Dam and Damn Roads
Trip Start Jul 15, 2008
21Trip End Jul 30, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Based on the fact that I drove on 4 of their major interstates, (I-8, I-17, I-10, and 1-40), and several of their major state roads, (AZ-93, AZ-89, AZ-89A, AZ-85, AZ-179 and AZ-64), logging in the neighborhood of 1000 miles Arizona roads, I now consider myself a self appointed expert on Arizona driving.
First of all, I applaud their speed limits. They are reasonable at 65 to 75 mph depending on the roadway. They also appear to be more of a suggestion than a limit. I am usually a letter of the law kind of guy when it comes to highway speed limits, but I was able to overcome and adapt. Difficult though it was. That is the good, now for the "I don't get it."
There is apparently some kind of state law that requires the closing of one lane of the highway/roadway approximately every 15 to 20 miles for "road work". That is fine if there is someone working on the road. However, most of these sites were unmanned without any equipment in the area. The roads do not seem to appear to have anything wrong with them. It's like road closures are kind of state hobby or something.
They also like to close very large sections of the road and doing a little work everywhere. This was most prevalent in Sedona. The entire area from Oak Creek to Sedona was under construction. Yet they were only working on one section in Uptown Sedona. It seemed to me that everyone would be better served by closing smaller sections, completing the work, and moving on to the next section.
Here in the Metro DC area we have our fair share of, "What rocket scientist thought of this?" traffic disruptions. In fact we have far more. I think the construction site disruptions in Arizona are more glaring because unlike DC, their traffic actually moves. Ours just kind of sits still, crawls a few feet, and sits some more. They also seem to complete projects, which is a foreign concept around here. Enough about road travel and on to our trip.
Our last stop in Arizona was also our first stop in Nevada. The Hoover Dam. It is another place that I just had to see. I have watched several A & E/History/Discovery Channel specials on the project. It is a sight to behold. A giant slab of concrete (some of which is still curing) holding back Lake Mead. 110 men died creating this modern marvel. I can't think of it or look at it without also thinking of the bravery and determination it took to build it. Even after seeing I still can't wrap my mind around it.
Speaking of things that can be difficult to wrap your mind around, the dam is located partially in Arizona, and partially in Nevada. So as you cross over the dam you change time zones. You go from Mountain Time in Arizona to Pacific Time in Nevada. So depending on where you stand on the dam you could be it could be 9am on the left side of your body, and 10am on your right side. Unless of course it is summer in which case the times are the same since Arizona does not recognize Day Light Savings Time. Just a fun fact I thought I would throw out for everyone. I love you Melissa.
The pictures of the dam are above. Note the crystal clear blue/green color of the Colorado River at this point where it leaves the dam. It is a much muddier brown 150 or so miles downstream in the Grand Canyon. I have included a picture of the Colorado in the Canyon so you see the difference.
Next Blog: Sin City!!!
Mike, Pat, and Sarah.
Where I stayed
New York, New York Hotel, Las Vegas, NV