I can't consider a vacation a success unless I go somewhere I have never been or seen something that I've never seen. Both were accomplished on this vacation!

Kate McGwire photos

Saying I love to travel would be an understatement. My passport, my camera and a toothbrush are all I need! When Mike & I get vacation, I have to leave the zip code, the area code if possible and preferably cross a state border. Show me a pretty mountain view and I want to know what is on the other side of that mountain. My curiosity for new places is unquenchable! So when Mike and Tracy invited me (O.K. fine, I invited myself because I am tired of traveling alone) to Las Vegas, I immediately started thinking about places off the strip. I have done Las Vegas more times than I can count. Immediately Hoover Dam came to mind. I drove through Vegas a bunch but always from Colorado so I never got to cross the Black Canyon. This was a no brainer! Tracy and I rented a convertible Camaro and hit the open road!

Kate McGwire Photos

Shockingly the Hoover Dam is only 30 miles from Vegas. Shame on me for never going before! I must also admit that I am total history buff geek. I love museums. I love learning new things. At Alcatraz, I was the tour geek walking around with the headset on for the audio tour. I could have done that at Hoover Dam but I am have dam claustrophobia and elevator claustrophobia and any other kind of small space phobia so the dam tour was out.

If you are driving west from Arizona to Nevada on Hwy 93 going over the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge, I highly recommend you go down and check out Hoover Dam. The bridge itself is a site from the top of the dam! It took 7 years to construct and I remember my palms sweating every time I saw images on TV. Now I can say, I have stood on a dam that 21,000 men constructed and I have stood on the center of a bridge that is 900 feet above the Colorado River!

Kate McGwire Photos

The bypass is very helpful for travelers with trailers and those who have already "been there, done that." But if you are like me, and you have never seen the Hoover Dam, make the stop. It's a piece of American history and one of the biggest dams in the world! Plus you can take the dam tour and tell me all about it! ~Happy Trails~