The Best Dam Trip We’ve Ever Taken


hoover dam

Hoover Dam, the 2nd tallest dam in America, but probably the best known.  (The tallest one, in case that made you as curious as it made me, is the Oroville Dam in Oroville, California, east of Sacramento.)

This trip was all for Alan. I was all, “Why waste our time in southern Nevada and California? It’s out of the way, and I have zero interest in seeing Vegas. Casinos and showgirls? Sorry. Not our scene.”

Alan was all, “What!!  The Hoover Dam is an engineering marvel!! ” And then he said a whole bunch of stuff about the dam–I had no idea what he was talking about, really. Engineering: also not my scene. Alan talks about civil engineering frequently, actually, and that’s why it took us so long to go from friends to more than friends. 😉 ha! Love you, Alan!

I do occasionally TRY to be a good wife, though. (Hey, give me a little credit: I did bear him several children, in spite of my repeated nightmare deliveries.)

And like a good wife, I can admit when I’m wrong.

I was wrong.

The dam was not blah blah blah. We even went on the TOUR of the POWER PLANT of the dam, and I just knew that I would fall asleep. There was really no way out of it. I totally had Alan talked out of doing it, but then the lady at the ticket booth talked us into it with our big $2 discount, simply because Alan is military.  (But just to clarify, there’s really nothing that ‘simple’ about being in the military. If you want our discount, you would have to do things like live in the Iraqi desert for a year at a time. It’s 130 degrees there, ya’ll. Do you still want the $2 discounts?)  Ha!! Me neither! I won’t even stay outside if it goes over 100 degrees! When I was a high schooler, getting calls from military recruiters, I simply laughed, explained to them that I was too prissy for the Navy/Army/whatever, and hung up the phone. 😉

Before I knew it, I was in the dam tour line, patiently waiting to learn all about the dam power plant. 😉

April, the reluctant tourist

April, the reluctant tourist

First came the movie. No problem. I love movies. Yes, there was a lot of blah blah blah, but ALSO it was fascinating!!  And they had actual footage of the dam being built, which made it so much easier to understand. I learned a ton!

Alan was so excited, when halfway through the film, I said a completely serious, “Wow!”

That really made his day!

After the movie, they took us through the power plant of the dam. It really wasn’t so bad. Thankfully, it didn’t last too long, and it all made Alan so happy.



The Hoover Dam provides power for parts of Arizona, Nevada, and California. Plus it provides those states with water.

Do you know what it is that makes the Hoover Dam amazing??  Before we went, I thought it would be what it looked like. I thought, “Oh, people think it’s amazing because it’s gigantic.” No, that’s not it. It’s amazing because of what it accomplishes.

Here is what I learned:

-Before the Hoover Dam, the Colorado River caused a lot of trouble for everyone in its path. It caused flooding, and it was just a treacherous river.

-The Dam pretty much tamed the monstrous Colorado River.

-It controlled the flow of the water, and prevents flooding.

-The dam brings water to California, Nevada, and Arizona, and after driving through these states, let me tell you: they need water super badly!!

-The dam brings electricity to those states too.

-This makes those states habitable, really. Have you seen the Southwest? A whole lot of what we saw in those states was beautiful, but it was also dry, and some of it is comparable to the vast, dry mountains of Afghanistan.

-It’s a clean energy source. Isn’t that nice! No smog or nuclear fallout coming from the Hoover Dam.

how-it-works diagram. I sort of understood some of this, and I am okay with that. If you'd like to know more, just ask Alan.

how-it-works diagram. I sort of understood some of this, and I am okay with that. If you’d like to know more, just ask Alan.

hydro-electric pumps--or something like that

hydro-electric pumps–or something like that

Also, you do not want to touch that coppery railing--totally burned my arm!

Also, you do NOT want to touch that coppery railing–totally burned my arm!

-It’s also a marvel that all of those states and Congress could work together and get the Dam to come together. Imagine today’s Congress accomplishing that. They did an amazing job, and that’s why they later named it after Hoover, who worked so hard to orchestrate this ‘engineering marvel’.

-Oh, and by the way, even the parking deck outside the thing looks like a feat in itself.

-Lake Mead is a BEAUTIFUL blue.





This cute young couple had their picture made standing on the Nevada/Arizona border

-The area is experiencing a 13 year drought. They said the problem is that Colorado hasn’t had enough snow to melt into the river. I am going to pray for these people and their drought. The water in the river is insanely low right now. Won’t you join me in praying for rain for these folks?


We drove into Nevada on that bridge. It had barriers up, so you can’t see the dam if you’re driving. If I had known how high up this bridge was, i would have been a little bit chicken!

-Apparently, I’ve been pronouncing Nevada all wrong. The second syllable is pronounced “a” as in “apple” not “o” as in “ostrich”…according to our tour guide.

-While we were at the dam, that’s when I saw a sudden …fashion shift. Suddenly, there were more young people, and they didn’t seem to think that covering up was something to bother with. I get it. It’s the desert, and it was over 100 degrees. We have that problem in the south too, and we do wear as little clothing as we can, while still looking decent. These girls just didn’t bother with the whole ‘looking decent’ part.

Also a good rule of thumb, my sweet, young friends: If your shorts are so short, that you cannot wear regular underwear, because they are longer than your shorts, then save those shorts for your house. They are not for public wear. It’s getting hard to tell the hookers from the not-hookers, just sayin’.

-Okay, one last thought on the Hoover Dam, totally unrelated to fashion choices:  I love, love, love how man is able to cultivate the earth to make it work better for all of us. God made man–and when I say man–I do mean mankind (both men and women)–in his image. We are intelligent and can do wonderful things.

Nature left to itself tends toward disorder, out of control rivers, no electricity, and no pretty little tidy gardens. That is why the idea that man just spontaneously formed, without a creator is ludicrous. Have you ever seen a garden left untended? The weeds and grasses quickly choke out the beauty that was there. Creation itself testifies to the creator, and it is our job to take care of that creation.





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