Homeland Security Inspection
After a SWELTERING night on Lake Mead, we hit the road again. It was over 100 degrees all night and we took a vote - a dry heat is STILL heat. The treat was waking up the next morning to the view of the lake. The orange-brown mountains plunging straight down into the blue-green lake with a band of white dividing the two was a beautiful sight. The lake is 55 feet below its normal level due to a nine year drought which is what created the white band of calcium and aluminum deposits on the canyon walls. It was a Saturday morning so there were easily a hundred boats and other water vessels on the lake enjoying a respite from the heat.
The RV park was a mere 10 minutes from Hoover Dam, a place Karen has always wanted to visit. The dam divides Nevada and Arizona and since Arizona doesn’t observe daylight savings time, there was also a time zone change - again. We all wanted to take the tour into the power plant. The temperature was 120 degrees at the top of the dam but 58 degrees underground in the intake tunnels. We all really enjoyed the
Lake Mead at Hoover Dam.
tour and were amazed to learn there have been NO changes or repairs to the dam, its intake tunnels, diversion tunnels or its power plant facility since it was constructed in 1935. The only updating that has occurred is replacement of the expendable turbine parts and the construction of a modern visitor center and parking deck. The huge turbines were too big to be shipped to the dam on the narrow roads so they were built on site. The roads leading to the dam are the same size and in the same place as they were back then. A new bridge spanning the narrow canyon over the dam is being built but looks as if it’s at least a year from completion. Since 911 Homeland Security inspects all buses, RVs and water craft crossing the dam so we had to pull over for inspection while an officer boarded our vehicle for a look-through. Another first!
On to Grand Canyon - Patty’s place of special interest. We made another Walmart stop for provisions then a lunch/dinner stop at Cracker Barrel in Kingman, AZ. That’s where Paparazzi Patty left her prize instrument! Yes, that was the crisis of the day. Each
Power plant at Hoover Dam.
day of this trip has had at least one crisis and this was it! We deliberated ways to get it back but it was 2 ½ hours away from us at this point. We even rented a rental car from Flagstaff to be able to retrieve it the next day. Then we remembered we had train tickets for the next day and wouldn’t get in until 7pm. So we cancelled the rental car and asked Cracker Barrel to mail it home. This took care of securing the camera but left one problem, we were in the ONE place Patty wanted to visit and she didn’t have her camera. Karen gave her use of hers for the day which made for a poor substitute but was all we had! -Karen
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