Iíve always wanted to see Hoover dam and Lake
Mead. I panned my road trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas to make sure that I
crossed the Colorado River at the site of the Hoover dam on US 93. The
highway crosses the river on the top edge of the dam in a picturesque deep
gorge characteristic of the region.
When I approached the dam crossing I
was not prepared for the scale of the setting. The Colorado River valley
where the dam is set is much deeper and dramatic than I imagined. It is
truly akin to its near neighbor to the north, the Grand Canyon. You
approach from the east wending your way down breathtaking switchbacks.
There are overlooks where you can stop and take in the whole view.
Tractor-trailers like toy trains lacing back and forth on both side of
the canyon, while eager tourists crawl all over the area like ants on a
fallen candy bar.
I left my car in a multi-storied parking garage built
into a sharp valley on the Nevada side of the river, and joined the
tourist throng in the visitorís center and gift shop below. Saw the
gallery of photos from the 1930ís construction and read about the 96
workmen who lost their lives on the project. Signed up for the two