Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hoover Dam

Our first stop this morning was at Tix4Tonight, a discount show ticket vendor at the Fashion Show Mall on The Strip. We parked in a small surface lot right outside Macy’s Men's store about a quarter mile off the Strip and walked inside the mall to the Las Vegas Blvd entrance where the ticket discounter was located. After conferring with one of the Tix4Tonight representatives and then with each other, we decided on two tickets for the 8:00 show of Rock of Ages appearing at the Venetian. Since seats are reserved, Tix4Tonight only sells a voucher for the tickets. Once we had the voucher, we went straight to the Venetian to actually pick up the tickets so we’d have a good choice of seats.

With tickets in hand and the day to kill until 7:30 when the theater doors were scheduled to open, we decided to drive to Hoover Dam to see the new bridge over the Colorado River gorge just downstream of the dam. We were somewhat surprised to find the visitor services at the dam in full operation in spite of the government shut-down. Mary went on the internet via our smart phone and determined that the dam is not operated by appropriated funds but by funds that come from operation of the dam, most notably the electricity generated. National Park Service facilities in the area were closed and barricated as expected. We drove the new road and crossed the bridge high above the river. Unfortunately, because of the high barrier walls, you can’t see the dam from the road when travelling east. We went to the first Arizona interchange and turned around for the return trip. There is a walkway along the dam-side of the bridge which was being used by a fair number of tourists. We took the first Nevada exit that gives access to the old road down to and across the dam. This is the tourist route.

There may not have been many on the bridge but the dam was crawling with tourists. They were like ants. We drove across the dam stopping many times for pedestrians in crosswalks and parked on the Arizona side, the only location of over-sized vehicle parking. We wandered around but stayed fairly close to our parking spot and took some pictures of the lake side of the dam.

The water is down probably sixty feet or more below where it was the first time we visited the dam with Danica in 1997. The water level has been low for several years as we discovered the last time we were here in 2010. 

After getting some pictures, we got back in the truck and drove back to Vegas.

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