Did you know that hard hats were invented for the construction of the Hoover Dam? Tuesday, we crawled slowly across the top of the dam in a thick traffic jam, and we saw plenty of hard-hatted people building a new suspension bridge over the dam and expanding the highways leading up to it.
Because of the dogs, we could not park and leave the car, so we had to content ourselves with a dam-top view from the cars.
Temperatures remained above 110 all day, and so we stayed in the cars, moving as fast as possible across the unforgiving Nevada countryside. Eventually, we found a shady park in Kingman Arizona, and some take-out Mexican food that we could enjoy under the trees while the dogs lolled happily on real grass, tongues out, smiling.
We drove through a thunderstorm in the afternoon, and the outside temperature dropped instantly from 110 to 70. We were dead tired when we got to the hotel, but dragged ourselves back into the car (dogs and all) to see sunset at the Grand Canyon. Needless to say, that extra driving was worth it.
Leo perched on the canyon’s edge for a couple of hours. Mick and I walked the dogs on nearby pathways and looked at all the people: weather beaten bikers, busloads of tourists, and families from all over the world. We heard parents warning kids away from the edges in a dozen different languages. And everybody petted the dogs.
My mind comes back to money when I see so many people who still have the resources to come here from Germany or China or India. I begin to wonder if the world’s money problems have been exaggerated, or if these vacationers have some kind of protection from money trouble. It’s a puzzle that carried over into Wednesday when we noted numbers of shuttered businesses across Arizona and New Mexico. The highway is filled with trucks and busses and carloads of tourists, but the byways are deadly quiet.