Today we had the opportunity to visit the Hoover Dam, an enormous reservoir situated south-east of Las Vegas on the border of Nevada and Arizona. It was truly amazing to go down into the tunnels of the dam wall and see the hydroelectric power plant that generates power for cities in Nevada, Arizona and California.

Construction started in 1931 during the Great Depression and was completed under budget and almost two years ahead of schedule. It was also the first time in US history that such a massive contract was given to a single contractor. During construction, 3500 men worked per shift, 3 shifts a day, 7 days a week. Each worker, depending on their skill set, was paid $4 per day and received only 2 days of leave per year.

On 1 March 1936 the dam was turned over to the federal government and President Roosevelt changed the name from the Boulder Dam to the Hoover Dam as he dedicated the project to 31st US President, Hebert Hoover.

Today, the Hoover dam’s 17 turbines generates enough electricity to power 1.3 million homes across Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Some photos of the day:

Back in Las Vegas we decided to watch the sunset from the Stratosphere tower that is 432m high. With good white wine we watched the Vegas Strip come to life, one light at a time. Tomorrow we’ll be off to the Grand Canyon and, if the weather is good, take a helicopter ride over and through the Canyon.