Las Vegas to Arizona

i went to las vegas at the end of june.

@ home @ msp international airport @ msp international airport @ flying over lake mead

it was neat to take photos while flying over lake mead and the hoover dam – those were on my agenda later in the day.

@ flying over lake mead @ mccarran international airport

why didn’t i expect gambling as soon as i got off the plane? it was quite surprising.

@ mccarran international airport @ las vegas strip

my taxi driver was not really amused by my excitement at finally visiting vegas.

@ mandalay bay

i was in vegas to support my company at cisco live, but i gave myself a day before and a day after for exploration and adventure. so, forget i mentioned this for now – let’s head out to arizona!

@ leaving las vegas @ leaving las vegas @ leaving las vegas

i was all enchanted with the desert and it’s crazy geology for a moment.

@ boulder dam brewing company @ boulder dam brewing company

stopped for lunch and a shandy at the boulder dam brewing company in boulder city before getting to hoover. on my little google map i saw the “boulder dam museum” and asked my waitress where the boulder dam was. did you know the hoover dam used to be called the boulder dam? news to me. apparently i should do more research before getting into tourism.

@ boulder dam brewing company

anyway, both the beer and empty patio were very nice. i guess the nevada/arizona summer chases residents inside similar to minnesota winters. i’m down with that; more sun for me!

@ boulder dam brewing company @ boulder dam brewing company @ boulder dam brewing company

after eating, i went to explore the town a little. and by “the town” i mean the neighboring two blocks.

@ boulder city @ boulder city @ boulder city @ boulder city @ boulder city


@ lake mead national recreation area

there was an entrance fee for the lake mead recreation area, so i settled for the visitor’s center. so many cacti!

@ lake mead national recreation area @ lake mead national recreation area @ lake mead national recreation area

this rattlesnake warning sign spooked me a little bit. this is where my adventure may have started its downturn.

@ lake mead national recreation area @ lake mead national recreation area @ lake mead national recreation area

for scale, you know.

@ lake mead national recreation area @ hoover dam

this is probably the second scariest bridge i’ve ever encountered. golden gate still takes #1, but i actually drove over that one. maybe if i drove across this new bridge someday it would take the cake.

@ hoover dam

i could’ve used a copilot to take photos for me.

@ hoover dam


@ hoover dam @ hoover dam

i was running out of energy, so i didn’t go down and walk across the dam. it would’ve been cool to have photos of the “nevada time” and “arizona time” clocks, but i guess i’ll have to prepare better for my next trip out. though would i really go back? i don’t know.

@ hoover dam

the water was really low.

@ hoover dam @ hoover dam

proof that i was there and also a really bad photo. it was so hot! ugh.

@ hoover dam @ hoover dam

i didn’t see a single big-horn sheep and that is really disappointing.

@ fortification hill

“fortification hill” was the area i was really seeking. off the beaten path and all.

@ fortification hill @ lake mead

i thought the end of the road would take me to more of a “scenic overlook” situation, but i found a mouth into lake mead instead. way awesome! i wish i had brought my bathing suit and floaty tube, i totally would’ve hung out longer.

@ lake mead

this is my computer’s wallpaper at work.

@ lake mead @ lake mead @ lake mead @ fortification hill @ fortification hill

on my way out of this area, i got a flat tire. which was horrifying for me since i was basically alone in the desert, it was the hottest time of the day, my cellphone had long since died (and i meant to get a car charger!), and i was running out of water. i made the decision that i had to continue driving to the main road because there was no way i would be stopping in the middle of nowhere. and i was freaked out the whole time – the rental wasn’t mine, after all.

(177/365) @ arizona desert

holy crap. thankfully i made it to the main road and stood out, trying to flag someone down to help me. an old pickup pulled over, and my new favorite arizona residents, aaron and elizabeth, came to my rescue. elizabeth and i talked about our tragedies of the day (my flat tire, and earlier during their road trip their engine had given out). aaron replaced my tire with the spare. i’m so grateful that they felt they should “pay it forward” since someone had come to their rescue earlier. i wish i had gotten their address so i could’ve sent them a thank you gift. guys, if you’re out there: you’re so friggin’ awesome.

@ hoover dam

after they fixed me up and we both decided to get back on the road to vegas, i decided i was so done with my road trip. i had planned to take a different route back into vegas just to change it up a little, so maybe next time… if i ever do this sort of thing again.

@ hoover dam


Bru Guru

Thanks for stopping by my little brewery! Sounds like you enjoyed yourself. Can’t believe you drove to Fortification Hill without a 4×4! Very cool blog! If you’re ever back in the area, we’d love to stop in again.


Todd Cook
Boulder Dam Brewing Co.
“A Bolder Damn Beer!”


I didn’t really do the proper homework before heading out to Fortification Hill; thought I was taking a fun little day trip. I have since learned my lesson and bought a car charger for my phone… 🙂

I’d love to come back and try more of your brews. The shandy was delicious and absolutely perfect for the heat that day!

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