Our seventh and final day on the trip took us on a quick detour through Nevada. Nothing could top the Canyon from yesterday, but the man-made sites of Hoover Dam and Las Vegas almost wowed me in a completely different way. Two vastly different spectacles of human construction and architecture, the Hoover Dam and Las Vegas are worlds apart, yet only about 45 minutes apart.
Coming from Arizona, we drove over the Hoover Dam, which happens to be the line between Mountain Time and Pacific Time. The traffic across the bridge is a bit heavy, as there’s a security check point and the cars have to move almost slow enough to turn back time, if the time zone switch didn’t take care of that already.
Once we got to the dam, we appeased the historians in us and took advantage of the $15 visitor center fee to learn some interesting things about the dam’s origins and construction. I won’t bore you with those details, let’s just say it’s amazing how impressive a structure it is considering the era it was made, and considering how much it positively affected a struggling economy. (see: the Great Depression)
Attempting to do it justice with regard to it’s massiveness, here’s a good picture from the visitor center. It’s too big to get a wide shot of, but this is the widest I could get.
You can see some pedestrians walking across the bridge on the top giving some aspect of a scale.
After witnessing this man-made masterpiece, we drove down to Vegas to witness some other artificial spectacles in the middle of the desert. What other place could you see a Castle, a Pyramid, the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower within the same half mile of each other that’s not a video game?
We didn’t spend much time in Vegas, just a few hours of touristy sightseeing. We’re not big gamblers us Glasses. I had never been there, and I just wanted to see what it was all about. It was different but as outrageous as I was expecting, and eventually I’ll come back for more traditional Vegas outing.
After doing the crash course on the Vegas Strip scenery, we made the 4 1/2 hour drive to Los Angeles, our final destination on the road trip, and my future city of residence.
In Barstow, we caught back up with the old Route 66, and I almost bought out the store’s worth of memorabilia, but decided against it, tired from a week of driving, and wanting to finally get settled into my new life.
So that’s the end of the trip. We sat at the bar in the hotel on Friday night, amazed that we came so far, survived an iced storm, didn’t fall off either the Grand Canyon or the Hoover dam, and left lost Vegas only having lost the money we spent on a meal and the pointless “check out the back of this hotel” tram rides. This is definitely the kind of trip one never forgets, and luckily I have the pictures and now the hilariously insightful blog posts to help remind me.
Look for a longer reflection sometime late Sunday night, I’ll pour my soul out on what the road trip meant to me, and how I feel about the past year of my life. It will be heavy stuff, get your tissues ready.
I leave you with one final bonus picture, an “after” picture of what a week’s worth of driving cross-country will do to a brand new Honda Civic.
Relax, it did get washed.