Last weekend, my brother and sister-in-law began a week-long business trip to Las Vegas. Being only four hours away from El Ciudad de Los Pecados, I made the trip and met them at Hoover Dam, which they had never seen up close. This is indeed an engineering marvel, and even though it tamed the Colorado River, and invoked the eternal wrath of Edward Abbey, is worth being seen by every citizen of Planet Earth. Before getting to the dam, I stopped briefly at one of the Arizona-side inlets of Lake Mead: Temple Bar.
Temple Bar was so named for Temple Butte, which in turn was a name bestowed by early Mormon settlers of the Las Vegas area.
Once at Hoover Dam, I focused on what mattered to my siblings: The Power House. This was my fourth visit to the dam and second time in the Power House. The tour was just as enlightening this time as it was in 1992. Without the bedrock, there would be no underground generator.
My Dad, a turbine engineer, would have been proud of this feat.
Being the seeker after nature, I avoided all but the most fleeting, perfunctory contact with the Casino Crowd. The House Floor is merely on the way to Las Vegas’s finer restaurants, and nothing more. Brother and I had a far nicer time on Sunday morning- at Las Vegas’s signature gem: Red Rock Canyon. This national recreation area could easily occupy me for a week- and maybe it will, one of these years. Three hours on Palm Sunday, though, was an exquisite first visit.
As usual, I was in my element.
Southern Nevada has plenty of places that can find their way into the heart. Red Rock Canyon is chief among them.
This weekend, it’s time to get back to one of my other favourite nearby haunts: San Diego.