Friday, November 6, 2009
We took the advice of the locals we met at the campground when planning the day. One of our required visits was the Hoover Dam and on Mannie's wife's suggestion we scheduled a pre-noon visit to the dam. After that we expected the heat would drive us inside so a second try at the casinos seemed a prudent choice. Caesar's palace had an antique car exhibit I felt we might all enjoy. Even Kat wanted to see the Duesenbergs.
As we had hoped, we got to the Hoover Dam at around 10:30 AM. We drove down the mountain from our campground with the windows down, but before entering Las Vegas they had been raised and the a/c flicked on. Once at the dam it was warmer still, and getting hot. The 9-11 check-points also made the early arrival a wise choice. Our wait for the cursery glanse by the guards was not long but still gave us enough time to enjoy views just outside the window that would have otherwise been lost to speed.
Before we got to the dam we caught sight of the new 9/11 bridge still under construction. I suspect a PBS special will eventually air a show chronicling it's construction as it seems to be quite an undertaking. Our vacation days happened to coincide with the final stages of the arch's construction. It appeared to be awfully precarious missing the final piece of the arch. It was cool site and will one day help date our Hoover Dam pics with a glance.
We drove past some parking areas that charged for the service and continued across the dam. I suspect that the new bridge will eventually eliminate auto traffic across the dam and relegate the dam to foot traffic only. Considering the amount of through traffic I suspect the dam tourism experience will be enhanced. For our visit at the time I enjoyed the history of being able to drive across the thing myself.
We lucked into a free parking space that had just been occupied and made our way to the dam on foot. The lake level seemed much lower than on my previous visits a decade earlier. On my previous winter visits I had thought that the low level was part of an annual lowering of the lake to absorb heavier rainfall during other wetter periods of the year. This was a summer visit, though, and Lake Powell was even lower than on my winter visits. Humph.
The art that adorned the dam was astounding to my mildly art educated eyes. I felt it was Art Deco at its best and wonderfully expressed man's mastery. I couldn't help but think of Ayn Rand and feel immersed in the pages of Atlas Shrugged. I imagined that the art must get under the skin of the liberals in the know.
The gift shop had little of interest to us, except for water. We wondered around in the crowded swamp-cooler cooled shop briefly then relaxed with our water outside on the patio. It seemed the walking, heat, hunger, and thirst had conspired against Trey and he didn't mind showing just how uncomfortable he was. The patio break under wire mesh umbrellas alleviated much of that discomfort, though. Once again, I enjoyed the people watching.
With that we retraced our path back to Vegas by way of a McDonald's. The McDonald's had TV's tuned to boredom TV (CNN) and while eating lunch we received the sad news of Michael Jackson's death. I wasn't a fan, preferring instead the likes of REM, U2 and later Nirvana, but Michael Jackson's impact was unavoidable and he became a part of my life despite my preferences. His death disturbed me. Katrina said much the same. Sad.
Caesar's Palace offered free parking for those who are able to find it. We wound our way from the back of the casino to the front on the strip where the valet parking area was three times before we spotted a little sign that pointed to the self parking area. A short walk and an elevator ride up a few floors took us to the antique car display.
We were dissapointed to find the Duesenberg room no longer held Duesenbergs. I later learned that the owner of the fleet of classics had passed away and apparently the Duesenberg room had followed his lead. It was sad loss on two counts, but even without the Duesenbergs I recommend this museum. The array of cars doesn't lend itself to any one facet in collecting, but rather touches on many at the same time. In short it's a good visit and managed to wear even Ian to exhaustion.
After Caesar's Palace we visited Luxor for their Titanic exhibit. Trey had a long running fascination with the Titanic story and we unfortunately missed a similar exhibit while it was in Raleigh. When we learned of the one in Luxor we decided to rectify the earlier mistake. In the end the cost of buying tickets for a family of five was prohibitive. We left after a little sightseeing in Luxor. The kids got a kick out of the water massaging machine and I couldn't help but scoff at the oxygen bar. People were paying for the stuff. Sigh.
Our family got all the O2 needed during our last night back at the campground.
Final pic, lifted from the net.
Posted by polifrog at 11/06/2009 06:23:00 PM