Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hoover Dam

Last night we arrived home very late after driving from Phoenix, Arizona to St. George, Utah. We left early enough in the morning to make it home at a decent time, but ran into some interesting traffic. Highway 93 is the primary link between Phoenix and Las Vegas. A very uneventful ride through the desert until you approach Hoover Dam. Then the traffic comes to a standstill, especially if you are traveling near a holiday. The road is one lane in each direction, with dangerous curves that take you across the dam. There are no traffic signals to direct the myriads of pedestrian tourists who cross the street at any personal whim. Cars stop to accommodate the pedestrians, and long backups are common.
Five miles before the dam we came to a complete halt. For the next two hours we mainly sat, with an occasional move forward inch by painful inch.

When this dam was built in 1931 the two towns of Phoenix and Las Vegas were very small, and the freeway connection was sufficient. Now as the only road between these two major cities, going across the dam, although very scenic, is also a nightmare.
In 2005 construction began on a new 2,000 foot bridge called "The Hoover Dam Bypass Project". Completion is anticipated for June 2010. We're counting the days.

We figure we made this trip about 7 or 8 times in 2008. Our grand babies live in Phoenix and they provide great motivation to make the drive.
Until the bridge is completed we will just have to resort to our "dam humor".
We are not a swearing family. In fact, I've worked pretty hard to teach my children that there is always a better way to express ourselves.
Until yesterday when we sat and sat and sat for two hours.
What is there to talk about? Yawn
Mr. Cactus pipes up: "We're really stuck in this dam traffic."
Followed by my brother: "Boy am I dam tired."
Paul: "This dam situation really sucks."
Mr. Cactus again: "It's because the dam traffic control is deficient!"
On and on they went.

When my daughter Amy was a newly wed she went across the Glen Canyon Dam while traveling with her in- laws and family. Previously her husband had informed her that in growing up the only time the kids could swear was crossing the bridge, and then they would say the word "Dam". Somehow Amy got her story mixed up. She thought they were allowed to say any swear word. You can probably already guess her most embarrassing moment. As she was seated between Dano's little sisters and they were going over the bridge, Amy let out a string of swear words. The family looked at her in shock. Dano clarified "Amy, we're only supposed to say 'Dam'". Fortunately, Dano comes from an awesome family and they all had a good laugh, although they did give her a hard time about it (in good fun). Amy still blushes when she tells the story.

The bridge spans the border between Nevada and Arizona and has two different time zones.
I love the Art Deco architecture of the 1930's.
Originally the construction contract was given to 6 companies. Then during the Great Depression, work was accelerated to help create jobs.
""Winged Figures of the Republic"

My friend Ruth has taught me the concept to look for the gift in every situation. I've been practicing. Yesterday while everyone else was saying "Dam" I finished the last 6 baskets in my satchel quilt. Maybe I should have handed a needle and thread to everyone in the car.


Karen said...

Came across that very road on the 14th on the way home from my son's in Kingman...what a nightmare...did you see the outhouse hanging from the crain waaaaaaay up in the air?
Hope you have a Happy New Year;)

Eileen said...


Now I cannot WAIT to see how you put those satchels together. I know it will be a masterpiece!

flora said...

Great fun read, as usual.

V and Co. said...

i'm not sure if it would melt, we lived in provo for a while and it get pretty hot there, but they didn't melt, but i know that st george gets waaaay hotter! if you try it let me know!

Nanette Merrill said...

I've been on that road - once. That was enough. The dam is pretty dam spectactular for a first time see but I'd hate to have to do that over and over. I hate being in the car like that. Oh well.

Browndirtcottage said...

This is one of the most spectacular things i have ever seen. Got there at night..'thanksgiving' night that traffic going to las vegas...took 2 hours to go 4 miles...but worth the wait. Saw it in the daylight coming back through.

I really like this quilt your working on...hurry...can't wait to see it finished!

Kyra said...

The tote bag blocks are cute! What a great idea for a round robin.

Best, Kyra