Friday, March 18, 2011

Las Vegas Road Trip: Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Boulder City

On Thursday, Leonard and I escaped the mad, wondrous rush of the Las Vegas Strip and took a St. Patrick's Day road trip to Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and historic Boulder City.

We absorbed a plentiful take on what nature—and technology 100 years in the past—can do without neon lights and bombastic thematics—not that there's a damn thing wrong with that.There's no mistaking signs of the recession at the once-burgeoning Lake Las Vegas, a multi-billion dollar multi-use planned community, that went belly up after 2007. A majority of the businesses have shuttered... though Leo and I found sustenance at an Irish pub—along with a bus-load of old folks-home residents. I said hey to your mamer!Onward to Lake Mead, the largest U.S. reservoir, which divides Nevada and Arizona. Formed by water held back by Hoover Dam, it rolls back 112 miles behind the damn, descends 500 feet and holds 28,5000,000 acre feet of water, enough to wash twice between your toes.Next: Hoover Dam, built in five years in the 1930s during the (last) Great Depression. Nearly 1 million tourists visit the damn dam every year, which was originally constructed to keep the Colorado River from flooding Southern California. Today, it provides hydro-electric non-pollutant power to more than a dozen communities in Nevada, Arizona and California.
Your diddy says hi!Rednecks! Cool!And finally, a stop through historic, quaint Boulder City—which feels like one is stepping into the 1950s—the town hundreds of Hoover Dam workers called home during the construction of the dam, from 1931 to 1935.