Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 4 Grand Luxe Rail Journey – "Lost Wages"

HOT! Holy Cow it’s hot in Las Vegas this time of year. This evening we’re trying to recover from the heat as we head to Cedarville, Utah, and Bryce Canyon National Park. After sitting in the 115 degree heat all afternoon, our train car is still pretty hot, but the air conditioner is finally recovering as we do anything creative we can, like creating a swamp cooler out of the baby personal fans we have been given and a bucket of ice in our sink. Voila not so much cooler, but we’re working on it.

Our day started out to a tour of Hoover Dam. I’ve always wanted to see it, and this was finally the opportunity. That hunk of concrete is truly awe inspiring, and is a testament to the creative process. If we can imagine it, then it can be done might be the tenet of the day. You can look at films all day long of how massive the structure is, but until you actually see it, you just can’t get it. I was struck by how artistic the design is. The clean lines of the intake towers, the delicate arch of the dam itself, and the Art Deco bronze statues and the design of the visitor’s center are complimented by the turquoise waters of Lake Mead.

The level of Lake Mead is really low right now. The area has only had like an inch and a half of rain in the last year. The lake provides water to 4 states, which has some concerned it is being drained faster than it can recover. Time will tell.

Okay, I have both vertigo and claustrophobia, but I actually walked across the dam and went down into the turbine room. My husband has learned to be patient with me and offers a steady arm until I adjust, if I ever do. There wasn’t any leaning over the railing on my part I’ll assure you.

Now we snake through the darkness toward Utah. Dolly Parton is playing in the club car, and because there is no Internet, I write these notes in word, ready to post when I can.—Ruth Mitchell

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