Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hoover Dam & Valley of Fire

Nancy & Joe on the visitor's deck overlooking the dam to Nancy's right and the new highway 93 bridge over troubled waters (sorry, couldn't resist).  The waters are not troubled, really, just me.  :-))  We couldn't believe the amount of people here today as we thought it might have been a product of spring breaks, or the fact that it was Sunday.  But our tour guide said it's like this every day, and really is busier during the weekdays.  WOW!  The elevators were packed every time.
Way down there.  And I am not too fond of heights either.  I dared not venture too close to the edge, or I would get dizzy.  The video we saw on the construction of the dam during and post great depression days was just incredible, the feats and accomplishments of the work force.

The dam holding back the mighty Colorado River which forms the largest man made lake in North America, Lake Mead.  Lake Mead is down about 90 feet from it's normal levels as the drought has continued now for nearly ten years, according to our guide.  He also explained that they were expecting a huge runoff from the big winter snows and were expecting to regain about 30 feet of water by summer as a result.  WOW! 

One of the large river diversion intakes.

Deep inside the tunnels of the dam, just out from the intake overlook.

The turbine viewing room.  To the left and down are the turbines in the above photo.

Two of the four large water intakes that provide the force necessary to move the turbine impellers.

Valley of Fire State Park Visitor's Center

Just inside the Park a mile or so, a side road takes one to the cabins.  They were built by the CCC in 1935 for the workers and later weary travelers and visitors.

Miss Nancy at the visitor's entry point where one deposits their park entry fees.

The park was about 12 miles long on paved surfaces, mostly, with a few side roads of dirt/gravel.

From Wiki: 
Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada's oldest state park. It covers an area of 34,880 acres (14,120 ha) and was dedicated in 1935. It derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park's attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays.

Several of the side road trails one can explore will reveal many petroglyphs from many centuries before by a native people who inhabited the area before.  There is much controversy as to just exactly the images mean or what was being expressed by the authors.

There were many opportunities for photos of the petroglyphs.

Enjoy the view!

The trail to the Mouse's Tank

The Mouse's Tank...we never understood why.  Guess Google knows!  :-)

Miss Nancy looking at a high rock face full of petroglyphs, and on the way to the Mouse's Tank.

Awesome is the only thing I can say.

One of the side roads leads to here.

Fire Canyon

Are we still on earth?

Lots of photo ops

One of the side roads.  This one lead us to Fire Canyon and Silica Dome.

Petrified putty?

Well, here we are near the end of another great day in Southern Nevada.  It's amazing what one can see around here, especially when there is something close by that seems to attract everyone to:  The Las Vegas Strip.  So, I guess it's time sign off for now as we head for Grand Canyon NP and expect to be there at Trailer Village at the South Rim for about week, 3/30 to 4/5  I still need to post a blog on my Sister's visit to Las Vegas last week.  I will do that this evening perhaps.  I will also need to post our day trip to Good Springs, NV, a ghost town.  I'll do that tomorrow.  Till then, Joe & Nancy