Thursday, May 22, 2008

las vegas - the dam tour - day 2

Isn't it funny that when you live in a place you never actually go to the tourist spots? For example, we lived in Vegas for two years. We went to the strip a few times (when friends came to town, and actually Darik and I both worked very close to the strip so we were right there every day pretty much) and out to Red Rock Canyon once (when we lived next to it). But we never made it to Lake Mead or Hoover Dam or the Shark Reef, etc. In fact on our way out of town the one thing we chose to see before we left was the Excaliber Tournament/Dinner, which was fun. But we still have lots to do. So this time we chose Hoover Dam.

In the car eating lunch before we bravely venture out into the heat of the desert.
Ellie being a jokester like always.
El & Daddy with the dam. Two water intake towers are in arizona and two are in nevada. It's interesting to see the difference from where the water level used to be.
Me and Lake Mead - again notice the water level - sad!
There were a million helicopters and planes flying everywhere. I couldn't get Ellie to look any one direction for longer than 5 seconds. She was FASCINATED. I was almost tempted to pay $30 each for a helicopter tour -- until I learned that was only for a tour on Lake Mead for an extra $40 they'll fly you over the dam!
Daddy and El in two places at once - standing above the state line.
Sitting in the theater before the dam movie before the tour we went on. The reason I post this is notice the tiny magic wand in her left hand. This was key to the success of the whole tour - and yet it drove me crazy because it was maddening to make sure we didn't drop it in one of the tunnels 600 feet below ground!
Ellie and I standing in line waiting underground. Yes we are literally 600 feet below ground in the mountain. I believe the tunnel we are in was actually a bypass tunnel for the lake/dam to go around the construction site while the "real" dam was actually being built. Very cool. And very kind of scary if you think about it coming crushing down on you.
All of the sides of the walls were covered with the weeping water. Darik asked the people behind us, "I wonder where the water is coming from?"
I replied, "Ohmyheck, IT'S LEAKING-- EVERYBODY RUN!!!!" Got a few laughs with that one. Guess I see where Ellie can get the goof off in her sometimes :-)
El & D in front of the turbine/generators on the Nevada side. Also very cool.
This is what the tunnels looked like. There were signs at the beginning that actually said not to go on the tour if you have claustrophobia. I started freaking out cuz I have people-claustro-phobia. But I decided to tough it out. The caves and tunnels weren't so bad . . . . . . . . . but the
Elevator was a nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously I think we fit about 50 people in a normal sized elevator. You can't really tell from the picture above but people weren't really willing to pose when they were smashed in there. My advice if you ever go on the tour: Stay to the back of the tour - you are the last one on the elevator and the first one off.
After the tour you go through a little informational museum. This is a replica of how the dam was built. Also very cool.
A little game Ellie was playing where she had to generate electricity for all the home appliance items that were being used on the touch screen above. Also really fun - and cool.
It is hard to explain how going on that tour just makes you proud to be an American and proud of all that hard work and sacrifice and lives that went into that massive american accomplishment. This oversized artwork just gave me the shivers! I highly recommend the $11 tour if you ever are down there.

After the little museum you get to go on the outlook above (only tour go-ers allowed here!) The second I picked Ellie up to look over the side she tried jumping the 600 feet down. She said, "I wanna go down there!" Absolutely no freaking vertigo there! Shnikeys, it was scaring the heck outta me~
And this is Ellie being a crazy girl just hugging the little ball part of the fence. I had to bribe her with an otter pop for her to hold the pose.
Final-mente! The last picture. We thought one of the craziest things was the "bypass bridge" They are building this massive superhighway to bypass the canyon and the bridge so travelers passing through or semis don't have to come to a standstill. This bridge is massive and huge and after the tour and looking at this bridge D & I were totally in awe of each and every engineer that has ever lived -- where do they come up with this stuff? We can't figure out how they are going to build this massive 6-8 lane superhighway over the freaking canyon. We know it's been done before, but -- wow!


  1. how fun! I love vacations! All those pics are so cute. Looks like you had a blast. Your daughter is so adorable. She looks just like you.

  2. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with fears of crowded elevators! We went to New York City and I thought I was going to die. Especially with the glass elevator. You could see down the entire 40 stories ... scary!

    I love your blog! It is so much fun to read!