|Powerhouse Floor design|
|Colorado River exiting Hoover Dam|
|On the way out of Nevada towards southern Utah|
|Zion National Park/Virgin River|
|Snow Canyon State Park-Pinyon Trail|
We visited Hoover Dam in Nevada and then drove on to southern Utah (St. George area) to hike at Zion National Park. I had read so much about the dam, the Colorado River and all things connected that I wanted to see those things in person.
The first couple of shots show some highlights of the dam. I am very fearful of heights and so the image of the dam is taken from a distance out on the observation deck. Hoover Dam was constructed during the thirties and opened to the public in 1936. At the time, its construction was considered to be a modern marvel. It still is a great wonder and when you see it, it's impossible to take in the enormity of what the dam really does. I am showing a picture of a portion of Lake Mead which is the reservoir created by the dam. The other picture shows a bit of the Colorado River. The Colorado River is enormous and its drainage basin covers seven US states and two Mexican states. The dam provides electrical power for a number of huge areas. The structure is also meant to provide flood control, water for drinking and irrigation and recreation. All I could think about when I saw everything was how on Earth could anyone imagine building such a structure? The goal was to harness and tame the Colorado River, providing much needed resources for a burgeoning and out of control population growth. The whole thing is very difficult to take in. I enjoyed the tour though quite a bit. During the tour you are forced through a series of points in order to get to the final destination which is the top of the dam. (You walk or drive across it, honestly.) The whole process is very ordered and it wasn't lost on me that it is similar to what happens to the water of the river. It too is forced through some well regulated points in order to arrive at its various destinations. Truly something.
After the dam we drove on to Utah, passing out of Nevada and spending a few brief minutes in Arizona before arriving in St. George, Utah. Much of Nevada is just a vast expanse of flat land surrounded by distant mesas and pointy mountains. That route we took leads through the Virgin River Gorge which is spectacular. The Virgin River flows to Lake Mead and has suffered from the drought, much like the rest of the west, and its flow is greatly diminished.
Southern Utah is beautiful and the landscape could not have been more different than what I am used to seeing. We have red dirt here of course but not like Utah. The mountains here are completely different: mesas, craggy peaks and rounded, lave flow like forms are all very common. The formations are all different colors too due to the different strata of rocks and other materials deposited over the course of time. We went to Zion Park to go hiking. I have never been in a river canyon before quite like this one. It's long and narrow and you get a real sense of this when you are either up high or down on the canyon floor. The Virgin River flows here too and I was able to put my hand into the water to feel just how cold it really is.
After Zion we went to Snow Canyon State Park. It's part of a larger park system. This section was very accessible and couldn't have been more different from Zion. Lots of lava flows, black and red rock formations, and huge cliffs that were creamy beige and golden yellow in color. It is Spring time now and so there was quite a bit of greenery. Of the two parks I enjoyed this one the most I think. Very quiet and we were alone much of the time.
Prior to the trip, a few people were nice enough to wonder aloud to me about how this trip might influence my art. Truthfully, I don't really know. You would think that the influence would come via color usage or direct imagery. Those things are possible but I won't know for awhile I guess. For now, the memories and photos are enough to enjoy.
Hope everyone has had a good week. Thanks for reading and commenting.