Friday, July 20, 2012

Vacation: Historic Pit Stop at the Hoover Dam

After three days in Vegas, we were ready to meet up with everyone in Arizona. We loaded up in the rental car, and stopped at the Hoover Dam along the way.

We didn't make it in time to take the Dam Tour, but we did get there in time to tune into the Hoover Dam information AM radio station, and hear a very official man repeatedly say "the Dam Tour". Naturally this became an instant catchphrase for the duration of our pit stop. (e.g. "I just wish we had been able to go on that Dam Tour." And then we'd all crack up. Yes, we're basically seven.)

10 facts about the Hoover Dam (found via Buzzle) just for all you history buffs out there:

1) The height of the dam is 726.4 feet (171 ft. taller than the Washington Monument!).

2)  The thickness of the dam is 45 feet at the top and 660 feet at the bottom (that's as thick as two footballs fields measured end-to-end).

3) The concrete used to build Hoover dam, was cured with cooling tubes, a previously untried method. Basically they were just making it up as they went along. If traditional methods had been used then, it would have taken at least 100 years for completion.(So, it would have been finished in the year 2031!)

4) It was named in honor of Herbert Clark Hoover, the 31st President of the United States. He was a mining engineer by profession, and made significant contributions to the construction of the dam.

5) It is made up of more masonry than the Pyramid of Giza.

6) Lake Mead (the reservoir created by the Dam) is spread over 146,000 acres and it is recognized as the largest reservoir of the world.

7) Six Companies, a conglomeration of six well-known companies, was awarded the contract to build the dam. They finished two years ahead of schedule.

 8) During construction, 96 men lost their lives in various accidents. The mascot dog, the pet of all construction workers, was buried at the site of the Hoover dam.

9) The Dam cost $49,000,000 to construct. (Great Depression Who? Sorry...too soon?)

10) Rubbing the toes of the two 30 feet tall winged figures (made of bronze), standing on the Nevada side's approach to the dam, brings good luck. (this one might be less of a "fact" and more of a legend, but who's counting?)

The fact that these men were able to build this enormous, powerful, concrete structure is so awe inspiring.

People would drive across the Hoover Dam when traveling on the highway, until the the Hoover Dam Bypass was completed in 2010.

Right after I took the picture of the warning signs, I asked Kourtney to pose for a picture. She immediately gets on the wall. Safety first!

I'm such a nerd and was so excited about all the Depression Era Art-Deco design on the buildings and signage. Cory thought I was crazy when I took a picture of the restroom sign. But its just so classy!

Lake Mead looks so pretty in the sunset. I didn't realize that the Hoover Dam was built right on the state line between Nevada and Arizona. They have clocks in the towers on either side with the time in Arizona and the time in Nevada, which I thought was pretty cool.

Then we packed back into the car, and continued on our merry way to Grandma's house. The moon rose while we were driving and it was HUGE. This picture doesn't even come close to capturing how pretty it was, but it was the best we could do. Cory kept saying, "It's like we're in "Hotel California" for real! On a dark dessert wind in my hair..."

Anyway...we arrived to Grandma's house around 1:00 AM, and snuck into our bedroom/camper in the backyard. Our sneaking may have been more effective if we hadn't accidentally set off our own car alarm, but its hard to say for sure. Next up--Adventures in Joseph City. Things are about to get crazy, ya'll.


Danny & Joanna Rodriguez said...

Btw Cory and Danny used to listen to hotel California all the time, especially driving to 5th ward... Has he mentioned listening to Mariah Carey? Apparently her songs have really good base. So the furthest west ive been in Troy, Alabama ... These trips look awesome!

freya said...

oooh pretty! i want to go to there! that restroom sign is totally worth the trip! love depression era stuff. also, i don't think anyone can begrudge you a laugh about the dam tour -- that's classic stuff.

Becca said...

I love your hoover dam facts! And I especially love the picture of the women's restroom--it looks like the cover to an Ayn Rand novel.

You guys are cute. Dam cute.

Tanya said...

My sister got me a bumper sticker, or maybe just a regular sticker, that says "Hoover Dam Proud America." It's red, white, and blue, with stars and stripes.