When we were in Las Vegas back in April we thought it was only right to take a trip to the Hoover Dam, when you’re in the area it would be rude not to, right? So, on our way towards Route 66 and the Grand Canyon we stopped off to check out the Hoover Dam and see what the big fuss is all about.
So, we got up mega early (I’m talking 6am people, and we were on holiday!) jumped in the car and headed off to explore. Seeing Las Vegas at 6:45am was the first experience. Walking through our hotel casino we spotted gamblers who were there from the night before, still chugging on a beer and losing, or maybe winning some cash. Then there were the early riser gamblers who’d just got out of bed, picked up their morning coffee and headed to the slots. Never mind New York, Vegas never sleeps either!
After picking up our morning coffees and the German designating me to be the first driver we set off like happy, excited road trippers…
The Hoover Dam isn’t too far away from Las Vegas, in fact it’s about an hour away from the strip so if you fancy a little trip out and away from the bright lights and flashing machines this is definitely the place to go. We arrived at about 8:30am, perfect timing if you want to avoid the crowds of tourists that flock there on a daily basis. We were just about the only people there, give or take a few other couples and groups of friends. It was definitely the best time to go if you wanted to take some fab pictures at your own pace without having to wait for people to move out of the way!
This place is just breathtaking. Obviously I’ve seen it in pictures, in films and on TV but until you get to the real thing you really can’t believe how big and beautiful it is. I think I got out of the car and simply said ‘wow!’ It is bigger than you could ever imagine, each area you walk around is more breathtaking than the last, each angle you take a photo from is more beautiful, it’s simply out of this world.
Ready for some stats and history about this place? So, the Hoover Dam was built between 1931 and 1935 during the Great Depression as a way to give thousands of unemployed workers jobs, but sadly it also cost over one hundred lives. It was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on September 30, 1935 and controversially named after President Herbert Hoover, the guy who was in power when construction began.
The dam impounds Lake Mead and the Colorado River and serves as a flood control barrier to the surrounding areas as well as a power provider for public and private utilities in Arizona, Nevada and California.
Now back to the fun bit! So, the Hoover Dam sits in both Arizona and Nevada, meaning half of the dam is in a different time zone to the other. Obviously, I had to have a little fun with this and at one point was half in Arizona and half in Nevada, I think the German thought I had a screw loose, nothing new there:
Heading to the dam early in the morning had another benefit too, aside from the lack of tourists the temperature wasn’t too bad either. Well, I say it wasn’t too bad, it was still 90 degrees! I can only imagine what it was like for those thousands of workers who built this thing, no wonder some of them sadly died from heat exhaustion. Just a leisurely stroll from one end of the dam to the other was hot enough for me, never mind lugging concrete around. You can also see where the heat has had its effect on the water and how the levels have dropped significantly over the years, the white line above the water is where the levels were at one point, they’re much lower now but not low enough to not need the dam!
After a stroll from one side of the dam to the other and taking in the amazing sights, we decided to head back to the car and make our way towards our next stop…the Grand Canyon! Stay tuned for a blog post on yet another breathtaking destination!