Thursday, December 19, 2019

Road Trip: Dash to Las Vegas, Nevada: Part 3: Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam, Nevada and Arizona. December 2019.

Thus far

Part 1: On the Way There is here.
Part 2: There is here.

I struggled between exploring Las Vegas a bit on Monday morning or stopping in Hoover Dam on the way back to Tucson. I didn't have time to do both.

I chose Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam, Nevada and Arizona. December 2019.

Leaving Las Vegas

However, I also made the decision to move out of Las Vegas via its city streets instead of jumping on the highway. The idea was that I'd get a passing view of the city as I departed.

Although it exacted a time toll that I paid for on the last leg of my trip, I'm glad for this choice. As I left the strip and its environs, the streetscape of Las-Vegas-the-Star! transformed into the near-city and suburban streetscape of just about any desert city in the Southwest. The view right-sized Las Vegas for me, letting me see, in a sense, what a showgirl looks like when she's got a day off, sans costume and make-up, buying Q-tips and frozen chicken breasts at Walmart.

Boulder City

Charming. I want to return, twirl around in its cubbyholes for a few hours, while basing myself for a weekend at one of the Lake Mead Recreation Area campgrounds.

Entrance to Lake Mead Recreation Area from Boulder City, Nevada. December 2019.

I lost my way to Hoover Dam while in Boulder City, which one would think is almost impossible to do, but the sort of thing that happens to me regularly. Fortunately, a visitor center was at the precise intersection in the historic center of town where I paused, unsure about which way to turn. So I turned into that, and the docent inside helpfully pointed toward the very same intersection, at a smallish sign on one corner, that said "Hoover Dam." OK, then. So, while I'm here, "where is your restroom"? (Across the street, by the way, in a different building.)

Hoover Dam

On one end of the dam is Nevada and on the other end is Arizona. The Arizona side terminates in a dead end, but it offers tiers of parking lots, which overlook the dam and the river, which are all free.

Hoover Dam, Nevada and Arizona. December 2019.

There's a tour (or more) on and in and around the dam, but I didn't have time to do any of those.

Hoover Dam, Nevada and Arizona. December 2019.

But below is a driving tour over the dam, with impressive power concrete structures and towering power tower skeletons, and people, lots of people:

The loveliest view is the lapiz lazuli river that swings slowly between cinnamon-toast outcrops.

Hoover Dam, Nevada and Arizona. December 2019.

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