Sunday we wander down to check out the boats and the little waterside bar and eatery. As soon as we get close we pick up that "harbor" smell. I don't know why I've always liked it.
|A large island in the bay now that the water is so far down|
|Ducks, carp and striped bass|
|A couple places you could walk across the carp|
|A pretty cinnamon-topped duck shows restraint (or is already full)|
|More shoreline, but not accessible|
|The marina is completely full, only a few sailboats have been on the lake this week|
We're hoping for a small crowd on Monday to see the Hoover Dam. Arriving around 11 AM there are a LOT of people, but there's only a couple cars ahead of us at the parking lot, and no line to get tour tickets. There's enough to see that everyone is pretty spread out all day, feeling less crowded than it could. I'm still amazed at the "draw" of the place. License plates from multiple states, languages from multiple countries - it's a big deal.
Dams are a controversial topic, and clearly the designers of everything you see here are well aware of this. I'm not a fan, but I also don't have an alternative for flood control or consistent and fair distribution. Still, the sales pitch, Disney-narration, this dam saved the world, tone is a bit over-the-top.
|No "opinion" shared from indigenous peoples who "managed" the water for centuries|
The 15 minute film that starts the tour quickly answers my first question about how they dammed the water to build the dam......diversion tunnels! It is further explained in the exhibit hall.
|The tunnels also figure in the final design and operation of the dam|
|Understanding how the water moves through the dam. We're in the tunnels, soon we'll be in those red squares|
|The red squares making electricity from water flow|
|with huge turbines|
|made of magnets weighing 4 ton a piece|
|Miles of terrazo tiles were laid in this massive structure - at a price of $60,000. Today that might pay for just the tiles in this one room.|
|The ironic use of native designs|
The exhibit hall is well laid out to accommodate a lot of visitors and after the first few yards we're able to take our time at each display.
|A gazillion loads of cement|
|filled forms to create a gazillion blocks. Each block took over a week to fill. The cement would have taken 100 years to cool so they ran pipes with cold water through them. That's the stuff that I love about this.|
|My question "answered" with both a timeline|
|and a smaller, more detailed, replica. Interesting, educational, I still don't really get it :-)|
The shear size of the undertaking is measured in tons of concrete, miles of cable, cases of dynamite, acre feet of water, kilowatts of power. In 2016 it still boggles the mind.
Outside we move from the how and why - to the what and wow.
|Now that I know the how, it's even more wow|
|We were in the Nevada generator building directly below|
|I can't get over the steep angle of the power line towers|
On the tour we learned that in 1983 the water reached within six feet of the top, requiring the only use of the spillways on both sides. I suppose the dam height is "just right".
|Difficult to picture the water six feet from the top|
|15 years of drought have redefined normal|
|Winged Figures of the Republic, the guardian angels of the site and the waters above and below the dam|
|Numbers as high as 213 show up in different publications, but the official number of deaths on the project is 96 - none buried in the dam (a popular myth).|
|The only crew member buried in the dam site|
|Looking back at Nevada|
|Jodee's home (it felt bigger when I lived there)|
|I'm just not going to think about how I drove over that in the motorhome......|
|Parking structure built into the canyon|
|and around the towers|
|Snuggly mirroring the canyon walls|
Tuesday morning we move to Laughlin where we could see triple digits for the first time since......I think it was June 8, the day before we launched :-)