Saturday, October 2, 2010
A Visit to Hoover Dam on it's 75th Anniversary
We had some work done on the motorhome in Las Vegas and while it was in the shop, Cody, Orinda and Rick decided to do a little sightseeing and take in the Hoover Dam. Located just east of Boulder, NV, the dam is about 35 miles from Las Vegas and an easy trip. Once we arrived, we first went through security where they checked our car and then we drove across this mammoth structure! It is hard to get an idea as to the size, but from this vantage point, cars on the top of the dam look very small!
We are sitting on the Lake Mead, or upriver side of the dam in this shot (and were pretty hot too, since it was about 106 degrees!). You can see the white area on the steep lake sides behind us which shows how high the water usually is. We learned that the lake is almost at a record low and is some 140 feet below normal. Still, the lake is several hundred feet deep in places.
The back of the dam shows some of it's great size -- 726' high by 1,244' long and made of poured concrete. The dam is so massive that it is very hard to really describe it's size, but the concrete used in it could build a two lane highway from Seattle, WA to Miami, FL. Plus, when the dam was built in the early 1930's, there was nothing around, so everything had to be built on site, including the concrete plants.
Close to the dam site, and just north of the town of Boulder, is Lake Mead which is twice the size of Rohde Island! Here, you can see a very small part of the lake which shines like a jewell in the dry desert area.
There are several marinas on the lake and this one at Echo Bay berths over 1,500 boats of all sizes. The marinas are floating so that they can be moved as the lake level changes. There is also a very large boat ramp shown above -- look at that -- here are 5 boats being launched at one time and there is plenty of room for more! This boat ramp is huge.
Remember that the lake level fluctuates and that you can just see the marina in the background of this picture. We are STILL on the ramp here and this is where we would launch a boat if the lake was up at the normal level! I would guess we are about 1/2 mile from the water at this point, but the ramp is ready to go when the water finally rises to normal again. Amazing.