ray machine and armed guards. We found out that after 9/11 they had shut down the tour of the dam and were only giving tours of the generators. Luckily for us, the dam tour got opened up again a couple of months ago. The tour guide told us that they don’t give out as much information as they used to, though. She couldn’t tell us how many people work at the dam, how often they do maintenance, where the bathrooms are (that last one might have just been because she’s new). When Travis asked if we could take pictures inside, though, she said, “Sir, we’re the federal government. We have nothing to hide.” Everyone laughed uncomfortably.