Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hoover Dam

This was an exciting day for us--our first trip to the Hoover Dam and the official start of our trip through the Southwest.

Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge (Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge). The desire to see this was the inspiration for our trip.

The Front of the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam was the largest construction project of its time, courting comparisons with the building of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. The project required the consolidation of Six Companies, Inc.

"Winged Victory." I don't know the official name of these statues, but they are in a lovely Art Deco style and have wings of eagles symbolizing power and men looking up with hope for the future. The dam was originally intended to be in Gothic style--fortunately, they changed to Art Deco and used bronze and aluminum decorator elements.

Winged Victory in Context. This shows the entire setting for the statues. The copper was so heavy and the stone supporting it so soft and fragile that they placed the statues on ice and let it melt to settle the weight softly.

Water Tower. There are four of these water towers on Lake Mead. They are the input source for water churning through the dam tunnels and generating 2080 megawatts of electricity.

Lake Mead Seen from Hoover Dam. Lake Mead is the largest artificial lake in the U.S. with 550 miles of shoreline.

A Long Way Down. Claire made sure she was first in line when the visitor center opened, guaranteeing that we would be in the first tour group of the day. We got to see the innards of the Dam, including several of the tunnels. This shows a gated entrance to the lower levels from about half way up the 726.4 foot Dam.

Worker Commemoration Statue. This statue greeted us as we entered the parking garage. It took thousands of workers working around the clock for almost 5 years to complete the Hoover Dam project.

They Died... At least 96 workers died at the project site. Those who were carried off-site and died later were not counted as project fatalities. A number of those who died were listed as casualties of pneumonia on their death certificates. Note that this would not count as a work-related injury and the deceased worker's family would be entitled to no benefits in such a case!

Claire's Dinner. We decided to splurge, tonight, and Claire ordered a Seared Ahi Tuna Salad. She declared it delicious.

Chuck's Burger. I ordered a Cheese and Bacon Burger with fries. We both had iced tea, which cooled us down perfectly after a warm day. It was 88F by 9:30am and reached 107 as we drove toward Zion. However, by the time we ate the weather was perfect.

The expenses for the day were the highest, yet: $233.21; but this did include $30 each for the tour of the Hoover Dam.

The Democrats are going to change the name of the Hoover Dam. That is the silliest thing I ever heard of in politics . . . Lord if they feel that way about it, I don't see why they don't just reverse the two words. ~ Will Rogers