National Park Week: Camping in Lake Mead and admiring the Hoover Dam

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The Hoover Dam in all its glory

When you are married to an engineer, you learn to appreciate things you may not have in the past. Bridges, tunnels and dams become things to stop and look at. To be fair, I think anyone would stop and check out the Hoover Dam if they were going past – but this was a must-visit on our trip.

The dam was constructed in the 1930s and is widely regarded as an engineering marvel. You can read a bit more about it here, or watch a short educational video…

You can only imagine how my engineering husband geeked out when he got to see all of this in person. We did the tour (though the tour leader appeared to be pained repeating the same information for the umpteenth time as we were headed through), and checked it out at sunset. As a side note, there is a rather impressive bridge which now sits alongside the dam. It was pretty cool.

Visiting the Hoover Dam gave as an opportunity to visit another site administered by the National Park Service – Lake Mead National Recreation Area. We camped here for a night, and I relished such facilities as flush toilets. It is also nice and close to the townships of Boulder City (established to house the huge numbers of people who came to construct the Dam in the 1930s), and not too far away from Las Vegas (which we drove through briefly). As I touched on previously, the lake’s water level is a lot lower now than it has been previously. However, it still offered a pleasant site to camp.

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Camping at Lake Mead

Next stop: the wonder of the Grand Canyon!

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