Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lake Mead and Hoover Dam

Each year we plan to cover a few trails, see some part of this beautiful world of ours and create ever lasting memory. I guess sometimes it’s more to unwind from the daily grind and recharge ourselves. Last summer we zeroed in onto Zion National Park, Bryce National Park and maybe a short peek at Grand Canyon National Park.

The nearest [and cheapest] airport to fly in was Las Vegas and visit Hoover Dam and Lake Mead before driving towards Zion National Park. On our way to Las Vegas the flight did cover a pretty large water body surrounded by sandy/rocky hills. I did not know then that I was looking down at Lake Mead. The surrounding land was devoid of any vegetation and the blue color of the Lake created a nice color combination. Lake Mead is the largest water reservoir in US in terms of volume and was formed due to the construction of Hoover Dam. I hope the picture below helps. It was maybe around 2 PM or so with a clear cloudless sky when we were there and the temperature was north of 100 F. Though it was too hot for us [thanks to Minnesota] we found people enjoying the sun. Lake Mead offered a lot of water sports right from jet skis to speedboats. The shoreline was like the hills surrounding it – devoid of any vegetation. The water was cool but we didn’t find a beach area and hence kept pretty much inland. We found a lot of shells along the shore which was quite surprising to me –I thought we found these on seashores only. But these were really tinny ones not even ½ an inch in size. Lake Mead does come under National Park Service and it is here that we bought our National Park one year permit which served us at Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon NP as well.

Our next stop was at Hoover Dam which was right next to the Lake. The dam is an engineering classic on the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona. There is a two way single lane roadway across the top of the dam. On both side throngs of people were found photographing or just hanging out and enjoying the view. There were a few architectural structures too to commemorate the efforts of the people who made this dam a reality. We drove to one point higher up and viewed the dam from there. It was too sunny and hot for us to stay there for long. After wrapping up Hoover Dam we made our long drive to Springdale, UT the entrance of Zion National Park.

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