1 We got to Hoover Dam bright and early. Built in the 1930s, Hoover Dam straddles the mighty Colorado River, which forms the border between the states of Nevada and Arizona.
2 Hoover Dam is named for Herbert Hoover, the nation’s 31st president. After he left office, the names “Boulder Canyon Dam” and “Boulder Dam” were frequently used, allegedly because the new Secretary of the Interior did not like the former president.
3 Hoover Dam is 726 feet high, 45 feet thick at the top and 660 feet at the bottom, and is larger than the Great Pyramid of Cheops. The dam is filled with 3.25 million cubic yards of concrete, enough to pave a strip 16 feet wide and 8 inches thick from San Francisco to New York City.
4 Damming the Colorado River created Lake Mead, a National Recreation Area managed by the National Park Service. The lake offers boating, fishing, camping, houseboating, waterskiing and swimming.
5 Hikers can enjoy the stark beauty of the desert surrounding the lake.
6 The Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, is a spectacular four-lane highway bridge arching across the Colorado River.
7 This bridge opened in late 2010 and carries traffic between Nevada and Arizona. An impressive feat of engineering, the supporting twin-rib arch span echoes the elegant curves of the dam itself.
8 The older two-lane highway across the dam could no longer handle the 14,000 vehicles that travel here each day.
9 It was the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge built in the United States and it incorporates the widest concrete arch in the Western Hemisphere.
10 This is Anduin Havens posing next to this marvel. At 840 feet above the Colorado River, it is the second-highest bridge in the United States, following the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado.
11 Anduin was joined by Kevin Sharkey and Daisy Schwartzberg.
12 A view of the Colorado River from the bridge
13 Construction required hoisting workers and materials 890 feet above the Colorado River using 2,300 foot-long steel cables held aloft by a "high-line" crane system.
14 This bronze statue on a rock formation is called High Scaler and it sits outside the High Scaler Cafe. High scalers were the daring workers who hung from ropes on the canyon walls as they drilled with jackhammers and packed dynamite.
15 Sculptor Oskar J.W. Hansen, created several pieces of art at Hoover Dam including The Winged Figures of the Republic. Rising from a black, polished base, is a 142-foot flagpole flanked by two winged figures.
16 Hansen said, the figures express "the immutable calm of intellectual resolution, and the enormous power of trained physical strength, equally enthroned in placid triumph of scientific accomplishment."
17 The winged figures are 30 feet high. Their shells are 5/8-inch thick, and contain more than 4 tons of statuary bronze. The figures were formed from sand molds weighing 492 tons.
18 The bronze that forms the shells was heated to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, and poured into the molds in one continuous, molten stream.
19 The base of the flagpole is engraved with "It is fitting that the flag of our country should fly here in honor of those men who, inspired by a vision of lonely lands made fruitful, conceived this great work and of those others whose genius and labor made that vision a reality."
20 Here I am on top of Hoover Dam.
21 Below the dam is the powerplant and the canyon wall outlet works.
22 Another view of the workings of the dam and that fabulous bridge
23 A view looking down the wall of the dam
24 Turning in the opposite direction, a view of Lake Mead - Because of a severe drought, the water level of Lake Mead is about 75 feet low.
25 A nice shot of Anduin on the dam
26 These are two of four 338 foot high Intake Towers that stand in the deep waters of Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam. They siphon water to the powerplant. Two towers are on the Nevada side and two on the Arizona side.
27 Half of Hoover Dam is on the Pacific Time Zone and the other half is in Mountain Time Zone. Arizona is one of the exceptions to the rule when it comes to observing daylight saving time in the United States.
28 Consequently, since daylight saving time had occurred, the times in both states were the same.
29 Anduin is standing in Nevada and I'm in Arizona!
30 The line of demarcation
31 Hoover Dam is one of seven modern civil engineering wonders of the U.S. The others are Mount Rushmore, Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Monument, Golden Gate Bridge, Seattle's Space Needle, and the Empire State Building.
32 Considered to be the world’s largest dam and an engineering marvel at the time of its construction in the 1930s, Hoover Dam brings much-needed water and power to the Southwest.
33 Another look at Lake Mead on our way back to Las Vegas