The Mighty Junebugg – a June of all Trades


Arizona Road Trip Day 1: Hoover Dam
September 2, 2009, 1:38 am
Filed under: Arizona, Arizona Road Trip, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Life, National Parks, Road Trip, Travel

Just outside of Las Vegas lies a fascinating American monument. For the childrenless 20 or 30 somethings reading this, it might bring back torturous flashbacks of ancient school day field trips to boring relics built by really old people. I assure you this trip was both fascinating and entertaining. We were headed to Grand Canyon but decided to stop at the Hoover Dam just to say we had been there. This was to be a 4 night, 5 day adventure ending at Slide Rock near Sedona, AZ. We woke up before the sun on Monday morning and were on the road by 5 am. By doing so we were able to avoid all the rush hour traffic. After driving for 3 hours, hunger set in and we decided to stop in Baker at Bob’s Big Boy for some breakfast.

Abi & June with good ol' Bob in Baker

Abi & June with good ol' Bob in Baker

91 degrees F at 8am according to the world's largest thermometer

91 degrees F at 8am according to the world's largest thermometer

Another hour & 45 minute drive and we were at Hoover Dam! I haven’t been there since I was a kid and a lot had been done since I was there last. An amazing desert colored visitor center and entrance had been built.

the new entrance & visitor center for the dam

the new entrance & visitor center for the dam

No alcohol or guns.... Best Sign Ever

No alcohol or guns.... Best Sign Ever

this place had higher security than an airport to enter

this place had higher security than an airport to enter

Drawings of what lies beneath at the dam

Drawings of what lies beneath at the dam

the turbine room creates electricity! (sorry for the blurry pic)

the turbine room creates electricity! (sorry for the blurry pic)

they use cool trikes like this to get around inside the massive dam

they use cool trikes like this to get around inside the massive dam

Face of the dam, I really wanna see someone skateboard this!

Face of the dam, I really wanna see someone skateboard this!

Visitors used to enter thru the two towers you see, now its more high tech

Visitors used to enter thru the two towers you see, now its more high tech

looking at the water that comes out of the damn dam

looking at the water that comes out of the damn dam

the ingenuity used in building these structures amazes me

the ingenuity used in building these structures amazes me

Las Vegas is only 35 miles north of Hoover Dam

Las Vegas is only 35 miles north of Hoover Dam

looking strait down the bowl of the dam (this makes your tummy tickle)

looking strait down the bowl of the dam (this makes your tummy tickle)

the Hoover Dam Bypass is scheduled to be complete in late 2010

the Hoover Dam Bypass is scheduled to be complete in late 2010

This bridge is an amazing feat and has even been on cable tv’s Extreme Engineering. When complete in 2010, it will be the World’s biggest arch bridge and help to alieveiate traffic on the 2 lane hwy that crosses the dam itself. Its cool to have been able to witness such an amazing structure in its building stage. Check out the tv episode about it of you have a chance, its pretty interesting.

Water levels have dropped drastically in recent years, notice the white line on the edge

Water levels have dropped drastically in recent years, notice the white line on the edge

Driving across the dam takes one from Nevada to Arizona

Driving across the dam takes one from Nevada to Arizona

Many men died while building this dam, I wonder if its haunted

Many men died while building this dam, I wonder if its haunted

they had some cool Art Deco metal work, I loved this Aquarians ass!

they had some cool Art Deco metal work, I loved this Aquarians ass!

rubbing the feet of this giant winged person is supposedly good luck

rubbing the feet of this giant winged person is supposedly good luck

I always gotta give a shot out to California... & LONG BEACH while I'm at it!

I always gotta give a shot out to California... & LONG BEACH while I'm at it!

after the damn we stopped at a seedy chinese buffet in a scary small redneck town

after the damn we stopped at a seedy chinese buffet in a scary small redneck town

the cocktails were damn good and a great way to celebrate our trip to the dam!

the cocktails were damn good and a great way to celebrate our trip to the dam!

So we were feeling pretty sleepy at this point but our next stop was the Grand Canyon and the anticipation was high! Another 3 hour drive and we were finally at the Grand Canyon. When you get there, the canyon isn’t visible; it just looks like desert for as far as the eye can see. We paid our National park entrance fee of $25; which is good for one car for 7 days. Once inside the park we went to check out campgrounds. Since it was the middle of the week, we didn’t make reservations… luckily we found a spot at Mather Campground. The campground had warm pay showers and we were content. There wasn’t much daylight left so we hurried to set up camp.

Home Sweet home for the next 2 days

Home Sweet home for the next 2 days

This is our kitchen setup (where the magic happens)

This is our kitchen setup (where the magic happens)

We didn't make it to the rim in time for sunset, this is from the campsite

We didn't make it to the rim in time for sunset, this is from the campsite

It was a full moon at the rim and the canyon was MAGNIFICENT! We joined the ranger along with 400 other tourists for a full moon nature walk. There were so many people it was hard to hear but still spectacular

It was a full moon at the rim and the canyon was MAGNIFICENT! We joined the ranger along with 400 other tourists for a full moon nature walk. There were so many people it was hard to hear but still spectacular

The visitor center had some children's wisdom: "Don't step on plants"

The visitor center had some children's wisdom: "Don't step on plants"

"Don't take sticks or branches or bark for a fire"

"Don't take sticks or branches or bark for a fire"

"Don't cut the flowers with a knife."

"Don't cut the flowers with a knife."

By this time were  we so tired we could barely keep our eyes open. We went back to camp, scrounged up some dinner and went to bed. In the morning we were going to see the canyon by the light of day, and we could hardly wait!

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