Friday, November 2, 2012

Joni, Kim and the Railroad Tunnel Trail

Yesterday Jim and I had lunch with former Salt Lakers Joni and Kim.  Joni was a paralegal at the USPS Law Department when I started that same job in 2002. In 2004, Joni transferred to the USPS Las Vegas HR Department and she and Kim moved to Vegas. The Law Dept missed her and so did I. So when I got to Vegas, I had to get in touch with her; she suggested we all meet for lunch at Lucille’s Smokehouse Barbecue in nearby HendersonIt was a great lunch.  And, it was good to see both Joni and Kim and to catch up.

Joni and Kim like to hike.  So when they told us about the Railroad Tunnel Trail near Hoover Dam, Jim and I knew what we were going to do today.  The trail is the site of former tracks for trains that hauled rock, huge pipes, and other materials needed to build Hoover Dam in the 1930s. In the1960s the tracks were removed; today that same site is a flat and scenic trail along the hills south of Lake Mead.
Bev and Joni with our hair caught in the wind.
Jim, Bev, Kim and Joni.
Jim on a side trail taking us from a parking lot at the Hacienda Casino in Boulder, Nevada, to the to the Railroad Tunnel Trail.
Bev in front of two tunnels tunnels blasted out by those who helped build the Hoover Dam.  The tunnels are 18 feet high and 27 feet wide.  As an aside, my legs are sure white.
Jim and Cooper on the Railroad Tunnel Trail with Lake Mead in the background. In the 1930s, instead of a lake you would have seen "Ragtown," a makeshift village of cardboard homes, wooden cabins and tents that housed hundreds of people who came with their families to build Hoover Dam.
Jim exiting one of the tunnels. He overheard someone from an overlook call Cooper a big-horned sheep.  Must have been a city boy or someone with bad eyes.
Jim and Cooper in front of another tunnel. Although it was 
warm today (high 70s) about two-thirds of the hike was  
shaded by a a tunnel or a mountain. 
Before hiking the Railroad Tunnel Trail, we took a look 
at Hoover Dam.  It's the curved concrete structure 
toward the left of the photo.  You can drive or walk 
across the top.
The Hoover Dam folks requires people with pets 
to park in a specific (and shaded) parking lot.  
Here's Jim with a hard-to-see Cooper.
The view of Lake Mead as seen from the top of the 
dam.   The white rock just above the water is the 
"bath tub"ring that shows how high the water has 
been in the past.  Per the Hoover Dam brochure, 
this water project provides irrigation for a 
million acres in the US and a half million acres 
in Mexico.
These electrical towers are just below the dam and 
are bolted onto the side of a cliff.

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