Another visit to Hoover Dam with Maria, my Puerto Rican Girlfriend

Boulder City Travel Blog

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We left our hotel - The Residence Inn Marriott hotel at about nine thirty in the morning. Apparently my colleague Maria is an early riser, she was up at 5:00 am watching TV at the lowest of volumes. I was the designated driver for the day so I decided we needed everything we could get to make our road trip interesting as well as comfortable. The heat alone made me think of ice, cold water cold coke, cold orange, cold foods and everything COLD, men!

We left the hotel and tended north on 15 then east on 215 to highway 93, which would take us all the way to our next exit (Kingman, AZ). It took us about 28 miles to get to Hoover dam where the heat was like that at high noon it was, for luck of a better word, a ‘destructive’ kind of heat. I was very excited to be going to Hoover dam, which was one of the attractions I dreamed of seeing since I was a child in grade school.

I learned about the dam when I was in primary three and four (the equivalent of grades three and four here in the United States). In 2006 when I had had the chance to go on a tour of Hoover dam, I had chosen to instead go to the Grand Canyon with my daughter.

The 2006 Grand Canyon tour originated from Las Vegas where I had been visiting a family friend. The bus tour took a greater part of the day to the Canyon and back by nightfall.

This time, I thought to myself, being the driver will definitely give me an advantage of where and how long to stop ha-ha! My colleague was excited too, so it made it all the more interesting. What struck me as very phenomenal was the fact that a bridge is currently under construction over the dam.

As you approach the dam either way (either from Arizona or Nevada), what one sees are the huge roman style columns that will support the bridge designed to run across the dam. I was in awe of how the workers do it and unbelievable respect for the engineers that designed as well as manage the construction of such a bridge. In all honesty, I cannot describe the magnitude of the bridge; the photos I took do not do justice to the actual size of the columns let alone the design that went into trying to pull a job so enormous.

The Hoover dam, located in the southeast of Las Vegas was named after Herbert Hoover (I heard all this from the PA on site). It said that Herbert Hoover was a big part of the construction during his time as the secretary of commerce. Later on Herbert became the president of United States.

The construction of Hoover Dam began in 1931 and was completed in 1935, apparently much ahead of the scheduled completion time. But if you go there today, it still looks unfinished due to all the new construction work in progress.

I must admit my concentration was very low as the heat made it difficult to concentrate on what was being said, let alone stand in one place for more than a couple of minutes. Maria and I walked from the second parking lot from the main highway and down towards the visitor�s center from where we could see waters from the Colorado river, the turbines, control towers, reservoirs. Lake Mead is the reservoir that was created behind the dam to conserve the overflow of water from the Colorado River.

Apparently the dam is also called the Boulder dam: it is one of the many wonders of the world and by its completion it was the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. It lies between the states of Nevada and Arizona: it was amazing to go through and see the different clocks marking time for the two states. We did not go on a guided tour so we missed out on the more detailed information about the workers who lost their lives during the years of construction. However we took time and the memorial monument constructed in memory of the workers and the people whose vision made the construction of the dam a priority to serve later generations.

Above the monument stand a huge flag pole that flies the flag of the United States, a symbol of honor and appreciated as well as a salutation to the bravery of the workers who lost their lives while working on the dam.

I read from the coffee shop table inside the only cafe there that there are two workers who literally got buried under concrete when the scaffolding that they were working with gave way releasing a huge bucket of mixed cement over them. What a sad, and touching story. As it got closer to eleven am, the heat was rising at an unbelievable pass and we had over 400 miles of road to cover in order to get to Tucson, Arizona. We decided it was time to leave; we both could not stand the head anymore. At exactly eleven, we set off on HWY 93 towards Kingman, which was the junction at which we needed to change to 40 in order to get back to 93 South. It took us exactly an hour to get there; it was noon when we arrived so we decided to have lunch at the Chinese restaurant right at the crossroads: funny to think I did not take a picture of this restaurant.

Lunch lasted 40 minutes and we hit the road again. Our next stop was for dinner at 4:00 p.m. in Ray, phoenix we had dinner at the Texas BBQ House. An hour later, we hit the road again arriving in Tucson at quarter to seven. All in all, it was a wonderful, inspiring, interesting, exciting and adventurous road trip. You should try it, but with the gas prices sky rocketing, you might want to consider buddy system and sharing the gas bill, ha-ha!!

PS: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.

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Boulder City
photo by: Miranda-Maas