Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

Going west, again!?

We had to go west to go north because there’s a big canyon in between where we were in Arizona and where we were headed in Utah. πŸ™‚

The landscape was pretty on the drive and we loved seeing the trains out there, which has become a usual scene!

It only took a few hours to get to the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, which was great because B was still coughing up a storm and couldn’t be driving all day.

As soon as we pulled in – I knew it was a great find. B found this one!

Woody and the girls were especially thrilled at their backyard for a day!

RR had the best view from his bed and I loved looking out my front door at this!

After playing out back and exploring a bit we were off to the Hoover Dam which was just right around the corner!

The whole area is just *amazing* looking!

We got our tickets for the dam power plant tour and really enjoyed walking through the tunnels and seeing the turbines:

There’s so much to learn here! RR was fascinated at this supply and demand exhibit of the power grid:

And E, with her love of tiny things and details, loved learning about electrons and conductors and magnetism generating electricity.

AB liked learning about all the jobs men had when the Hoover Dam was being built in the 1930s. From the man who emptied the latrines every day all day! (His name was “Alabam” – the one man sanitation crew for the 7,000 men working at the dam who was very thankful for the job!). To the “powder monkeys” who planted the dynamite to get out loose areas is the wall so more rock wouldn’t crumble onto workers below. To the “high scalers” who scaled the walls to guide all kinds of equipment on the suspended cables around the site. Not to mention the wives and families who created the new town of “Boulder City” in the middle of scorching hot Nevada!

B and I enjoyed learning about the engineering of the whole thing. Watching the video before the tour was enlightening. Herbert Hoover was the secretary of commerce who brokered the 1922 Colorado River Compact to divide the waters between the 7 states and start the process of creating the dam and lake. This era was such a hard time for our country as we faced the depression and many obstacles. The debates over the Colorado River and this dam were interesting to read about as well. Arizona had only joined the union a couple of decades before which is crazy to think about! And many in the east hated the idea of using federal funds for a “western problem”.

Listening to how they built the dam, I still couldn’t fathom the numbers of what I was hearing and what an amazing feat this was! And is – especially since it was created in the 1930s!

Crazy facts:

  • At the base, the Hoover dam is 660 ft thick!
  • There is enough concrete in the Hoover Dam (4 1/2 million cubic yards) to make 4 ft. wide sidewalk around the Earth at the Equator
  • 16 tons of concrete were laid every 1.5 minutes for 2 years straight around the clock.
  • I can’t even understand that

Well now we’ve seen one of the 7 natural wonders of the world (The Grand Canyon!) and one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World.

Even the way they diverted the water to prepare to start the project was amazing! And how they kept the cement cool by refrigeration! Amazing.

More innovations:

We also liked learning about America’s energy sources and hydropower.

Such an informative weekend field trip!

It was HOT HOT HOT in Nevada and I loved it! But i couldn’t imagine the summertimes here without the ocean to jump in and create a breeze.

After the Hoover Dam we went back to enjoy sunset at Woody.

It was an awesome surprise that a childhood friend of mine (Molly Chapter for you Shawnee/JTown friends) was out on her boat at the marina that we could see from Woody so she hopped on over for a quick visit! Isn’t that funny!?

We enjoyed such an amazing sunset and sunrise! I just loved it!

On Sunday we went and fed the fish at the marina before leaving for Utah!

Aren’t they ridiculous!? Those mouths!

Bye bye Nevada! You were beautiful !

5 thoughts on “Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

  1. Pam Mullen

    Hoover Dam is an engineering and architectural mind blowing marvel! And at the same time so beautiful. Now that one really makes you feel small πŸ™‚

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