Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Just dam it!

Today's History Lesson...a monumental task
The title is not projecting a burst of anger via a curse word but its forcefulness will stop something dead in its tracks. There are two sides to this little word...one is letting go while the other holding back. It is not healthy to keep everything 'dammed' up inside but rather best to let go...in other words, go ahead and scream if you need to, thereby releasing stressful emotion. On the other hand, if you walk along a stream, you will likely see evidence where a beaver has collected and deposited mud and logs to block the flow of water. Our little rodent friends are quite ingenious indeed. Perhaps it is their ingenuity that sparked the idea behind taming the Colorado River. 

This Day in History: July 7, 1930

It has been called an American pyramid — a sixty-story colossus of concrete, built in the middle of a desert every bit as brutal as in ancient Egypt. ~American Experience

How do you harness the raging waters of the Colorado River? Just dam it! Visions as far back as 1902 became reality nearly 30 years later when on July 7, 1930 building of Hoover Dam begins. This monumental task would be the largest dam of its time, as well as one of the largest man-made structures in the world. It would take five years to build, more than 200 engineers to design the dam, and 21,000 men working ceaselessly amid blistering heat and inadequate shelter to complete the project. By the time construction ended, somewhere between 107 - 112 deaths were associated with its construction.

Viewing this magnificent, massive man made structure creates a respect for man's accomplishments. The strong desire to harness nature's power drove the human mind and body to build a dam in the hottest, driest area of the United States. People wanting to irrigate low lying plains, known as low desert areas, without suffering from flooding and the battle over water made it obvious to the United States government that the Colorado River was part of the solution...
 River view of the eventual site of Hoover Dam, circa 1904

 Looking down at "high scalers" above the Colorado River

 Workers on a "Jumbo Rig"; used for drilling Hoover Dam's tunnels

 Columns of Hoover Dam being filled with concrete, February 1934
(looking upstream from the Nevada rim)

 The upstream face of Hoover Dam slowly disappears as Lake Mead fills, May 1935
(looking downstream from the Arizona rim)

One of the greatest dams of its day and an Arizona landmark, the Hoover Dam is situated in Black Canyon between Arizona and Nevada on U.S. 93, around half an hour from Las Vegas. Filled with history and a colossal view, the Hoover Dam makes for an awe-inspiring stop on your across the USA sightseeing trip.


The challenge was to harness the country’s wildest river, the mighty Colorado, to bring water, power and people to the Southwest. Now, in a more environmentally-conscious age, many wish Hoover Dam had never been built. Yet it stands as a monument to the ingenuity, and the sheer human will, that forever changed the face of America.
~American Experience

Have you visited the Hoover Dam? If so, were you awestruck by it magnificence?