Thursday, February 27, 2014

Historic Railroad Trl, Boulder City, NV

We must get out for exercise, of course, and here is one of the trails we have done while in the Vegas area.  It is must see as far as trails go.  I have had it on the blog before but never get tired of it as it is scenic as well as historic and I love Hoover Dam.  It is a primarily flat so easy walking and we walked it from the trailhead in Boulder City to and across Hoover Dam for a total roundtrip of 91/2 miles. But like I said easy going.

The trail follows the old rail road track that was used in the building of the dam. It has only been open all the way to the dam for a few years.  In addition to the scenery, story boards have gone up a various points giving some history and exhibits are in the process of being erected closer to the dam.  The next time we are in this area there should be even more to see on this trail!

When we arrived at the dam we were fortunate enough to see a turbine being hoisted up from one of the generators down in the canyon.  They pulled it up and moved it over to a roadside docking area.  Just wish we knew why....for repairs, replacement, what??  Really neat to see the cable crane in action.

Lake Mead

There are 5 tunnels on the trail

the trail take you past the bone yard where turbines and lots of other old, rusty equipment from the dam is now resting

walking by the switch yard you can hear the crackling of the electricity overhead....thats a lot of voltage!!

the trail ends at the top of the dam 4 story parking lot,  off to the right of center is the new dam bypass bridge

from the top of the parking area we could see the turbine being raised....

here you can see it on the right in relation to the dam

always impressive

we watched as they moved the turbine over to the road side and set it down in a special trough

we are standing on the AZ side in this pic looking across to the NV side

the AZ intake towers and great shot of the bathtub ring due  to low water level....

on the right, the spillway has been high and dry for many years with the drought 

wonderful statue commemorating the dam workers

the turbine that was brought up for whatever reason

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Paint Gap Road and Croton Trl, Big Bend NP

Sadly we are cutting our time here short as we are needed in Las Vegas for a family emergency.  We are heading towards Vegas in the morning and may be there for some time.  This means I will probably have very little to post for a while.  In the meantime, here is my last posting from beautiful Big Bend National Park:

This morning we explored Paint Gap Road, a high clearance vehicle is definitely needed here.  The road ends at the ruins of an old ranch.  There was not much to see as far as the ranch but the vista was awesome of the painted hills and there were flowers everywhere.  Spring is here in Big Bend!:

the vista from Paint Gap Road

these tiny white and pink flowers were everywhere and were very fragrant!

looking through the chute of an old corral

Bluebonnets, the Texas state flower
 Stop number two of the day, Croton Springs was a surprise.  The trail is not even in the trail book of park trails so we came across it because we chose to see what was down a side road.  As you can see, turned out to be very cool!

3 Trails Today:)

 Ok, so total distance was a little over 7 1/2 miles.  They were all related and in the same area so it seemed like a good idea to do them all.  The first was the Burro Mesa Pour Off Trl which took us mostly down an open wash through some wonderful carved little canyons to a pour off on the edge of the mesa:

this last chute down into the pour off area was near vertical and a bit tricky

the slot on the right where the light shines in is where the water would flow over...

to about 80 feet below into  Burro Meas Runoff Trl

here is another look up that last chute

then we drove down and around to the Burro Mesa Runoff Trl....

so we could look up and see the runoff which is the V notch at the top

brand new yucca blooms

this yucca about to open was at the beginning of the third trail, the Burro Springs Trl

we just walked to the overlook here as it was a very steep decent and 1pm by now;)

          pretty flowers popping up everywhere!
yucca just beginning to open


US Army Corp of Engineers Park, Iowa City, IA

Mike and I love it when we can find a COE park because they are always on water and our last stop at Coralville Lake was no exception.  A bi...