Railroad Trail to Hoover Dam
We took a fascinating hike through a piece of history that was part of the building of Hoover Dam. The 30 miles of railroad tracks that were used to carry materials and equipment ran 24 hours a day during the construction of the dam and they have now turned a segment of this track into a hiking trail.
We had a great view of the lake on one side of the trail and on the other side were some beautifully colored rock hillsides.
As we approached the tunnels, we saw some bighorn sheep just off the trail. We stopped to watch them as they made their way up the hillside.
As we followed this trail there were several interpretive signs that told the stories of the miners and the conditions that they endured during this time. It took 5 months for workers to construct the tunnels and they encountered 100 degree heat during this time in 1931.
We decided that after learning about the history of the construction that we would head over to Hoover Dam.
They recently completed a new bridge that spans across the Colorado River. It was quite the impressive site and I cannot imagine climbing the ladders that were placed on the concrete arches which the workers had to climb each day to build the next section of the dam.
Many know the history of the dam and the work that it took to build this engineering wonder so I’ll skip over that part and simply show some of the pictures from the area.
There was also a memorial at the dam which represents “that eternal vigilance which is the price of liberty”. These are called the Winged Figures of the Republic. Their wings are about 30ft tall and they are made completely of bronze (4 tons to be exact) and were dedicated in 1935. If you look closely at the picture, you will notice that their feet are a different color. Legend has it that if you rub their feet, you will receive good luck. As you can tell, many people have been rubbing their feet! In front of the statues is a terrazzo star map depicting the celestial alignment from that site on the evening of Sept 30, 1935, the day President Roosevelt dedicated the dam. Below the statues are seals from the states where workers came from to work on the dam.