Bye Bye Vegas – Day 3

Day 3 started a bit slow for me, because at the back of my mind, I knew my dream stay at the Venetian Hotel was coming to an end.

Although we were going to live another of my fondest dreams, I still felt low about leaving Vegas. Such festive atmosphere can do that to anyone! (And not to count the royal treatment in the hotel!)

After getting ready and checking out of the hotel, we had our breakfast at one of the many restaurants in the Venetian, ‘the Bouchon’, a French eatery.

French are known for their baking skills, so I had a hearty French breakfast of toast and butter! I don’t remember what Mr.Bee had, but he enjoyed his breakfast thoroughly.

Leaf shaped crafted French Bread - served with fresh butter is too good to resist

Leaf shaped ‘crafted’ French Bread – served with fresh butter is too good to resist

We even asked our waiter to pack us chocolate croissants for later. We were driving from Vegas to Grand Canyon!

chocolate croissants - a very simple snacking option for vegetarians

chocolate croissants – a very simple snacking option for vegetarians

Yes, you read it right. Our next stop was the Grand Canyon, a place I had dreamed of visiting, since I laid my hands on the Geology textbook, during those unforgettable Engineering days of my life.

All the while Mr.Bee and I were waiting for our travel companions S & S (Mr.Bee’s cousin and his wife, driving from Los Angeles to Vegas to travel with us to Grand Canyon), we were gambling our heads off at the roulette table!

After the two hours we spent on gambling, till the noon, we were joined by our travel companions. All the four of us later went into a nearby mall for a Desi lunch. (The lunch itself was hugely disappointing, to say the least. They didn’t even re-heat the food I ordered. The other three had hot lunch except me. My very obvious guess is that, they must have served me leftover stuff from the fridge! The thought itself was not appetizing!)

We roamed around the mall for a bit of window shopping and started on our drive to Grand Canyon.

Funky Human Powered Vehicle that we saw in Las Vegas in busy traffic

Funky Human Powered Vehicle that we saw in Las Vegas in busy traffic

Since it was already past noon, the Vegas Sun and heat was too much to bear. We kept ourselves hydrated with packaged coconut water.

Our next stop before reaching Canyon was the Hoover Dam.

We reached the dam at 4:30 in the late afternoon. You have to believe me when I say the hot Sun on our heads was too much. Once we reached inside, we saw the gantry girders inside the powerhouse, the turbines and all.

Turbines in Hoover Dam - at work

Turbines in Hoover Dam – at work

We also saw brief video of the history of the dam, its construction, the reason behind its naming and so forth.

Schematic Drawing of the Hoover Dam

Schematic Drawing of the Hoover Dam

The view point beside the majestic arch dam is enough to make us stand still and notice the dam and its surroundings without any other ideas running wild in our mind. I, for once, forgot the hot Sun and focused my energy on wondering how the Engineers of those days managed to construct such a marvelous project.

The view from the top of the dam shows the Colorado river and arch bridge

The view from the top of the dam shows the Colorado river and arch bridge

Visiting a dam is a fun experience especially to me, because it reminded me all those site visits I went to during my working days in India. I do miss working sometimes, not that I am complaining having some leisure time to myself, once in a while! 😛

A dummy inside the Dam, which from far looks like a worker is sleeping during his work shift!

A dummy inside the Dam, which from far looks like a worker is sleeping during his work shift!

Since we reached the dam almost near the closing time, the spillway part of the dam was closed. 🙁

Hoover Dam is a Gravity Arch dam on the Colorado river. Arch dams are shaped like arches, hence the name. If you won’t think I am getting too technical, the gravity dam is a dam which resists the force of water, by weight of concrete used in construction. That’s that.

The Majestic Hoover Dam - on Colorado river

The Majestic Hoover Dam – on Colorado river

As you can see in the pic, the dam arches out towards the top, because of which, the wind flowing on the surface of water rises up and reaches the top of the dam at great speeds. You will feel it if you stand near the top of the dam.

Anyway, once we reached the top of the dam, Mr.Bee and I, shouted and made noises, as we bent down facing the water.(You just need to bend a little, almost 30 degree angle. That is more than enough for this experiment.) The wind coming up made an interesting noise! (Some kids even tried spitting water and all, which I don’t recommend. If you are scared of heights or are too tall or are underage, kindly, don’t bend over the dam to try this.)

Another interesting fact is that one part of the dam is in Nevada and the other is in Arizona, which also means one end of the bridge is in one time zone and the other is in a different zone.

As we still had four more hours of driving and it was already 6:00 in the evening, we started our drive. On our way, we ate the chocolate croissants we packed from the French bakery which made for a satisfactory snack. 🙂

The most beautiful thing about driving from Vegas to Canyon is that the roads and scenery are purely awesome and we can understand that only if we see it for ourselves rather than someone using fancy adjectives, trying to explain it to us! (You can understand what the roads were like if you knew that Mr.Bee and his cousin S,both wanted to drive the car! Each wanted to drive in such beautiful location!)

Both sides of the road have Canyons like these

Both sides of the road have Canyons like these

We reached our hotel at 10:00 p.m. and by the time we checked in and freshened up, all the eateries were closed up! As we had nothing to eat, we wandered aimlessly around the small town and saw an all night store. We found bread, nutella and spinach dip, which was a life saver and our dinner for that day.

It took very little coaxing for us to sleep as all the four of us were tired to the bones. Even though it was the first time Mr.Bee and I shared a double room with someone, the novelty of it didn’t stop me from getting my sleep! I slept like a log!

With very little thoughts about how to spend the next day, we dozed off to sleep. Tomorrow is another important day for us….

P.S:

1. Though the tiny town of Canyon had very little to offer, it compensates the lack of anything by being a quaint and beautiful place.

2. We travelled for one hour from Vegas to Hoover dam and from Hoover Dam to Grand Canyon it was a four hour drive.

3. Next post is, the Grand Canyon of Colorado!

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