Nevada (September 3rd and 4th) then St. George, Utah (September 5th)

My WordPress app was acting up as I was trying to finish my California post… so I’ll write a little bit more about September 3rd to start… The drive out of Yosemite was several miles of 6-7% downgrade with steep cliffs up on the left side of the road and steep cliffs down on the right side of the road.

That gully is much deeper than it looks!  And the road out of Yosemite hugs the left side (you can see it pretty well). 

Looking back up the road towards Yosemite.   Yes that’s snow up there on that mountain.  

Another wider-angle view looking down the canyon leaving Yosemite.  

Also, the gas from the gas station at the corner of the intersection of Tioga Pass (Route 120) and Route 395 was ˜$4/gallon! The landscape flattened right out once we got out of the mountains. If you recall, we planned to drive to Las Vegas in the evening to avoid the brutal heat of the day near Death Valley. You may wonder why drive south all the way to Vegas… well, we wanted to see the Hoover Dam and southern Utah subsequently.

Once we reached the valley, it was HOT!  But such a pretty drive. 

So pretty. 

Yea, I took way too many pictures. 

Such a blue sky!

We approached this little dust storm what felt like half an hour.  Passing through this dust took literally a minute or less.  

As you can see, we drove through a little dust storm. It was funny…we stopped at a gas station in Tonopah, Nevada and we saw a couple campers and vehicles with people dressed like they had just been to a festival. Pretty sure they were coming from Burning Man. Anyway, this one camper looked super dusty and I thought it was so funny… I said to the guy “You look like you’ve driven through a huge dust storm!” And in a super chill, hippie-type, possibly drug-effected voice said something like “Oh yea man, we just came from a huge party on the playa!!” Hahahaha.. I got such a kick out of that for some reason.

Anyway – we got to the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Las Vegas (right off of SR-95) around 9:30-10pm I think. Such a nice hotel.

That night, Dad had a little anxiety about getting home. He woke up early in the morning and searched on Google Maps how many hours and miles we were from home. We were about 32 hours from home and for a little while that didn’t sit well with him.

September 4

Hoover Dam – what a feat of engineering! We parked on the Arizona side of the dam and walked across. Everything about this structure is huge! The overflow chute is huge! The intakes are huge! The turbines are HUGE! Such an impressive structure. We ended up taking the power plant tour; it was $15 cheaper but a little shorter. The tour of the dam was sold out until 2pm and we got there around 11AM. You actually see very little; I was hoping for more being an engineer and all but whatever. It was still really cool. You go ˜500 feet below ground down into the rock. Don’t think about it too much and you’ll be ok. 😀

Welcome to Arizona (for all of 3-4 hours). 

Pretty incredible. 

The high-water overflow chute.  There is another one of these on the Nevada side. 

These are the turbines on the Nevada side of Hoover Dam.  

Besides water level, does anyone know what causes such a distinct and even change of color in the rock?  

The bridge in the distance is enormous.  And they built those transmission towers at an angle so that the wires can go from the turbines up out of the canyon and to the cities.   

THE Hoover Dam

After Hoover Dam, we had to backtrack a little bit to get to I-15. We were going to St. George Utah for the night and then planned to go to Zion National Park. While having dinner once we reached St. George, Dad called a couple of hotels. We ended up staying at a Courtyard by Marriott. This place was immaculate! They had an indoor pool and hot tub and an outdoor pool and hot tub. The pool and lights strung overhead giving it a crazy amazing and relaxing ambiance at night. Dad and I had one of those really good heart to heart conversations by the hot tub.

This hotel was so nice that I threw out the idea of just staying for an extra day. Why not? We’ve been go, go, go for about three weeks so I thought it would be nice to have one day where we just stay put, enjoy the pool and hot tub for a day. The high for the day we would be chilling out was about 106 degrees (F) and who wants to do anything in that?

So, we spent an extra day, September 5th, at the Courtyard by Marriott in St. George, Utah. If you can imagine, I didn’t take any pictures… I just laid in the sun for a few hours and soaked in some rays. Not much to write about that.

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