May 22 – by Madison
Today we went to the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. We had to drive about 45 minutes to get to the Hoover Dam which is on the border of Nevada and Arizona.
When people talk about the Hoover Dam I always thought that it would be a really tall and wide dam. When we got there I was surprised that it was sort of round shaped because I thought that dams were usually straight. I really liked the Hoover Dam because it gives natural energy and water to a lot of the South West. Once we started a hike across the dam I was really impressed at the size and the amount of concrete that it took to build it.
Once we got to the visitor center we bought tickets to go on a tour to see the power plant that makes the electricity. Before we did that we watched a movie about how the Hoover Dam was constructed. I learned that the construction for the dam started in 1930 right before the Great Depression.
About 16,000 workers worked on the dam and were paid $4 a day, and that was a really good price back then. 3,600 workers worked on the dam at a time, and the others took a couple hour rest before it was their shift again. Sadly, 96 workers died during the construction of this dam.
To build the dam they had to use lots of concrete. They used enough concrete to build a 4 foot sidewalk around the earth's equator! To fully dry, the concrete it would have taken 100 years without any help, but they built a cooling system that cooled the concrete a lot faster so it dried in only 2 years.
At the end of the construction they named the dam Boulder Dam because it was so big and some people said that it was like building the Egypt Pyramids again. After the movie we went on the tour to the power plants that make the electricity. What I thought was so amazing was that the power plants were so small yet they make so much energy.
I learned that Lake Mead could cover the whole state of Pennsylvania and the water would be 1 foot deep! I thought that this was very impressive because we drove all the way to Pittsburg, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, and Penn State and it took us a really long time to drive to those places.
After the tour we went to Lake Mead. Once we got there we went swimming in the water that was cold and smelled like dead fish. While we were swimming we saw 3 huge fish, and one of the fish pecked the raft that I was sitting on!
I didn’t like Lake Mead that much because the water was dirty and it smelled. After we went swimming I went to bed. I had a really fun day seeing the Hoover Dam.