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    Hoover Dam!!!

    Friday, July 29, 2011

    If there’s a way to make a visit to the Hoover Dam worth reading about, I’m going to find it, and then reward myself for doing so. (Probably with a couple of handfulof skittles)

    If you haven’t read my previous post, you probably don’t know that last year, Fred and I left the Grand Canyon earlier than expected due to cold rainy weather. We took off heading towards Vegas. Even with the minimalist vistas, there’s a lot to be said of that drive between the two attractions. It’s flat, and pretty dull, but it’s home to some of the greatest billboards I’ve ever seen on a road trip. Or anywhere for that matter. And as a NY’er, I’ve seen my fair share of billboards.

    The first places we stopped was Flintstone land. I should mention that we drove past this place initially, did the standard “oh look, that’s pretty funny”. Followed by the…“we should really go back and check that pace out” Although we didn’t venture inside (probably due to my embarrassing outfit which was comprised of the remains of my soaking wet Grand Canyon hiking ensemble) we took pictures with all the important figures outside and embarrassed ourselves plenty for one trip.

    As we drifted further down the highway, the sun opened up, the temperatures started to rise, and we started to see the desert for what it was. I don’t think I got a picture of it, but we drove past what can only be described as a field of abandoned ovens. Forcing one to think “Wait…are those ovens? Where did they come from? Dude…why are there like…200 ovens sitting outside a trailer park?” The jury is still out on that one

    There were billboards for guns, and God, and Taco Bell, and strange other fast food joints I’ve never heard of. We didn’t actually see any tumble weed or cacti, but we did see a sand storm which was pretty wild. We stopped at a gas station/convenience store which I swore I had seen in a very bad movie. Using a bathroom like that makes your eyes bug out and wonder if you’re going to die today.

    When we got near the Hoover Dam, we pulled over into what we thought was the only lookout point. We checked the thermostat in the car, which read 106 degrees. Conclusion: since we left the Grand Canyon – the temperature rose 50 degrees. Not normal. Fred used the bathrooms that were provided, and I think swore off ever using a portable bathroom again afterwards. I took a few shots of the drive leading up to what would be the actual tourist attraction for the dam. We drove over, and parked, but not without paying the $7 parking fee. We walked away from the car wondering if the ticket collector knew it was the Hoover Dam and not Disney World.

    We walked the dam. We oo’ed and ahh’ed at the concrete masterpiece. Side note: does anyone actually know if that concrete is in fact still curing from when it was originally poured? If you do (and can provide some sort of evidence) you get a prize. Which may or may not be a handful of skittles. We took a picture together, but I think the most exciting thing we witnessed was the kid pouring water from his water bottle over the edge and watching the wind current blow it straight up over our heads. We read the plaques, we paid respect to the American ingenuity (did I just spell that correctly on the first try?) and concluded that the History channel special is more entertaining than visiting the place itself.

    Back in the car – heading west to the bright lights of Vegas. Yes this means my posts are out of order. Yes I will probably continue backwards and follow this one up with the Grand Canyon segment. Yes you should stay tuned for that segment.

    Mmm skittles.

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