Monday, February 27, 2017

Hoover Dam - A Must See From Down Under

This past week my husband and I traveled to Las Vegas as a celebration trip for 2 separate milestone events that have taken place in our life.  One of our points of interest was Hoover Dam.  If you have never seen it in person, it is a bucket list must.

The scenic drive from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam is breathtaking with miles of rolling mountains.

Overwhelmed with the sites in front of us, we opted to take the full Dam tour, which included the Power Plant and the Dam.  When I say the Dam, I mean we are going down inside the concrete walls.  Now..... I myself am claustrophobic.  I don't like elevators, nor tight spaces, so I felt an instant panic as I heard the details of what the tour entailed. As we anxiously awaited our tour time, we were free to browse the facility and take in all the of the sites it offered.  What you see below is the view from the top of the tourist center.

Tell me this is not one of the most awesome sites that can ever be seen?

Our tour time is announced and the time has come for us to embark on our journey.  As I see 30 people standing in line to board that metal box of isolation, I am considering a last minute dash.  The guilt and regret of missing out on this experience made me stay, and I am so glad I did. As the group gather into a large elevator, we are taken on a 70 second ride down to the Power Plant. We land in a cool and dimly lit area surrounded by large pipes. Surrounded by the piping system for the power plant, we learning the history behind it all.

Piping System

Next, we move back into the elevator that takes us to the next stop, which is the location in the power plant of the turbine generators. We learned about the dynamics of the generators, what it takes to run them, and what it take to lift them, should the need arise for maintenance or a failure. This place is spotless!  The history is amazing!

Power Plant Turbine Generators

30 minutes later, the power plant tour has concluded and we are moving on to the next adventure, the Dam tour.  Our group has dropped off to 20 for this tour, because that is the maximum capacity that can fit in the next group of elevators and tunnels that we venture through.  Did I mention we are going down 500 feet into the Dam wall?

So here we are in the one of many tunnels that were travels many years ago and are still traveled today during the routine safety checks of the Dam walls.  They are actually quite amazing to see.  

Look closely at the concrete wall.  Notice that it retained the texture of the lumber that was used. 

The pictures don't even come close to telling the history and details the tour provided.

Next you see the front view of the Dam. What you can't see are small vents lower down on the Dam wall. These vents allow air to circulate inside the Dam walls.  If you have not guess it yet, 
Yes.... we are looking out of one of those vents from down under.

As our tour concludes, we were brought to one last point of interest, which are the tower clocks.  As you will see there are 2..... and why you ask?

Because only a small utility area separates the Arizona and the Nevada different time zones.

Walk 20 feet in either direction and your cell phone clock will change time zones

This was an experience of a life time that you don't get to see everyday. I am thrilled to get to share it with you.  Until our next trip..... post on.