After two nights at the Grand Canyon Village, I drove 200 miles west to Hoover Dam. I’ve got a zillion more pictures of Grand Canyon, which I’ll get to eventually, but I want to keep this photo safari moving.
The Hoover Dam, dedicated in 1935, is quite a spectacle itself, but I’ve been there before and even took the tour inside the dam. (Very interesting, BTW) This photo was taken with my new wide-angle lens, while standing on the dam itself … er, the sidewalk on top of the dam. No dare devil blood in this kid.
What I really wanted to see on this trip was the Hoover Dam bypass, officially named the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. FYI, Mike O’Callaghan was a former Nevada Governor and Pat Tillman is the former NFL player who quit pro football to join the army after 9/11 and was killed in Afghanistan. It is the largest concrete-arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere, 900′ above the Colorado River that separates Arizona from Nevada.
This is the view from the dam sidewalk, or should I say the sidewalk on top of the dam. Hmm, not a bad picture, even if I do say so myself. This view minimizes the maze of electrical transmission wires that look like cobwebs in most of the photos.
There are public restrooms located on the top of the dam. For being built in the middle of the Great Depression, no expense was spared on elegant trimmings.
Crossing the bridge in my car was a non-event. I was well passed the middle of the bridge before I even realized I was on it. There are no trusses or cables to indicate that you are on a bridge. Tall concrete barriers on both sides eliminate any “rubber necking” by the motorists. What a bummer.
Once I stepped onto the pedestrian walkway that takes you across the bridge, my opinion of the concrete barriers quickly changed. At 900′ above the water, the wind really howls as it squeezes through the narrow canyon; even with the 4-5′ concrete windbreak, there was no way to keep a hat on. The bridge is solid as the rock its built upon — absolutely no movement, not even any vibration from heavy trucks that rumble by on the other side of the concrete barrier. Except for the wind, it wasn’t scary at all.
These circular enclosures provide relief from the wind along the short hike from the parking lot up to the pedestrian walkway on the bridge deck. There were 3-4 of them, and they all had educational and informational posters to read while catching your breath. Another shot from my wide-angle — probably a focal length of 11 mm, so wide I have to be careful to keep my feet out of the shot.
I love the simple design of this bridge.
Thought for the Day: I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown necktie. Rodney Dangerfield