Today I hopped on with Grand Adventures tours and headed out to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. I saw both the dam and the beautiful arched memorial bridge that was opened in 2010 to ease traffic flow over the mountains. The dam itself was an engineering marvel, especially considering it was built in the 1930's during the Great Depression. One factoid I found interesting was that to avoid scratching the black stone used to build a commemoration and dedication area, the builders set the stones on ice and then guided them into position as the ice melted. Pretty slick! I would love to come back and tour the inner workings of the dam if I'm ever back in the Vegas area.
|Hoover Dam! Memorial Bridge (top), Lake Meade as the high side of the dam (middle) and view of the dam from Memorial bridge (bottom)|
Next was the south rim of the Grand Canyon. My favorite view was from Eagle Point, named for the rock formation that looks like an eagle with outstretched wings. I got pictures at Guano Point, named for the bat guano harvesting that used to happen from a cave in the canyon. Bat guano is apparently good for dynamite, cosmetics, and fertilizer, among other things. The skeleton of the crane that drove the mining activities still stands, but the mining stopped in the 50's after a Flyboy accidentally sheared some of the cables with his back rotor.
Also, they do not have railings except on the Skywalk. You could literally fall over the edge ANYWHERE. Our tour guide cautioned us to stay away from crowds at the edge, lest we get bumped by accident. Yeesh.
|Me at the canyon! The bottom picture is an illusion - I was only about 20 feet in the air, not on the side of the canyon. But the picture is still fun!|