Dam tourists

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Two of our major stops on our road trip were wrapped up in one day, making it a very epic part of our trip.  We started the morning off by waking up in lovely North Las Vegas, after a quick midnight drive down the Strip the night before.  Vegas was positively electric as we passed hundreds of tourists, famous landmarks, light shows and all the rest–Vegas really never goes to sleep.  We passed the Bellagio as they had a fountain and light show going, as well as Caesar’s Palace and a whole lot of other beautiful hotels and casinos.

We headed to the Hoover Dam first thing the next morning, which is about 45 minutes from Vegas.  We were driving over a hilly curve and were all of a sudden greeted by the shocking blue water of the man-made Lake Mead; this is the reservoir that formed with the construction of the Hoover Dam.  We arrived right at 9am and it was already a staggering 100 degrees, but thankfully, the crowds had not yet arrived.  A stop at Hoover Dam was one of Dad’s major hopes for the trip, since he teaches his students about it and shows a National Geographic video about how it works, how it was built, and what damage and good it has done to the environment.  We were in awe of the monstrous dam, as all tourists are, and Dad did an excellent job of explaining how it all worked to us, from the spillways to the intakes to the concrete.  After a trip to the Dam store for some Dam souvenirs, we were off to the Grand Canyon.

After a couple of hours of driving through some beauuuutiful scenery of Arizona and coming down and going back up some serious elevation, we made it to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  None of us had ever been before and so we started off at Mather Point and walked along the trail for some beautiful views of the mile deep canyon.  The views along our entire trip thus far had truly been amazing and the Grand Canyon certainly delivered; its very humbling to be in the midst of such an enormous thing of beauty that merely exists naturally in our environment.  As we walked along, most of the conversations we heard were not in English; this is certainly a tourist attraction but how wonderful that people from all over the world come to see this magnificent piece of the earth.  It was lovely to just take a moment or two of silence there and just reflect on the blessings of my life and all that lies ahead.  Before we knew it, we had walked a few miles and headed to another few lookout points and hit the road again for our next stop…

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