the wandering chick
Hoover Dam is one of the most fascinating engineering feats in the world. Until you see it live, it's hard to imagine its magnificence and enormity. Originally called Boulder Dam, it was completed in 1936 and is situated on the Nevada-Arizona border 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The dam was built to control the flooding of the Colorado River, provide irrigation to one of the driest areas of the U.S. and to provide hydro-electric power.
Above: the Colorado River
Below: Construction is underway to build an arch bridge to bypass traffic over the Hoover Dam. Currently, the two-lane Hoover Dam is a part of U.S. Highway 93, and because of (mostly) security reasons, travel across the dam is restricted to passenger cars and RVs only. The bypass is expected to be completed in the fall of 2010.
Above and Below: Lake Mead is the reservoir created by Hoover Dam. It is the largest reservoir in the States and is divided into several sections by different names. The section above is the western-most part of the reservoir and is called Boulder Basin.
Lake Mead RV Village, located inside the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, overlooks the western-most end of Lake Mead, called Boulder Basin. The RV Village, normally full, has a few resident (but still wild) coyotes, one of them pictured above.
You can't go far in this section of the U.S., between Utah, Nevada and Arizona, without finding yourself in the midst of stunning red rock formations.
Surrounding photos were taken along a 13-mile loop through the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Off Highway 159, it's only 19 miles from Las Vegas, but certainly a world apart.
Highway 159, called Blue Diamond Rd, is a wonderfully picturesque day trip from Las Vegas. Along the way, stop in at the Bonnie Springs Ranch and its restaurant, petting zoo and theme park, rich in history if not in fancy fanfare. Go. It will put a smile on your face. The remaining shots were taken along the Blue Diamond Rd.
Joshua trees are a big part of the landscape in this part of Nevada.
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and along the Blue Diamond Highway
Update: The bridge has been completed, and I went back to see how it looks. To see the pix, along with some of the Lake Mead marina, please return to the Nevada home page. A link to it is below.