I listen to a lot of podcasts. More accurately, I have a few podcasts that I really, really like and I spend a good deal of time listening to their archives.

One such show, 99% Invisible, had a connection with another podcast that did an amazing piece on the Hoover Dam.  It stuck with me, this episode.  It creeped around the edges of my mind and whole phrases of the story would replay over and over in my thoughts.

As we prepared for our trip to the Grand Canyon, I wondered aloud if it would be possible to see the Hoover Dam on the way.

And that my friends is how a podcast led us to the Hoover Dam on a brutally hot day.

We were stopped by the Department of the Interior guards and had our vehicles inspected.  We drove under the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and marveled at the electric transformers and powerlines hanging crazily from the canyon walls.  It was breathtaking.

I didn’t think I was a fan of Art Deco but it turns out I am.  I was most impressed that everything – the fonts in the parking garage, the additional building, the artwork – was all in the same design.  The kids were most impressed with the collection of chewed gum visitors have pressed the the exposed canyon walls in the parking garage. To each his own.

Because the dam is not just a historical site but a very important part of the country’s poser production, security is high.  We realized AFTER we had hiked in the heat all the way down to the visitor center that every adult but moi was carrying something on their person that would not pass the metal detectors.  Papa Chris offered to take the offending contraband and sit out this round.  Way to take one for the team, dad.

We thoroughly enjoyed the crowded visitors center – I only got choked up every few moments and we only misplaced kids and their National Park Passports a few times.  Then we walked out onto the viewing platform.


Holy vertigo.

It was high.  Jac and Max both feared that someone or something would be lost over the edge.  And we took it all in – the scale, the immensity of the work, the sacrifice of those workers.  Words cannot do it justice.

But I’m telling you, this show comes darn close.