Four years ago we took our German friend Hartmut on a grand tour of the west. When we brought him to Hoover Dam, we were very surprised by what we saw. A huge bridge was being constructed over the Colorado River Basin and soon the road everyone took over Hoover Dam would be replaced by a four lane divided highway. We had no idea this was in the works.
Today we headed back to see the completed road. When you drive over the bridge you have no idea how deep the river valley is below. But a pedestrian sidewalk on the edge provides a breathtaking view. A welcome center and parking deck still give access to the dam and if you have deep pockets, you can park and take the tour of the dam. You can learn about how the dam was built, how much electricity it generates, how it created Lake Mead behind it. Since we had already done this with Hartmut, we drove on to Lake Mead National Recreation area, the huge lake created when the dam was built. There are some nice campgrounds on its shores. We might have to visit again and linger for a few days.
A huge white ring around the lake was a reminder how much water drought has taken out of the lake. The water has receded so much, boat ramps have been closed and the scenic overlooks look way, way far away over the water. The lake always looks wrong to me. After all these years, there is still nothing green growing nearby.
Not long after we left the shore, the distant city of Las Vegas shimmered in the distance. There's no place like it.