5000 Miles of Beauty, Wonder, and Fun
Page 5 - (July 1, 2007)
| ||Hoover Dam|
What struck me immediately when visiting Hoover Dam was Lake Mead's level in 2007 versus what it was in 1974.
The lake is about 200 to 300 feet lower as evident by the white bleached rocks where water once covered.
Also, back then there was not a fee based covered parking garage . . . You could just park your car near the dam and walk to it.
Nor was there an observation deck that is now available through the tour of the dam. It offers the best views of the dam and the Colorado river flowing from it.
Regardless of these acceptable changes to help generate revenue, just walking on the dam and peering down its long drop down to its flood gates releasing water into the mighty Colorado River was really what my grandson wanted to do.
He was in hurry to see the Grand Canyon, and a tour of the dam didn't interest him that day.
< Photo of Hoover Dam's flood gates and Colorado River
|Grand Canyon National Park|
So, we then headed for the Grand Canyon where we discovered it is more beautiful in person and considerably colder than expected. A cold front that had come through the previous day had lowered the temperature by 35 degrees with the high barely above 50 degrees at the Desert View stop near the eastern entrance to the Grand Canyon's south rim.
David Bancroft with wife and grandson at the Grand Canyon.
| ||Like Yellowstone, one must see the Grand Canyon up close. There were a few times that I found myself wondering about a rock slide occurring beneath us as we looked at the vastness of the canyon while our hands were resting on a 3 foot sturdy metal / wired fence that was the difference in falling off the sheer cliff on the other side of it. |
We even had a brief scare at the first overlook when my wife rushed (walking quickly) towards the an ideal location to take a picture after another person had finishing doing the same.
She stumbled over the rock path as she neared the edge, but quickly regained her footing before reaching the protective fence.
|This unsettling event was also an important reminder to carefully “walk” when approaching the Grand Canyon's edge.|
|We also found that the further east we went along the southern rim the more beautiful the views were with the Desert View offering the best look at the Colorado River down below.|
Even the great photo on the right taken by my 12 year old grandson doesn't adequately illustrate the majestic, panoramic view that we experienced at the Desert View.
Unfortunately, time constraints didn't allow us to take a tour down to the Colorado River or to see the Grand Canyon from its northern rim.
|However, the time spent on the southern rim is burned into our memories . . . with the hope of coming back and spending days to fully experience this immense American natural wonder. |
|Other Places On The Trip|
Along the way to our primary destinations, America's beautiful, diverse countryside was what we saw mostly. It also included side trips to Park City, Utah where many of the 2002 Winter Olympics' events took place; Provo, Utah where Brigham Young University is located; Meteor Crater in Arizona; Roswell, New Mexico where an alien space ship might have crashed near it in the 1940's; and, areas of Texas, including a small canyon feature, that my wife and I have never driven through before.
And while the numerous towns that we drove through cannot be listed here, other major cities along the way were Dallas, Oklahoma City, Wichita (KS), Salt Lake City, Falstaff (AZ), and Albuquerque.
The entire 5000 plus mile drive was worth every minute and priceless in many ways, especially doing it with our twelve year old grandson. And I can only wish that my and I had done so when our children were 14.5, 13, and 11 years old.
Hopefully, my children and fellow Americans will experience Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and even Las Vegas with their family as their time and schedules allow. Nor do you have to have little ones or be young to do the same. You are never to old to experience America's unique natural and manmade wonders.
More To Come
While I cannot promise when, it is my intent to continue experiencing America and sharing it with fellow patriots. There is so much yet to see in person and many places that need to be revisited in an official capacity as the founder of USA Patriotism! . . . as it is all about love and pride of America!
|David G. Bancroft|
Founder / Owner