Leaving the Mainland – Hoover Dam and Stuff

We closed on our house on the 15th of June. By then, we were in California. Our drive to California added a tad over 1,700 miles to our remaining car, the 2010 Toyota Highlander. This is the path we took (click to open a zoomable version in a new tab or window):

Monument to San Diego

Let me speak a moment about our choice of selling the Tahoe and keeping the Highlander. It was a difficult choice but we went with the logical choice. The Tahoe was older, had 40,000 more miles, is larger, uses more gas, has had more issues than the Highlander . . . so, why was it difficult?

Because it looked like this:

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Notice the license plate holder . . .

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We made the right choice . . . but, I still miss the car. 

Anyway, driving. After two days, we stopped at Hoover Dam. Before that, we cut through a little bit of Nevada. This is what Nevada looks like:

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By the way, the travel photos — but not the Tahoe’s — are in SmugMug HERE.

I know many readers suffer from SmugMug Reluctance Syndrome, so let me tell you what I’m gonna do; if you have the bandwidth, click HERE to open the 12MB full-size version of the above panorama in a new tab or window. Once opened, click on it to zoom in and out of points of interest.

A feature in the above panorama that captured my interest was the shot from the movie The Mummy (see equivalent shot HERE). Except, you know, rendered in rock.

Don’t see it? Here’s a closer view.

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Because I know a few readers will still not see it, here’s a little help.

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Now, look at the photo again:

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If you still can’t see it, you should check your imagination circuitry.

Most of the scenery we saw was not as interesting as the above. Most of the scenery looked like this:

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Again, click for a slightly larger version or go to SmugMug for the full version . . . or, if you have the bandwidth, click HERE to open the 20MB full-size version of the above panorama in a new tab or window. Once opened, click on it to zoom in and out of points of interest. Cudos if you can find the helicopter that’s flying around. 

By the way, I do like having my big rig back . . . it lets me quickly write these posts as I listen to some of my favorite music. Like, for instance, this:

Yes, I know; the words make little (no) sense, but the visuals (brain and chest splatter, in particular) really go with the music and I like the driving drums combined with the singing style and electronic music. Awesome. 

Again, for them not clicking on anything, a few photos of the features in that stark landscape. 

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Our time in Nevada was brief. As brief as our visit to Hoover Dam. 

Now, Hoover Dam is truly an engineering marvel. Impressive use of cement. But, more impressive, was the Lake Mead’s bathtub ring

For them who be not know about it, the lake’s level has been dropping for years, the original level marked by the bleached rocks surrounding the lake. 

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Full-size version HERE (4 MB). 

That’s a lot of water that’s no longer there, sucked up by the water-greedy Western states. You can read about the steps taken to keep water flowing to where it was never intended to go. More depressing reading HERE.

This next photo is the first one I took after I got out of the car into stifling and oppressive heat.

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I’m not as smart as everyone thinks I am and certainly not as smart as I think I am, but I surmised the above was a spillway constructed when dreams of unlimited water prompted Western expansion of places that are now sucking the lake dry. I just checked, and I was right (HERE).

Since most won’t click on the link here’s the image few will see again (note, I do not own this image and will remove it if asked to do so):

For them who might not know what a spillway does and the subset of those who can’t work it out from the image, it keeps the water from spilling over the top of the dam by diverting it around the dam once water levels get too high. 

Understand, it’s not just drinking and irrigation water that are put at risk by the current drought. Hoover Dam produces much of the electricity for the surrounding areas. The drop in water levels forced upgrades to turbines and control valves (HERE) and systems associated with power production at the dam. By the way, same problems at Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powel. 

We liked Colorado, but water concerns were one of the reasons we decided to move. Plus, you know, snow, an influx of people, and dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. Lots of dogs barking. Always barking. And teens. More and more teens. And motorcycles. More and more motorcycles. I could go on but I think I made my point. 

Hoover Dam itself is an impressive sight and my photos do not do it justice. Still, if I don’t show the photos, then there’s not much point to this post. 

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Take note of the size of the people walking along the top of it. Those are not miniatures; they are regular-size people. Honest to goodness humans, some as tall as they are wide. 

Here are a couple of panoramas shot with my ultrawide lens (hence the associated distortion).

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The full-size versions of the above are HERE (9 MB) and HERE (8 MB).

In the distance, one can see the Pedestrian Bridge offering a view of the dam from an elevated position. I am sure the photos from that bridge would be amazing . . . and, if I could have found parking, and if it weren’t so frelling hot, and if we weren’t on a timetable, and if, and if, I would have had those photos. 

Instead, I have these . . . 

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That’s the Visitor Center. Another place I would have entered (it has A/C) were it not for the fact they were charging $10 per adult. That was just to enter the building. The tours were $30 per adult.

Understand, I’m not a cheapskate and I would have gladly paid for access to things . . . but the thought of being stuck with a bunch of strangers the likes of these . . . 

