Tuesday, October 30, 2007


This was not my idea. I am scared of heights, I don't trust man made things, and after I heard the FOX NEWS report about all the unsafe dams in the US, I said I would never go across this or any other large dam. We drove over to Hoover Dam this afternoon, only about 30 miles from where we are, and my thought was that I would walk around the Visitor Center while Ernie took the tour. We parked in the ramp, walked down the steps and across the street and into the big double doors, right into the line to buy tour tickets! I said I didn't want to do it, but Ernie, as he always does, said "it will be fine!" He says that about everything and it drives me crazy.

The first part was fine, just a movie about the making of the dam. It was actually quite interesting, but was over too soon and we were herded out of the theatre and unto 2 huge elevators by the dam guide. (Hey, that's what they called her!) Thirty-five or more people, squeezed into an elevator, heading 500 feet straight down into the bowels of the earth is not my idea of a party and I was close to losing it. We exited the elevator into one of the four tunnels that had been blasted into the canyon walls to divert the water while they were building the dam. I could feel the pathway trembling beneath my feet and thoughts of the dam busting or an earthquake ran through my mind. The dam guide said it was just the Colorado River rushing through the tunnel below our feet. Just the Colorado River! Real comforting.

Back into the elevators and up 25 feet to the level where the generators were. This was a big, open, airy room, and my claustrophobia eased some as I looked at the huge machinery and at the beautiful Art Deco tiles on the floor. But this, too, was over too soon and it was back into the elevator for a trip to the top. Yes! The top, fresh air, blue sky.......and the blue Colorado River 753 feet below me!

We walked part of the way across the dam in the hot sun, and after taking a couple of pictures we returned to the safety of the rock solid canyon walls and the parking ramp where we had parked the truck. Remember. This was not my idea of how to spend a Tuesday afternoon!
It's an incredibly long way from top to bottom.
Lake Mead, formed by the damming of the river, is quite low this year.
The flow emerging from the other side looks quite peaceful as it returns to it's journey down toward Arizona.

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