The Damn Dam

Several years ago our family visited Hoover Dam which sits astride the Colorado river near Las Vegas. It was summertime and hot. Probably around 114 degrees. After parking, we ventured inside to the visitor’s center to take the tour. The waiting room wasn’t much better than being outside, hot and uncomfortable. Once the tour started and we entered the bowels of the massive structure, the temperature fell to the chilly side. Nevertheless, my wife had had enough and renamed the place “The Damn Dam!”

The Damn Dam was built during the Great Depression years of 1931-1936 in Black Canyon which sits on the border of Arizona and Nevada. It was a massive undertaking and an engineering marvel. We often forget the human toll the project extracted with over 100 workers loosing their lives. You have to wonder what would have happened if OSHA had existed at the time?

The Damn Dam and the other dams along the Colorado River including Glen Canyon, Davis and Parker are controversial to some, but make modern life possible in places like Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. The lakes behind the dams provide drinking and irrigation water, flood control and recreation. So, thanks to the hardy individuals that conceived, built, maintain and run the Hoover Dam.

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