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. . . one of which would have surely made a string of dam/damn jokes (that would be me), well, let’s just say I was not motivated. Maybe next time. 

These are interesting statues adorning the dedication plaque . . . 

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. . . their feet shiny from being rubbed by people thinking doing so will bring them good luck. 

I like this plaque . . . 

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Since most rivers also mark the boundaries between states, the dam straddles the border between Nevada and Arizona. 

This tower . . . 

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. . . marks Nevada time. As you walk across the top of the dam . . . 

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. . . you come to this plaque . . . 

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. . . that marks the location of the cchange to . . . 

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All in all, we had a decent visit and if we chance that way again I plan on spending more time and maybe even suffering Dam Jokes (by me) on an actual tour of the place.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

P.S. After a long absence, this post marks the return of the doodles. There are only eight more before I finish cycling through all 400+ of them. I don’t know if I will restart the series or make the effort to create new art to anchor my blogging efforts. Perhaps I should ask my readers . . .

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Capturing Saturn

Capturing Saturn

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Creative, Musings Stuff, Personal, Photography, Photography Stuff, Scenery, Structures, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Leaving the Mainland – Hoover Dam and Stuff

  1. Ha! Love the license plate holder! :-)
    Great photos! I’ve been to Hoover Dam! and I always loved the winged creatures! :-)
    Wow! Wow! Wow! Love The Mummy rock face! So cool! :-)
    Years ago I lived in the same county with a road named The San Pablo Dam Road. Everyone in the area just called it The Damn Road. And of course many damn jokes were told! :-D
    YAY we get to vote! I love when you let us vote! Hmm…but, I like two of the choices…and can only pick one…Well, I am nuts…but, old or new…I enjoy your doodles! :-)
    HUGS!!! :-)

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I have the same one on the Highlander . . . now both back and front.

      Yeah, I think Melisa was happy we did not go on the damn tour so I would not spill my damn jokes. Come to think of it, I’m damn sorry to say I damn don’t remember any of them this damn moment, but damn if I wouldn’t make the damn effort at the actual dam.

      So far, repeating them leads the voting . . . and that saves me from expending effort on new artwork.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Damn, that’s a lot of damns! :-D
        Well, repeating them or doing new artwork…I’m for either or both. I’d love to see new…but, I’d love to see the old repeated…since you have so many.
        Hope your day is going well!
        A very good and rainy day here! YAY!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. AnnMarie says:

    “Spremi le meningi e crea!” That’s mine and mother’s thoughts about the doodles!

    As for Hoover Dam, we had the pleasure of crossing it on the way to Las Vegas, but we did not stop (end of August, way too sizzling out there).

    And a salute to that beautiful Tahoe (I would miss it, too!) and your co-pilot, Wash!!! Is the holder on your Highlander now?

    Like

    • disperser says:

      “e crea” or “a crear”? It read odd to me either way, but I’m out of practice.

      The Highlander had its own holder for the back, but now it has the one in front as well.

      And, funny, we did the opposite . . . we skirted Las Vegas and hit Hoover Dam (did not hurt it much but, boy, my knuckles were sore).

      Like

  3. colonialist says:

    filled with admiration * When you move, you well and truly MOVE – not like the paltry couple of kilometers we thought was such a bind.

    Like

  4. mvschulze says:

    Trying to catch up a bit here (today is 8/2!) Wonderful series on the Dam. I’ve been there twice, and in each time we were on our usual mad rush timetables and/or it was so hot that we couldn’t stand it for more than 47 seconds. But you images are terrific as usual, not only of the dam and environs, but the extreme details of the Nevada shots. Yep, got the helicopter, and a million other interesting things. Love that. Could spend hours perusing these images in the hi rez. M :-)

    Like

    • disperser says:

      A million? I only counted 800K . . . are you sure you’re not exaggerating?

      Seriously, thanks, and yes, hot. Not only that, people! Lots of people! I almost went nuts.

      Like

  5. I picked the ‘mummy’ stands out like a sore thumb so I don’t know why you had to highlight it!
    The Hoover Dam is a magnificent structure, it was the reason I agreed to go to Las Vegas originally. That new road/bypass wasn’t there when I visited and yes I paid to do the full tour, after which the tour guide led us in a singalong under the winged statues; naturally I joined in and it appeared that I was the only visitor old enough to know the words to the song we sang. I have a photo of it somewhere (I’m not in the pic), if I find it I’ll send you a copy, I thought that his little singalong added much and gave a more human feel to the event,
    You now of course that President Hoover spent much tie here in Australia, West Australia to be exact, as an engineer on the Kalgoorlie goldfields, he was, if I recall, involved in getting water to that godforsaken, at that time, place

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Well, not everyone is as astute and observant as you are, so I done highlighted it under the guise of “no reader left behind”.

      Actually, I did not know Hoover had spent any time upside down. I might now be moved to invest a few minutes on his history.

      Like

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