Damn Hoover!

Whilst based in Las Vegas and in between shopping sprees and exciting shows we drove out to explore Hoover Dam.


Hot At Hoover

Located on Nevada-Arizona border, 48 kilometres southeast of Las Vegas, and stretching approx 380 metres across the Black Canyon, the Hoover Dam took five years to construct between 1931 to 1936. It was built to control flooding along the Colorado River and provide water and hydroelectric power for California and Southwest America.

I’ve done some research and found out some interesting facts:

It’s name was a source of controversy – Surveyors originally recommended the dam be constructed at Boulder Canyon, and hence it was called the Boulder Canyon Dam Project. It was actually built at Black Canyon but still named the Boulder Dam and on September 17, 1930, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur announced the dam would be named after President Herbert Hoover. Then when Hoover was succeeded in the White House by Franklin Roosevelt, and the new secretary of the interior, Harold Ickes, declared the dam would once again be called Boulder Dam. However, in April 1947, President Harry Truman approved a congressional resolution that officially confirmed the dam would be named the Hoover Dam.


Water Levels Lower Than Usual

Boulder City, Nevada was actually created for people working on the dam – In the early 1930s, Boulder City, Nevada, was constructed to house 5,000 dam project workers. Boulder City was situated on federally owned land and had no elected officials. The city was run by an employee of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (the agency responsible for the dam project), who had the authority to evict residents as he saw fit. Among the local rules, alcohol and gambling were banned.

Hoover Dam created America’s largest reservoir – The damning of the Colorado River and the creation of Lake Mead (Americas largest reservoir) covers about 642 square kilometres and is capable of holding approximately 1,230,258 litres. The creation of Lake Mead flooded the community of St. Thomas, Nevada, and turned it into a ghost town. Today, the reservoir supplies water to farms, businesses and millions of people in Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico. Lake Mead also is a popular site for boating, fishing and swimming; America’s first national recreation area was established there in 1964.

Today, as a result of a drought the Colorado River basin has experienced for the past decade-and-a-half, Lake Mead has dropped to its lowest level since it was first filled in the 1930s.


Visible Water Line

It once was the world’s tallest dam – Hoover Dam was the world’s tallest dam when it was built in the 1930s. These days, it’s the second-tallest dam in the U.S., having been surpassed by the Oroville Dam in Northern California in 1968. The globe’s tallest dam is the Jinping-I Dam in Liangshan, Sichuan, China, which became operational in 2013.


That’s One Huge Dam

An amazing feat of engineering and the sheer size of the dam is awe inspiring. Looking over the edge takes your breath away.



Mojave Mojo

My complimentary earplugs worked a treat in blocking out the howling winds of the Mojave Desert last night and we wake up refreshed and ready to go for the final leg of the drive through to Las Vegas.

Breakfast of waffles, maple syrup and a strong perculated coffee sets us up for the day of driving through the desert and parallel to Route 66.


Good Morning Mojave

With only a three hour drive today, we decide to take it easy and stop regularly for petrol, drinks and snacks.  Whilst driving along the highway we notice advertising for Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner, we decide to take a detour and come across an absolute gem on Route 66.


Desert Highway


More desert!

Peggy Sue’s is an original roadside diner, built in 1954 with nine counter stools and three booths. Located near the Calico Mountains it was built from railroad ties and mortar from the nearby Union Pacific Rail yard and was reopened in 1987 with an attempt to restore and preserve it in its original state. Packed with 50’s memorabilia it’s almost overwhelming as everywhere you look there a photos, trinkets, advertisements and the attention to details for the 50’s decade is amazing.


Doesn’t Look Much From The Front


Danielle … Our Waitress

We ordered 50’s inspired meals and again the size of the meals have us beaten … you literally can’t eat that much food.

There is also and souvenir shop which they call “5 and Dime” which has a little bit of everything, in fact it’s overwhelming with the pure volume of trinkets, t-shirts, clocks, movie memorabilia and souvenirs.

After lunch we power through to Las Vegas but make a shopping stop at a random retail outlet at a town called Primm, we find some bargains and then we head straight to a hotel, the Hilton Grand Vacation Suites in a drive up to find availability.  We have found that picking a hotel and doing a last minute drive up is saving us heaps of money.


Hilton … our Hotel For Next Five Days


View From Our Window


Well Earned Beer In The Bar