Saturday, September 6, 2008

The damn, dam tour.

Hubby and I thought it best to rent a car to drive ourselves to Hoover Dam. In reality, the dam isn't that far from Vegas and would afford us more time on the tour and in the visitors center. There are lots of interesting things to see, and I missed quite a bit last time I went, due to an unforeseen event, so I wanted to see it all.

We got out of Vegas, somehow, and found the highway that would lead us to the dam. We pulled out the GPS because we missed the turn. The GPS was not functioning and kept giving the message that no satellite could be found. Hello? We were still in town, not in the middle of nowhere, so why wouldn't the darn thing work? A call to computer guru brother in law, would solve the problem, we hoped. Nope, he wasn't sure why the darn thing wasn't finding the satellite either. We had a nice chat with him anyway.

It is a nice drive to the dam, if you like looking at nothing. It is just a bunch of rocks, maybe like a really hot moon. Nearing the dam, we could see the new, scary bridge across the river. I won't go on it but it is supposed to alleviate the congestion that the bridge road has. It looks like something that would fall down in a strong wind, though I'm sure it is a bit more safe than that. I still won't ever go on it.

We pay the parking lady $7 and park the rental car. It is hot and we are sweating before we get into the sun. I, of course, have to pee. There is, of course, a line a mile long in the ladies room. There are no bathrooms in the dam so you are out of luck. Have I mentioned that it is scorching hot???

The extended tour was leaving soon, so we paid and got our tickets. Only, it wasn't a ticket, it was a yellow plastic hardhat. Not even a real one, a Bob the Builder type, flimsy. I laughed at the people that actually wore them, I, at least at the forethought to ask if it was mandatory.

The tour begins and I already have to pee. The dam guide stuffs a million of us in the elevator and off we go. People are manhandling my pg tummy and I didn't like it. I could barely breathe. We are led around like a group of preschoolers, examining nooks and crannies that should have been left to rodents or at least something smaller than the average human. I had to duck in places and I am not a shining example of height.

The guide points out all of the fine Art Deco details. I must ask, why does the, damn dam have to have terazzo floors? It is all very nice but I still have to pee and believe that there are more elevator rides to endure. In one place, we walked down a narrow, rounded tunnel to an open set of louvers. I wouldn't have minded having a gander, but there was this grate covered hole that you had to cross. I looked down it and could not see any trace of a bottom. Sorry, unless you want to back everyone up so I can take a running jump over it, not happening for me. I hung back, sweating and needing to pee.

Don't know if I mentioned that it was hot! My back was sweating and I am horrified to mention this fact.

Finally, we were all wedged in the damn dam's elevators and deposited in the middle of the dam, on the road. It was hot! I took a quick look and sat down. Yep, right down on the sidewalk in the blazing sun. The guide pronounced the tour over and I bolted for the nearest building with a bathroom and AC. Turns out it was the original visitor center. It was cool and that is really all I was looking for. Once my sweaty husband caught up with me, it was time for the show to begin. All 4 of us that showed up, sat in chairs that hadn't been replaced in 50 years. They were hard and we had no room to stretch our legs. This was a place that was built when the average American must have been barely 5' tall.

A huge, and ancient, topographic map lit up and told us the story of every damn, dam for several hundred miles. It was nice to get some air but the story wasn't that interesting. Maybe the new visitor center would be more interesting.

I have to waddle across the street and traffic to get to the new place. It is pretty neat and has a bonus elevator to get to the top. You could see the scary new bridge and straight down the dam. It was neat but hot so I went back in and sat on a bench that was conveniently placed on a vent! Bonus! Pretty soon, there was the sound of a siren. I have to believe it was an ambulance sent to help a pregnant woman that was dehydrated and needed to pee.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

That damn dam tour sounds long and hot! I'm impressed with you for hanging in there! I wouldn't have even made it there, I would have just stayed at the casino and gambled. ;)