I'm finally putting away my Christmas ornaments. I know I'm a little late getting around to it, but with the snow, and being a bit stir crazy with nothing better to do, this seemed like a good time to tackle it. I came across the ornament in the pic, above, and it brought back a whole slew of memories.
The ornament itself was purchased during one of my numerous trips to Las Vegas with my wonderful wife, Teresa. We began collecting these types of ornaments on our many road trips, and we have a bunch of them. They're great reminders of the many places we visited during our way too short almost-five year marriage.
I first visited Hoover Dam during a solo road trip I took in the Fall of 1997, about six months before I met Teresa. I took another dam tour with Teresa during a return trip to Las Vegas in the Spring of 2000. We returned to Boulder City with friends for another dam tour in June 2002, when we purchased the ornament, and yet again, in October of the same year, with my parents.
You might think I could give the tour myself, given how often I saw the dam place (does that joke ever get old?). In fact, it really never got old. Hoover Dam is an iconic symbol of the Great Depression, and I find that time in our country's history to be really interesting. I also have a fascination with the wide open areas of the "Wild West," and the southwest is just incredible.
When my daughter was old enough to appreciate it, I brought her to see Hoover Dam, during Spring Break 2014. Not much had changed on the dam tour in the 11 years since that previous visit, and daughter Melody enjoyed it. The dam tour guides keep things light, with a tongue-in-cheek approach to their humor.
Last month, I returned to the area for the leadership class I took, and one of our field trips was a tour of the dam. It was my 6th tour, but it also was the best one. We were taken to places the public never sees, and it was very impressive. Standing on the roof of the building at the bottom of the dam was incredible!
I'm not sure I'll ever need to return to Hoover Dam, but I'll always feel a connection to the place. It's an amazing feat of engineering, and it's definitely worth seeing. But not six times.
Have a great evening, everyone!