Wednesday, March 04, 2009

West Coast Diaries - 5. Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and Phoenix

This post should complete the series. Our trip started in the beautiful San Francisco, continued into LA, before moving on to San Diego and Vegas. From Vegas we went to the Hoover Dam, continued on to Tusayan where we viewed the magnificent Grand Canyon, and then drove to Phoenix to fly back to Toronto.

Hoover Dam

About 40 miles west of Vegas, it's still takes about a couple of hours to drive to due to the heavy traffic.
Traffic
We were on Highway 93 (linking Nevada and Arizona) where traffic soon slowed to a crawl. They inspect cars as the highway passes OVER the Hoover Dam.

Finally, we parked on the Nevada side of the dam.
DamFirst
Our first view of the dam!

We took a tour that took us inside the dam, which was pretty interesting.
DamTunnel

You see the guts of the dam, they explain to you how it all works and also you can see the power generators and hydro what-cha-ma-call-its and all!
DamHydro

You can walk across the Hoover Dam and there are many interesting sights to see.
Hoover Dam

Remember the scene from Golden Eye where James Bond jumped from the Hoover Dam? Hoover Dam was also in the movie Transformers.

There are the intake towers.
Intake towers

Right next to the intake towers on either side (Nevada and Arizona) there are blue clock faces showing the time in each state.

Border

The border between Nevada and Arizona. We crossed over by foot to Arizona.

Lake Mead
A view of Lake Mead from the Hoover Dam. It was somewhat scary to know the structure we were standing on was holding this lake, and all this body of water, in place! Not to mention, Lake Mead had enough water to flood the whole state of Pennsylvania to a foot high (according to our guide).

Soon it was time to hit the road again to Tusayan.

Tusayan

On the way, you pass some interesting sights.
DeadCowsOnSale
Dead Cows on Sale, only in Arizona!

The road to Tusayan seemed never ending.

Road

If you remember, I had blogged that on the road, we had a flat. It was very scary, in the middle of nowhere, but we were able to walk to a gas station nearby. The flat occurred right outside a small town. They sent someone over to change the tire (and cost us $200 too!). The one time I don't take flat tire insurance I get a flat. Then we drove north on this little highway to Tusayan. It was practically dark and we were super thankful once we checked into our hotel.

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast (well as hearty as cold continental breakfast can be), it was time for the Grand Canyon.

Deer
On the way, as if I needed any more adventures after last night, a deer jumped on to the road. Thankfully I was just doing 10 mph and it was a turn. The deer looked at me, sort of saying, what are YOU doing here. I have always seen warning of "animals on road" - this is the first time I saw one in front of me.

I just have one word for the Grand Canyon. Majestic!

GC

The majestic Grand Canyon. The first view.

Truly, pictures fail to do this justice. You can never take a perfect picture of the Canyon that you can say captures the beauty of this creation of Allah. You can just look and the Canyon will take your breath away.

No, I am not exaggerating.

GC

It snowed. It was icy at the Grand Canyon Park. We visited the South Rim and literally had to skate around the park.

GC

That's a steep drop. And if you believe me, in places the ice and snow had completely covered the railings. There was no protection to prevent anyone from falling over!

GC

The Grand Canyon.

After that, it was time to head for Phoenix, where we would rest for the night before flying back home.

Phoenix

GC

Phoenix was quite a boring town. Yeah, I was there for a night only but even at 7 pm the town looked dead. I guess a lot of old people lived there!

The good thing was, it was 26 degrees Centigrade when we were there!

The bad thing, as I noted that, it was -26 C in Toronto on our return.

But boy was I glad to be home. Touring is nice, but nothing beats Mom's home cooked meal.

8 comments:

boba said...

Oh, the Grand Canyon looks beautiful! I've always wanted to see the Hoover Dam, not because of Golden Eye, or Transformers, but because of that Mathew Perry film whose title I have forgotten.

mezba said...

Boba: The Grand Canyon is truly one of the most beautiful natural things I have seen. I couldn't put more pictures up because they had other people in them also (privacy issues), but photographs cannot do this place true justice.

Matthew Perry movie eh? Fool's Rush?

Muslim Girl said...

I would really like to visit the Grand Canyon. Shouldn't they do something about the snow-covered railings though?

And you're so right about the last part.. nothing beats coming home after a long trip :)

the crazy jogger said...

woah.. its beautiful!! n to thnk tht water has done that !! :)
n Hoover Dam! LOL reminds me of Transformers n the other conspiracy movie

mezba said...

Muslim Girl: In fact, when we went to the Grand Canyon, there was a sign that said "Many people die every year falling over the railings, so be careful." And that was that!

I would love to go back in the summer and do the hiking and rafting at that place.

the crazy jogger: which conspiracy movie? The one with Mel Gibson?

Ya, it just river Colarado over millions of years that did the Grand Canyon.

isheeta said...

This West COast Diary seems to never end!

I loved the Grand Canyon, majestic doesnt even begin to describe it. It was surreal... pictures, movies, nothing except taking it all in with ur very eyes can do it justtice.

I also lost all my Grand Canyon pics on that trip :(

But yours bought back memories :)

'liya said...

I came across an interesting site today in planning our trip for summer: http://upl.codeq.info/ There's also: http://www.independenttraveler.com/packing/ but I like the first better, quite useful for packing!

Thought you might find it beneficial with your next one!

mezba said...

Isheeta: well the West Coast diaries are over now.

Grand Canyon is truly memorable. I couldn't have stood it if my camera had died!

Liya: thanx for the links, it will certainly come in useful.