Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Dam Post~

Just 30 minutes from Las Vegas,
the cute, little town of Boulder City is a delightful place to stop.

They have created a very well-done interactive museum about the area

which is part of the historical Boulder City Hotel
where we stayed.

Lindbergh Lines were the original TWA
Once this hotel housed the rich and famous people when they visited town.

As Boulder City boomed to over 2000 with workers who rushed to fill the jobs
during the Great Depression and the building of the Boulder Dam,
their families lived in tents or houses that took only hours to build.
Much of the town's history is posted on the main streets.

Boulder City is such a walker-friendly place we wished we had more time to explore
[and play in the fabulous quilt shop :-) Fiddlesticks],
but soon it was time to take the short drive to what is now known as the

The whole building process was pretty amazing.
If you have time, I highly recommend a visit with the entire tour!

The original idea was to provide power for California's agriculture
to increase their productivity to feed more people,
while controlling the mighty Colorado River which flooded every spring,
then dried out in the summer.  
With a dam, the river could be moderated and life along the river sustained.

Six companies worked together to get the job done--two years under the contract date.
The massive Colorado River was diverted through four tunnels to dry the area.
All off the politicians voted "Yes" on one huge project.
Hundreds of workers united to get it done.
And the power flowed to
multiple states.

This is one of the four original diversion tunnels.

For Rusty's birth-day, he wanted to do the Dam Tour.
Some parts of the dam were built for function
and not for "pretty".

Conversely, the Powerplant was designed to appeal to visitors
while being incredibly functional.

Each generator powers a specific area or state.
Our group toured the Nevada side.

Marble, quartz, and other building materials were imported from each of the 48 states,
so all states were included, making it a national project.

The light from the end of this vent comes from the face of the dam.
Can you tell it wasn't originally intended for visitors?

We were encourage to put our hands out for the people looking down
from the Observation Deck above.

Beyond Hoover Dam, the life-giving Colorado River 
continues flowing downriver to the next power-producing dam.

They don't recommend the tour for anyone
who is claustrophobic or really tall.

Looking down into the lower vent.

Because the concrete is still curing, core samples must be taken
and sent to Colorado for analysis on a regular bases.

The tunnels must be checked for cracks daily,
and, if the elevator isn't working, these stairs down must be used.

The gates are strategically placed at the bottom of the stairs, to stop the roll in case you fall!

The concrete was laid down in shallow layers so it is strong and free of air bubbles.

More imported pretties on the top level of the dam.

The water enters the penstocks on the lake-side and is forced into the turbines,
then the turbines power the generators.

I might have been a little more excited than the Pilot Man about the touristy shot
 of us being in two states at once :-)!

The dam is an amazing example of human ingenuity
and cooperation!

One of the original trams which was used during construction.

Driving from state to state over the bridge is no longer necessary.
You can drive across and park on the Arizona side

or buzz across on the arched bridge which is part of the interstate.

Or, you can walk the length of the bridge while you get a dam good view.....

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