I got my “new” bicycle back in Salt Lake City as we reported in an August blog. Gary finally found his “new” bike here in Las Vegas – another Craigslist find. His bike is the same brand as mine – Specialized. It is not the same model but they are very similar. We now both have plenty of gears for all types of riding. The streets here in downtown Las Vegas are a little too crazy for bicycling, so we sought out a trail away from the city One couple who follows our blog mentioned the Railroad Tunnel Trail in Boulder City. We had read about that one as well. So off we went with the bikes.
This railroad bed was built to rail the building materials including the dry concrete and the powerhouse equipment to the Hoover Dam construction site. This is some rough and rocky terrain so they had to build five tunnels in the four-mile length of this trail. The bikes performed just fine. The trail was packed gravel with some looser gravel on the top with some grades at times so we were glad we had those gears.
The views are great as you are up above looking down on Lake Mead The trail ends at a high landing where all the concrete was dumped, mixed and then bucketed down to the many sections of the dam. We parked our bikes and walked on down to the top of the dam. We had been there several times before but it is always amazing to see this marvel of engineering and construction.
And there is another new marvel of engineering and construction now in the very same area – the Mike O’Callaghan/Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. This bridge spans the very top of the canyon walls and routes the majority of the traffic off the dam road. It is especially valuable to trucking as trucks have been banned from traveling over Hoover Dam for a number of years. They have had to detour through Laughlin, NV/Bullhead City, AZ with about a 3,000-foot descent and climb through the Colorado River valley.
The bridge road is 900 feet above the Colorado River. It is the second tallest bridge in the country.
We wanted to see and drive the bridge in the car as we will have to cross it in the motor home whenever it is that we finally leave Las Vegas. (Yes, we are planning to leave.) There are two lanes of traffic each way with a wide shoulder and then a wall that is tall enough that you cannot see over it. If we had not known about the bridge, we might never have known we were on it. When we go over it in the motor home, we likely will see a bit of the drop, but they instruct tall vehicles to drive the inside lane so it should be just fine unless the winds kick up; they do close it at times because of the winds that can whip through the canyon. Even I who hates bridges think we can do this one.