We were back on the road again after breakfast, this time heading to Nevada. I drove again to allow Dan to take all the photos he wanted to. We drove alongside stretches of the legendary Route 66 and the further West we went more greenery returned and we left the desert behind.
After lunch we came to the Arizona / Nevada border and the incredible Hoover Dam. The main highway actually crosses the Dam so there is extreme security restrictions in place. Every car has to drive through a check point and your car could be searched if they have any reason to suspect you might be up to no good. This includes looking underneath the car to see if there are any bombs. Thankfully we just looked like two tourists so they let us through with no problem. There is a brand new highway which is being built and was supposed to be completed in July that completely bypasses the Dam and travels over a spectacular bridge, a good few hundred metres higher, which will give motorists incredible views below. This will eventually relieve congestion over the Dam itself and only tourists who want to visit will travel the original route.
We parked up and got out to take a close look and instantly felt the dry heat the second we turned the car engine off and shut off the air con. It's not a heat I've ever experienced before. It was 42 degrees and it was not pleasant. The first thing you notice is how quickly your throat dries up and you lose any moisture in your mouth. Then the intense heat from the sun hits your skin and you can really feel it starting to burn even if you are wearing sunscreen.
We walked across the Dam to the centre, where the state border lies and it was quite comical straddling the line so I was stood in both states at the same time. Lake Mead stretched out as far as you could see and covers 247 square miles. It was not as vast as it could be as it is summer but you could clearly see where the water rises to in winter.
The Dam is also one of the locations used for the Superman movie with Christopher Reeves. I was tempted to throw myself off the Dam and see if Superman would rescue me but for some reason Dan wasn't too keen on that idea, can't think why!
After spending about an hour walking around and stretching our legs we got back in the car and continued the final leg towards Las Vegas. Once we had climbed out of the valley we had an amazing view of Lake Mead from the West. It really was huge although not as large as Lake Mitchigan.